“Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness, simply didn’t know where to go shopping”, according to actress, Bo Derek. So it’s no secret that I really like to shop, but what I like even more is finding the good deals, discounts, sales and bargains. On top of my shopping obsession, I also happen to love designer; which as you could imagine really throws a wrench in the bank account! What I would like to share (which hopefully adds a touch more to that happiness) are the places to not only shop, but shop the designer brands without breaking the bank. There are tiers or “levels” to bargain shopping; depending on how much of a bargain you are looking for and how willing you are to dig through the racks to unearth the good stuff.
The first on the list is the department store, Nordstrom. I believe that Nordstrom does a great job creating an atmosphere that makes shopping fun and easy. Everything is clean, organized and well set up, providing shoppers with a feeling ease and comfort that makes spending easy; a little too easy. Yes, Nordstrom isn’t quite considered cheap and not typically the first place your mind goes when you think of “bargain shopping”; but there are some instances where I’ve seen designer and good brands go on sale. Nordstrom sells the top designer brands from Gucci to Valentino, Prada to Saint Laurent and much more. The problem with this is that it is more rare that you will see a decrease in prices on the big name labels. When there is a price drop, it’s usually not jaw-dropping, but better than nothing that’s for sure (every little bit helps, right)! If you are willing to be patient and continue to keep an eye out for the mark downs, you can get designer for cheaper.
A distant second is Nordstrom Rack. Distant because there’s a little more grunt work involved to find what you are really looking for. It is a little less organized, more product to sift through and not as “nice” looking compared to Nordstrom. For the most part, The Rack is fairly nice and has a good selection, but like every chain store, there are locations where that is definitely not the case. But the discount on designer brands is significantly more than that of Nordstrom. At The Rack, you have to have the “just looking” mind set, if you are there with something specific in mind, you’ll never find it. Browsing at random is when I’ve seen some great deals on some big-name brands. The Rack carries pretty much the same names that Nordstrom sells, the products just comes in much more sporadic and infrequently. The name brands are there, you just have to persistently keep checking in stores and online.
Tier number three goes to TJ Maxx. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen high end designer bags, shoes, clothes, jewelry and even makeup and fragrances sold at a fraction of the regular cost. Sure, this isn’t the most posh place to get your designer merchandise, but to me, saving a boat load of money is absolutely worth it. They have the “lower” end names like Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Free People, Marc Jacobs, Rag and Bone, UGG and up to names like Vince, Givenchy, Chloe, St. John, Versace, Alexander McQueen, Dolce and Gabbana and Jimmy Choo. What I love is that they carry the whole spectrum of brands that works for the budgets all their shoppers. Every now and then the big names will be put on sale, cutting the price even further and more affordable! However, this can be very hit or miss, sometimes you feel like you could buy the entire store, other times you can’t seem to find a single thing. The locations make a difference too, some locations consistently don’t have a good selection and others seem to get all the higher end brands. Shopping here is dependent on several factors: store location, consistently checking merchandise selections either in the store or online and once again don’t have anything specific in mind, you will stumble unto the good stuff when you’re just browsing.
Last, but certainly not least, thrift stores. I really don’t have a preference of thrift store; all I know is that I’ve found some pretty amazing treasures while thrifting. It’s funny how so many people snub up their nose or think themselves superior to thrift shopping. If you can find designer or a nice brand, who cares where it comes from? Sure it’s far from anything glamorous, but if you can find name brands without spending everything in your bank account, that’s a huge win! When thrifting, you have to be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time going through rack after rack, carefully scanning for the good stuff. It’s actually really fun, just roll up the sleeves and start digging! Once you do find those name brands, it makes the find even more exciting because not only did you do the back-breaking work to hunt it down, but it’s also dirt cheap and save so much money!
For the most part, these are the tiers to bargain shopping according to my experiences. Of course, there are those weird ones where something is cheaper at The Rack than it is at TJ Maxx, even though TJ Maxx is traditionally considered to be less expensive. It just all depends, stores and merchandise are always changing and cycling through. If I could stress anything, it would be don’t look for anything specific; let them come to you. They will come to you when you are patient and you least expect it!
And that’s the dirt!