Good friends don’t let friends pay retail price for clothing, especially when we are in the midst of a promotion heavy retail environment in which sales are ALWAYS happening. Because I love you guys so much, I’m sharing five tips that have helped me build my wardrobe over the past year — without paying retail price for any item.
1) Know important sale and markdown dates.
There are few feelings worse than paying retail price for an item — only to find that same item go on sale a week later. Ugh! The lesson here: know key dates for sales. If you’re completely clueless about sales periods, here’s a handy summary:
2) Come ready: Prepare a ‘wish list’ before shopping sales.
Shopping can be absolutely overwhelming when you don’t have specific goals in kind. Elevate that stress by preparing a ‘wish list’ ahead of time. My wish list has two categories: ‘necessities’ (for items like jeans that need to be replaced because there are holes in unsightly areas) and ‘splurges’ (like that floral midi skirt that’s adorable but so not necessary). Make sure you set a strict budget for both categories. I typically limit myself to one item in get the ‘splurge’ category. Keep these items in mind so they become priorities when you’re shopping. If you want to get really savvy, bookmark or favorite the exact items you want before a particular sale starts, so that you can go directly to those items once the sale begins. This worked very well (perhaps, too well) for me during Zara’s Black Friday sale.
3) Sign up for retailers’ email lists.
I know, I know. Promotional emails are super annoying. But they are also the best way to stay informed about major flash and seasonal sales for each retailer. Most retailers offer advanced notices for major sales to those on their email lists. If you’re like #icanteven handle sorting through tons of promo emails every day, create a Gmail account specifically for low priority emails such as these. Having a separate email account for promotional emails helps me stay informed without cluttering my other email inboxes. According to my promo inbox, here are some of the deals happening now at major retailers:
- Ann Taylor – 50% off entire purchase with code MERRY
- Ann Taylor Loft – 40% of entire purchase with code FESTIVE
- Club Monaco – #0% off sale + 40% off clearance with code SALEONSALE
- Eshakti – Site-wide sale up to 70% off + $30 for new customers
- J. Crew – 40% off sweaters + 30% off everything else + free shipping with code GIVETHIS
- J. Crew Factory – 50% everything
- Modcloth – 40% 100s of select items
4) Use Poshmark.
If you are unfamiliar with Poshmark, you are seriously missing out. Poshmark is a mobile app that allows users to buy and sell new and used clothing and accessories. Before I buy anything nowadays, I search Poshmark to see if someone is selling that item. Then I double-check to make sure someone else isn’t selling that item for less. You can find most items for 40-70% off retail price, AND you can negotiate to get a lower prices. Poshmark also has a fabulous community of women who are as kind as they are stylish. My closet alone has some pretty deals (maybe even too crazy). Here’s the link if you want to check it out: https://poshmark.com/closet/lizzykinsroy.
5) Use coupon and price comparison apps.
If you have a smart phone and you aren’t already using price comparison apps, I cry for you because chances are you have overpaid for many items. There are many goods apps out there, but these are my top 3:
- PoachIt – an app that sends you texts when a flagged item goes on sale
- RedLaser – an app that let’s you scan bar codes to compare prices at thousands of online and brick-and-mortar retailers
- RetailMeNot – the supreme coupon app that is essential for anyone seeking to pay less than retail on anything