Growing up in suburbia and attending college in D.C. offered slews of stores out of my price range. In high school I had the advantage of working a part-time job at TJ Maxx to support my closet. Now, while in college, my schedule has been filled with internships instead of a paying job. This has allowed me to acquire a new skill set: finding deals when girlfriends thought it couldn’t be done. Going to school in our nation’s capital is fun, but boy is it expensive! Add to that my
expensive particular taste in clothing and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Over the years I’ve picked up a few habits that have helped me be able to still buy the clothes I love at the price-points I’ve fallen in love with. I’m always floored when I talk to women and they say they payed full price for an item; many a time I find the same designer at a discounted store for a fraction of the price they said. To ensure that you never pay full price, here are a few tidbits to consider:
1. Get that frequent shopper card
Unfortunately, not all cards are created equal. Some are credit/debit cards while others are actual frequent-shopper cards. To feed my particular shopping habits I have a Sephora Beauty Insider card, a Nordstrom Rack debit card, and a Loehmann’s Gold Rewards card. You’d think that after working in the TJX Corporation for 3 years I’d have a TJ Maxx credit card, but I don’t. My mom does. One other I’d offer for consideration: a Macy’s credit card. Agreed, credit cards can get crazy out of control (notice how I don’t have any listed?) but Macy’s in particular is very beneficial as it offers discounts exclusively to card members (again, my mom has one, ha!). For more information on each card click on their names above.
2. Shop at high-end discount stores
May sound like an oxymoron, but they’re chock full of gold!! I always prefer to do this in-person, but if you absolutely insist on doing this online, you’ll want to check out these sites:
- ∞ Nordstrom Rack
- ∞ Last Call by Neiman Marcus
- ∞ Macy’s (when aren’t they having a sale??)
- ∞ Barney’s Warehouse
- ∞ Gilt.com [Side-NOTE] If you’d like an invite to join Gilt.com I’ll happily send you an email, just contact me if you do
3. See it in-store, find it on Ebay or Amazon
Though it may have been an issue in the past, both Ebay and Amazon have amped up their authentication processes to ensure that knock offs are no longer on their sites. I have found designer denim in department stores and checked on Ebay to find the exact same pair in my size for $20-60 cheaper (plus in a wash I like better!).
4. Use Online Tricks of the Trade
The online tools from this article will help you master finding steals online if you don’t have the time or patience to go from store to store. Not everyone enjoys shopping in-person; it’s a sport that can easily instill disappointment, tiredness, and wishing you’d just stayed home. For those men and women, online shopping is your best bet.
Shop smart, shop confidently