How To Bargain Shop Like a Boss

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I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I made it back from my sisters safe and sound minus the fact I swear every time I travel I encounter a whole new level of weird/annoying.  The family across the aisle I think it was their first time like ever flying and they had their headphones plugged in and then they were talking to each other over the music they were listening to in the worst twangy accents ever.  I almost lost my mind.  Thank goodness for free wifi on JetBlue otherwise I’m sure this would have happened.

(via tumblr)

Onto the main attraction.  As you well know I love to bargain shop and find high end looks for you at prices us normal people can actually afford.  What that said, I can be very picky when it comes to bargain pieces.  I thought I’d share with you some of my tips and tricks to help you keep those credit cards a little happier.

First example let me show you how I know this maxi dress is cheap.  Don’t get be wrong I love the print!  It looks very Mara Hoffman.  The front looks good.

When you are choosing a print pattern or especially stripes a dead giveaway when something is inexpensive look at the side where the seam meets.If the pattern matches it…..good to go.  Look how bad this one is.  Dead giveaway.
Same goes for stripes.  Always check to see on the side if the stripes line up.  If they do, then you’re good to go. If they are off, then pass.
Another way I like to style outfits is by placing one or two high end pieces with inexpensive well fitting other pieces and the entire outfit will look polished.  For example here is a stripped shirt from Forever 21 perfect for Spring paired with colored skinnies from Zara.  Nobody will know they are not from J.Crew.
My next piece of advice would be to never spend a lot of money on high end trendy pieces.  That is what Forever 21 and H&M are for.  Invest the money on well constructed pieces that will never go out of style and will hold up over time.  I am obsessed with this blazer for the upcoming Spring.  It is extremely versatile and I can see this going with so many different pieces.
Have fun with the trendy pieces from less expensive places like this maxi dress with the sheer bottom.  Or this gorgeous blue dress with pretty back detail.
                  
Next, know what the high end designers look like and find similar pieces at lower costs.  Showcased in these posts here and here.
As you have also learned by now I never online shop without coupon codes like this one right now for Sephora for Beauty Insiders.
Another shopping mantra I abide by is never buy super high end pieces full price.  For example I’ve had my eye on these Tory Burch flats.
They are classic but could never justify the price tag.  I waited until Bloomingdales had their friends and family sale and took the plunge.  Make a list of your high end wants and when SHOPBOP, Nordstroms and Bloomingdales has their sales jump at those coveted pieces.
I just learned this great little golden nugget of information.  Did you know that Nordstroms will match Bloomingdales 20% off friends and family?  I personally prefer their customer service hands down and we don’t have a Bloomingdales where I live.
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Tory Burch will also match sale prices (not flash sales but true markdowns of their competitors).
Finally, my last piece of advice on how to bargain shop like a boss is shop smartly on Ebay.  Tory Burch flats for $75 dollars sent from Hong Kong…probably not real.  However that TB cross body that you’ve been lusting over and worn twice from a girl living in Atlanta.  I would definitely jump on that!
These are a few of my pointers for bargain shopping.  What are your tricks of the trade?  I hope you had a great weekend!  Nothing better then starting off your week then with a little shopping fun right? xoxoxoxo
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50 responses to “How To Bargain Shop Like a Boss”

  1. Becky M says:

    Oh my gosh this is so helpful!! I can never justify those price tags either!!

    madeintheshadeblog.com
    (Formerly agirlandhersparkles.blogspot.com)

  2. Those stripes and patterns not matching is too crazy – I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that!! You know I love me some eBay!! Great picks, there is also a sight where you can save all your favorite items and it alerts you to when they are on sale!! Trying to figure out the site…Hope you had a blast with your sister and the kids!

  3. Jessica says:

    After learning about patterns and stripes from your mini guide, I actually ended up looking over a few shirts and dresses I purchased from affordable stores and luckily, I scored and got them all matching! I love budget shopping and my favourite tips is probably eBay (whooo!) and comparing online/in store prices and their price-match guarantees. I hate paying for shipping so if I know I can get the item instore with the online price, I’d head over there ASAP.

  4. you know how much of a cheap bitch i am so any way to save $$ is good in my books! i never spend $ on trends. i would rather spend $ on classics that will last me through the years instead of 2yrs max.

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

  5. JumpingJE says:

    Can we just go shopping together? I love these tips – duh mismatched stripes, I see this so often.

  6. Great tips! I’ve never paid that much attention to the pattern matching up but that makes perfect sense! Love your new Tory’s!! I’ve been dying for the Tory sandals you’re wearing in that pic but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I want to though! Hope you had a great weekend!

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

  7. Bargain shopping is my middle name. I basically walk straight towards clearance racks in every store I go into.

  8. Great tips! I love me some bargain shopping!

  9. Gina says:

    great tips!! I especially love the art of mixing designer pieces in with more affordable pieces. I often stumble upon these affordable but nice pieces when I’m not looking. I call them my Old Navy, H&M or target “gems”. J.Crew factory is fabulous place to stock up on very high quality pieces especially when they are running sales!

  10. Such great advice! I love bargain hunting too. Thanks for sharing :)

    blog.buggydesigns.com

  11. Savanna says:

    I love bargain shopping, I do all the time! I actually buy my girls clothes a year ahead (for the most part). Mixing affordable with high end is a great idea… I need to do that!

    I love me a good staple piece!

  12. Love this!!! I’m SUCH a bargain shopper as you may noticed! TJ and Marshall’s are definitely my go to for designers for less! I’m so with you on don’t spend a lot on trendy pieces! That’s why f21 and H&m are so amazing! Hope you had a fab weekend!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeatsoles.blogspot.com

  13. Tracey says:

    These are really,really great tips! I love your fashion related posts.

