Online shopping and scoring major sales are my specialty. With Black Friday just around the corner (eek!) my wish list is done and ready to go.
This week’s style tips will be taken over with online shopping tips, one of my favorite topics! I’m going to tell you how to get exactly what you want this sale season and how to go back for seconds and still get what you want. Here is my top 6 list of Shopping Online Sales.
1. Make A List.
Before becoming overwhelmed with the shiny new selection of markdowns, make a list! Go through your favorite websites ahead of time and make a wish list of your absolute favorite items. Then go through your closet and see what you’re missing – black ankle boots or a basic white button up blouse or maybe a cobalt blue clutch. Stick to your list for a successful round of sale shopping. I like to buy items that are unique and might not be seen again later in the designers collection. For the spring 2014, I scored Helmut Lang perforated oxfords and my 3.1 Phillip Lim white cracked leather mini Ryder bag, both highly coveted items to have sold out quickly. Know what’s in demand, know what you need in your closet and buy what you love.
2. Review Your Return Policies.
Is there anything worse than buyer’s remorse? Before hitting the checkout button online, review the online shop’s return policy, import taxes and free returns policy. Back in the day Shopbop.com was my favourite online destination. They had the selection I was looking for the prices seemed decent. Add in import taxes and exchange rates, I may as well have been paying full price. Granted I will return to Shopbop for exclusive items, but I think twice before shopping on international sites now. My favourite online destination for the last few years has been ssense.com, based out of Montreal, QC. Their designer selection only gets better each season - Isabel Marant, Acne Studios, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rag & Bone, Saint Laurent Paris, Givenchy, Alexander Wang, etc. They offer free shipping and free returns within Canada pretty much all year round (with exception of sale season) and a 14 day return policy (with exception of final sale items) and excellent customer service. Well done SSENSE. Love you guys!
3. Buy What You Know.
If I’m shopping online I like to stick to the brands and clothing shapes that work for me. Alexander Wang shoes are my staples and I know my size well as are Rag & Bone jeans. When trying on new shapes and experimenting with different brands, I prefer to shop in person. Stick to what works for you when online shopping to avoid frustration and disappointment later. Remember – what looks good on the model may not translate well to your body type. Don’t let those discounted prices take over your reasoning.
4. Subscribe To Newsletters NOW.
I know, I know. We’re all tired of being spammed by companies on the daily but during sale season, you want to be signed up to the newsletters. You’ll get notifications of special discount codes in addition to what’s already on sale (Shopbop does this closer to Xmas) and get notification of when sales are starting and when there are further markdowns. (I’ve experienced SSENSE's site crash in the past during the launch of their sales due to popularity). Be first in that virtual line and get your Alexander Wang boots on sale before they sell out. You snooze, you loose.
5. Search For Coupon Codes & Compare Prices.
Some sites, like SSENSE, offer price matching on same items. It’s worth having a look around other sites make sure you’re getting the best possible price. With that being said, also do a quick google search for words like “coupon code” or “discount code” on your favourite online shop.
6. Going Back For Seconds.
My personal sale shopping strategy is so simple – make a list and buy what you have been coveting all season long first. Then when the further markdowns hit – go back for seconds and once more, stick to what you need and what you love. Last season I was debating between a pair of floral or nude Givenchy sandals on sale. I concluded the nude would be classic and last longer in my wardrobe than the floral but I didn’t buy them right away. The waiting game paid off as a couple of weeks later I ended up scoring them at an even deeper discount (this is when you want to be signed up to your newsletters).
The reality. Of course I don’t buy everything I want during sale season! That would be madness. I save up for the sales and sell some of my items to give myself a nice clothing “allowance”. I’ve also missed out on some amazing goodies in the past and the Marni silver and pony hair loafers from seasons ago still haunt my dreams!
I hope this guide helps you through sale season. Are there any strategy that works for you? Let me know, I’d love to learn how to shop smarter!
My Top 3 Favourite Items To Buy On Sale
The markup on jeans borders on obscene. I like to stock up on my Jbrand’s and Rag & Bone’s when they’re on sale. Granted I will pay full price on occasion but for the most part I much rather not.
I love shoes and I swear I inherited my love of flats from my mother. The most basic of outfits can be elevated with the right foot wear. For the in demand styles I pay full price but otherwise I wait for the sales.
Nothing makes an outfit better than carrying a stylish bag. Again, pay full price for the in demand styles and leave the rest up to fate and score it on sale if you can. My favorite spots for buying bags are SSENSE and the Outnet. They always carry a good selection of Alexander Wang.