Shopping for clothes is a lot of fun, but no shopper wants to spend more money on clothes than is necessary, especially with the high markups at so many retail stores. As a shopper, you want to buy clothes for what they’re worth. Yet, it seems like saving money nowadays involves complicated know-how’s and information gathering. The reality is that saving money when you shop for clothes isn’t just for experts. In fact, the next time you shop for clothes, all you need are the following 5 tips to save you money.
Pay in Cash
What you spend is mostly psychological. Department stores make it very easy for you to walk in and swipe your credit/debit card or even sign-up for one of their stores credit lines. The fact that you don’t see the transaction immediately softens the blow of the amount you pay. However, when you pay in cash you’ll be more rigid about how much to spend, plus you know you can only afford to spend the amount of cash you have. You essentially avoid overspending. Cash may also give you more bargaining power. When you offer cash, the retail store doesn’t have to pay credit card transaction fees. Additionally, you can ask for a slight price reduction on an item, especially if that item is slightly frayed or worn.
Ask for a Sale Price
We often get used to accepting things as a given, but what goes on behind the scenes at store inventories isn’t always what we imagine. They need to sell items, and sometimes they have a surplus. If you walk into a store and find that an item was on sale a week prior, just ask if you can get either the sale price or a fraction of the sale price (politely, of course). This is especially useful if, for instance, you’re buying two different colors of the same sweater. If you’re buying more and asking for a discount, the store still makes money and gets rid of inventory they may never sell that season.
Shop at The Right Time
We’ve all heard that shopping out of season is a great strategy if you want to save on clothes. Yet when exactly is “out of season?” All clothes have a season (and day of the week) in which they’re offered at a better price. According to Time Magazine, a good strategy is to shop either before a big holiday or right after. Also, many stores designate specific days when they’ll put things on clearance. Each week they get new orders and thus need to make space. If you ask a store clerk when it is that the store marks down clothing, (s)he will usually let you know.
Be Careful With Big Sales
Sales are sometimes too good to be true, especially really major ones like Black Friday. Even throughout the year department stores offer major sales on a bi-weekly basis. The price reductions seem like a good deal because they’re between 40% and 70% off, but they were likely preceded with a high markup.
Sales do exist and you can get good discounts, but very big sales are intended to help stores sell inventory quickly. According to The Wall Street Journal, the discount is already “built in” to the product. The sweater that is now 60% off and costs only $30 was actually only meant to sell for that “sale price” in the first place. The rest is just markup to make it appear as if you’re getting a good deal.
Walk Around Before You Buy
It’s difficult to peel one’s eyes off the colorful sales displays in department stores. Even as we’re walking with arms full of merchandise, it’s difficult to not look out from the corner of our eyes. Retailers purposely place high-priced items in visible places—the front sides and the center of the store. They know that if a shopper finds an attractive item in a convenient location, they will likely buy it. If you want to save money, look for items in less apparent racks and displays near the back corners. Walk around first before you pick up anything.
Saving money on clothes isn’t difficult, but it does require some planning before you walk into a store. If you walk into a store with cash and with a purpose, you’ll be less likely to spend as much. Additionally, you can always find a discount if you ask.
Now that you have heard our tips to save money on clothes, what are some of the strategies you use to get discounted clothing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.