  14. Thank you for the great tips girl, that stripes thing is crazy!

  15. Kiki says:

    These are some great tips, I never had thought of the stripes thing!

  16. You are spot on and had me at ‘bargain’ haha great post!

  17. I love bargain shopping! That is my kind of shopping!!! Prints not lining up drive me CRAZY!!!! Certainly something to be on the look out for. Those Tory flats are cute but I hear a lot of people complaining about how theirs aren’t comfortable…at all. It has scared me away from ever investing in a pair.

  18. There is NOTHING worse than patterns that don’t match up!!!! HATE that!!! It just looks sloppy. I completely agree with you on spending the most money on classic staples and the least money on trendy pieces!!!! You’s a bad ass bargain bitch! :)

  19. great tips!! i love nordstroms and i didnt know they match prices! good to know!
    i use Poach It when i want to stalk an item…. it tracks it for you and then emails you when the item goes on sale. xo jillian – cornflake dreams

  20. I’m all about bargain shopping! I love mixing high end staple pieces with trendy H&M or F21 pieces. Great advise!!

  21. Christina says:

    oh how i love coupon codes!!

  22. brooke lyn says:

    i totally agree that you never want to spendy a lot of money on trendy pieces that will go out of style next season.

  23. Great advice! love finding something fabulous for a bargain!

  24. Love these tips! The sides not matching is such a good one. I always google the store for coupons too.

  25. I wish I could hire you to be my personal shopper! You have the best fashion sense + always find the best deals! I’ve been thinking of trying my hand on ebay… I’ve never used it and have always been overwhelmed, but I always hear about people finding great things!

  26. Why I have I never thought to look at something as basic as the seams matching up?? Genius. Love eBay too, but you’re so right about being trusting of the sellers (although 2 months and $40 later, I did get a pair of NWT Tory Burch flats from somewhere in Asia ha – miraculous!).

  27. yes that seam thing bugs me too, i mean line it up properly!

  28. Ugh that seam thing gives me the willies. Gross!

  29. Haha, first time on a plane…or first time out in public? LOL I want/need those TB flats!

  30. Oh how I missed reading your blog while I was away. I had no idea that it was so easy to tell if stripes and patterned dresses/shirts were cheap until this. Thank you for telling us! I’m going to look out for that next time!

  31. Joey says:

    You need to take me shopping I think. Almost every piece of clothing I have was a hand-me-down. It’s pathetic, really. I love the idea of mixing high end pieces with affordable pieces to make an entire outfit seem more expensive!

  32. Jetblue rocks! I wish I flew that airline more but it only flies out of JFK and that is a bit of a trek for us…but it is the best!! When Spyros loved in Boston it was ALL I flew :). Love your bargain shopping tips…everything is better when ya get it for a good deal ;)! Xx.

  33. Good ones! I only invest in pieces I know I will like for a long time. I’ve learned that shoes are not that for me.

  34. P!nky says:

    LIKE A BOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

  35. I cannottttttt stand when patterns do not line up!!! I am glad I am not the only one who recognizes that!!

  36. My new trick of the trade when I see something high end I want for less is going to be to call you. That way you can tell me where to find it and how to get a coupon code:) Cool?

  37. I’m a big bargain shopper too and get a lot if my high end stuff off ebay sometimes even new with tags! TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are awesome too. Good to know about the stripes and pattern matching up. Great tips!

  38. Stacy G says:

    You definitely are a very knowledgeable bargain shopper! lol I LOVE finding things on ebay. The blue dress is gorgeous!

  39. These are good tips!! I love TJ Maxx and Marshalls!

  40. There is seriously no better feeling than getting a good bargain! Love the way you mixed your high and low pieces…it all pulls together for one chic look!

  41. Miranda says:

    These are great tips! I would have never even thought about most of this stuff!

  42. Love that tip about the patterns or stripes matching up. I’m not sure I’ve ever looked to see, I’ll look every time now! 100% agree with not paying full price for high-end items too. Not worth it!

  43. Nadia M says:

    These are great tips! I am a total bargain shopper at heart, I find it so much more satisfying. Finding out price matches is genius, I definitely will have to look into that for stores around here!

  44. Love the blazer! H&M blazers are great and always a great deal vs. the other mall shops : ) Is free wifi on Jet Blue a new thing? I was on JetBlue in Dec and It was not free. Their 36 channels of TV, good snacks, leg room, and free Dunkies are always a selling point for me though. <3 <3

  45. Also, I need to go shopping with you soon! You have such great style!

  46. This post is perfection!! I love mixing high/low end pieces…aka, expensive stuff with my target shopping “accidents”. That’s what I call them when my husband asks why I have a bag entirely full of clothes and beauty products! 😁 Clearly the sales person run up my items along with the lady behind me…who happens to be my size and has great taste! Ha!

  47. Becca says:

    LOVE that tip about the stripes and patterns matching. It’s one of those things I never notice until after I buy something a wear it a few times. And then once I notice, I can’t unsee it.

  48. I think you should have charged for this post ;).

  49. Kristen says:

    I love eBay! I always look for an exact piece if it’s too expensive / not in stock anymore. Like that lace dress you sent me the link for, I was all over eBay, poshmark & thredup trying to find it / similar. I got one that looks the same except without sleeves for $15. hope it looks awesome! oh, and i loved all of your tips though I don’t think I have many high end pieces-too poor for that!

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