Monday, March 24, 2014

{How to} Never pay full price on clothes again ...

This post is thanks to my first reader question (thanks Meghan!) -- you can always email me and ask me a question of your own at redlipswontquit[at]gmail[dot]com! Meghan asked -- do I ever pay full price for things or do I always buy on sale, and how do I find the best sale price?

As a girl on a budget, I buy clothes and shoes on sale 90% of the time.  As you can see from my February Shopping Breakdown Post -- everything I bought was discounted, and that's the way I shop every month.  Some of my favorite places to shop that have amazing sales are: J.Crew, Madewell, ASOS, Gap, and Piperlime.

Here are my Top 10 tips to score the best deals on clothes, shoes, accessories!

1 // Sign up for newsletter emails Everyday my inbox is full of newsletters from all my favorite companies.  This is the main way I find out what stores are having sales that day.  It's quick and convenient since most of us check our email everyday and probably do most of our shopping online anyway!  These emails will alert you to new items added to clearance, much awaited semi-annual sales, or extra markdown on already on sale items!

2 // Give 'em your mailing address too While your at it, give companies not only your email address, but your mailing address as well!  Companies will send you catalogs {I save all my J.Crew catalogs since I love looking back at them for inspo}, but companies like Boden, Anthropologie, DSW, TOMS go a step further and sometimes put a discount code on the back of the catalog for an extra 10-15% off your order just for getting their catalog!  That's nothing to turn your nose up at!

3 // Give 'em your birthday A lot of companies will have you fill out your b-day when you're signing up for an account with them.  Usually it's optional, but don't automatically skip over it!  Some generous stores like DSW and Sephora will mail you a gift card of some sort for your birthday!  I give companies my birthday and my boyfriend's b-day for gift cards twice a year!!

4 // Pin it! If you don't already have a Pinterest account -- get one!  Here's why-  when you pin an itemf directly from the company's site, Pinterest will send you daily emails about changes in the price of those items! I love opening my inbox to see the email "Good news! Your pin's price has dropped!".  This way you don't have to stalk the items you really want for the price you're willing to pay for them -- Pinterest does the work for you!!

5 // Follow a company's Facebook/Instagram/Twitter I follow several of my favorite companies on Facebook and Instagram {I'm too stubborn to get a Twitter account}.  They'll frequently post about new sales! 

6 // Follow shopping blogs Besides Tip # 1, this is probably my second favorite way to find out about sales!  There are sooo many shopping blogs out there that will alert you to sales going on, but my two favorites that I check every day are Chloe Conspiracy and Penny Pincher Fashion.

7 // Add things to your wishlist More and more companies are creating a "wishlist" feature to their websites- like J.Crew and Madewell.  If you're on the fence about something or want to wait for a better price -- add it to your wishlist!  That way, you can keep checking back to your wishlist whenever you visit the site and monitor the price.  I've kept things in my wishlist at J.Crew for months and then one day-- bam! it's on sale and I take the plunge.  If a store doesn't have a wishlist feature another sneaky way to keep all your favorite items centrally located is to add them to your cart!  Just make sure you're signed in to your account before you do this, or you'll lose all the items once you leave the site.  Sometimes, companies like Urban Outfitters, J.Crew, Gap will send you emails alerting you that you've left things in your cart as a friendly reminder.

8 // Sign up for a company credit card &/or pay for things on your personal credit card and rack up those points!
Take this tip with a grain of salt since credit cards are tricky bastards and controversial with a lot of people.  My reasoning for this tip is twofold: 1. you can usually score a better discount when you pay for things on the company credit card (i.e. J.Crew has a sale right now where everyone can get 25% off their order, but card members get 30% off!) 2. If you have a regular credit card (like Capital One, or Discover, etc.) that gives you points every time you pay your bill -- use it! Then, cash in those points to put towards another purchase.  With my credit card I can redeem my points for a gift card to stores like Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Macys, Target, LL Bean just to name a few.  Right now I have about 50 points ($50 gift card) that I'm saving to use towards a designer bag at Bloomingdales!!

** Always pay off the full balance of your credit card every month ** Remember, credit cards aren't free money and you should always pay them off completely every month, so if you don't have the money, don't use them!  You don't want your shopping habit to screw with your credit score or put you in major debt!!

9 // Shop designer items from flash sale websites Member only, flash sale sites like HauteLook or Gilt are becoming really popular.  They'll send you emails about the day's flash sale and you can usually find designer items on deep discount, but you have to be willing to pull the trigger fast, since these sales only last for hours-days!

10 // Know the company's sale history/habits If you know how often a company has friends and family sales, extra % off already on sale items, etc. you can get the best deal possible so do your research.  For example, I know that J.Crew, Madewell, Gap, ASOS, Old Navy have regular sales almost weekly and J.Crew in particular has regular deals where you can get an EXTRA 30-50% off already on sale items.  So for companies like that I never pay full sale price for an item, I always wait for an extra sale.  Kate Spade has frequent extra 25% off sale items sales and that's how I score my Kate Spade purses, bags, and wallets! Companies like Anthropologie on the other hand only have two tag sales a year where you can get an extra % off sale items (usually one in the spring, one in the winter).  If that's the case and I really like something on sale, I won't try to wait for a better price.   

Hope these tips help! Happy shopping! :)


post signature


  1. Jill, thanks for great tips! And you definitely should start using twitter, first of all it's a great source to get know about sales and deals, and the second reason it will be good for your blog. While other blogs more about pictures and inspiration, and created to share on Pinterest or Instagram mostly, your helpful posts worth sharing on twitter!

  2. These are all fantastic tips! There are ways to find sales and discounts that people don't even think about! I hardly ever make purchases without some type of discount or sale going on. I just got 25% off at JC Penney last weekend for checking in on Foursquare! Discounts are everywhere. :)


Thank you for taking time to read my blog and comment!
You can also reach me by email: