Saturday, October 31, 2015


It comes as no surprise that I enjoy some quality shopping from time to time. I consider it a recreational hobby, really. What may come as a surprise, though? I loathe the mall. Hate it... did I actually just say that? Hear me out: as a teen, we used to be close. Going to the mall with my friends was a highlight of my week. Shopping was somewhat of a social event; we'd make our way though half a dozen stores, toting around bags of trendy Forever 21 dresses we'd hope would survive more than three washes and $20 cage sandals. Do you remember when neon was a trend?! I'd firmly refuse to admit at one point I thought that was "in". Oh, to be young(er) again.

I used to love the convenience of being able to pick up something from the mall and wear it that same night. On another note, it used to be much more of a necessity to try items on first in-store prior to purchase. This was to ensure proper fit, as my body was still growing. Now that I've stopped growing, I've been able to determine my size at all of my favorite retailers, making online shopping the more convenient option. Online shopping provides the foundation for which this post rests on - how to get a good deal.

So, how do I score good deals?

1. Research the product. If you're looking for a designer item, shop around. What's this item going for at other retailers? I usually compare prices between Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Dillards and Macys. I'll also take a look at what it's going for on the designer's website itself. Often times, one item can be selling at dramatically different price points depending on where you search due to promotions, sales, etc. It can really pay to shop around!

2. Know your retailer. Most retailers have a semi-annual sale, a friends + family promotion, or some other big sale event during the year. If you're not familiar with the timeframe that your preferred retailer or brand has a big sale, a simple Google search should turn up some helpful results. If you can wait to purchase your item until then, you might score some deep discounts. You should also try to become familiar with the overall sale habits of that designer or retailer - if you don't know what the best deal that retailer offers, how will you know when to take advantage of a great opportunity? For example, J.Crew often does extra 25% markdowns on their sale merchandise. But did you know, every so often sale merchandise is marked down an extra 40%? And certain sale pieces can be up to an extra 50% off? The more you know!

3. Leverage discounts. You know those annoying boxes that pop up when you visit certain websites? The ones that say "enter your email for an extra 10% off"? Do it. If the site does not automatically invite you to sign up for their email list, you can often find a link at the bottom of their website that allows you to enroll. The emails can get annoying (you can generally change your email preferences, though) but hey, it's free money. So why not? Additionally, sometimes there are some discount codes or coupons floating around the internet. Run a quick "Tory Burch discount codes" or "Nordstrom coupons 2015" Google search and see what comes up. Sometimes, multiple discount codes can be combined on a single order, so make sure you take advantage of that if it's available.

I almost always keep those steps in mind when making purchases. However, if I'm in the market for a pricier item, I usually keep an eye on it every day or so from a variety of different retailers. That way, I'm able to observe price shifts over a period of time and make a better determination as to the best price I can get for that particular item.

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