5 Commandments of Shopping for Name Brand Clothing on a Budget

5 Commandments of Shopping for Name Brand Clothing on a Budget

I am often able to save over 80% on many of the brand new name brand items that I buy.  Sometimes I get lucky and fall into a great deal, but considering it happens frequently, I don’t really think it’s luck at all.  I consistently get high quality items at a deep discount.  I could give you all my tips and tricks, but the reality is that they won’t do you much good if you don’t follow five simple, but extremely important rules.  These five commandments are the foundation for everything I do in my deal hunting.

Thou shall not pay full price for anything.  Ever.  Anyone can shop in stores like Forever 21 and Old Navy and pay a low price for a fashionable piece of clothing, but you get what you pay for.  Sure, that cute top you just paid $20 for full price felt like a steal at the time, but the quality is so low that two wash cycles later you are donating it to the nearest Goodwill.  How much better does it feel to pay $20 for a quality item that originally cost $100?  Plus, it will typically last you far longer.

Huge savings come to those who wait.  It helps tremendously to try not to wait until the last-minute to buy things.  Everything eventually goes on sale.  I can’t stress this enough.  When I first started out I believed that certain brands never went on sale, but experience has taught me that this just isn’t true.  I get it – sometimes you may not be able to hold off buying an item while you wait for it to be 90% off because you have a special occasion or interview that just got sprung on you, but even just waiting until the weekend can make a huge difference.  Your favorite store will inevitably have a sale or coupon you can use.  I know you can’t always wait, so think ahead whenever possible.  It will definitely pay off!

Thou shall do your research.  It is important to visit a store’s website and/or call before you go into a store.  Sometimes, the items a store offers online have different prices than in the store.  More often than not, if the online price is lower and you can prove it (always have your smart phone by your side), the store will match the price.  A lot of store’s websites offer printable coupons or discount codes, too.  You can often pull up the coupon on your smart phone for the store to scan.  This has saved me a lot of money in the past and for very little effort.

Thou shall never pay shipping.  Nothing wrecks a good deal more than a shipping fee.  That $100 top you found online for $20 was an awesome deal until you went to check out and there was a flat rate $10 shipping charge.  This irritates me more than anything and I just won’t do it!  More stores than you’d think offer free shipping if you order through their retail location.  Some stores will even let you order over the phone (as opposed to going into the store) and waive the shipping for you.  To be clear – don’t call the store’s corporate customer service, call an actual retail store location to do this.  They have every incentive to make you happy and fulfill your order through their store as it helps boost their numbers.  So give that store a call before you immediately pay that flat $10 shipping fee!

Honor thy sales associate.  Be polite.  Most sales associates barely make above minimum wage.  They have refolded that stack of clothes 15 times already today and they’re tired of being on their feet.  Customers are difficult and rude.  A smile and a “thank you” will go a long way.  Try and brighten their day.  An associate is much more likely to run and get you a size, honor that out-of-date coupon, or waive a shipping fee for you if you’re polite.  I’ve even had sales associates allow me to separate my purchases into multiple transactions in order to use a coupon multiple times – something they certainly aren’t supposed to do.  Talk about a savings jackpot and all because I was nice!

Do you have any commandments that you stick to?  Please share in the comments below so we can all learn from each other!

6 thoughts on “5 Commandments of Shopping for Name Brand Clothing on a Budget

  1. kimberly

    Great tips! I found your blog through Pinterest. I’m a big believer in buying only what I need, which has cut down a lot on my clothing purchases. I also would also add save your sales receipts. Many stores will allow you a price adjustment if the price drops (usually within a week). And get on the email or mailing lists for the stores you really like — they often send out coupons, advance notice of sales, and more.

  2. [email protected]

    Great advice! I would also add to the online shopping options that looking at rebate sites like ebates or fatwallet is an extra plus. Even smaller rebates add up when you see it all together. I am a newbie blogger but wrote about that as being a great savings for me. I am getting so close to $1,000 in rebates from ebates.com (I share a link to it on my site so if you like this advice please use my link so I can get a little credit for it. I greatly appreciate that!). Also, on holidays rebate sites double & have great promotions so do follow them with emails. It is worth the extra emails LOL.

    1. Nikki O'Toole Post author

      Hey, thanks for sharing that! Any way you can save money, I say go for it! I am not well versed on the rebates sites as I don’t shop online as much as you’d think (I find my killer deals in stores usually). I would really like to learn more though, as I’d eventually love to not have to work so much, which would make going to the mall 3-5 times a week less of a necessity (though to be honest, I’d probably go at least once a week anyway! Can’t keep me away!). I’ll definitely check out your post. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  3. Gina

    If you know certain brands that you like don’t be afraid to thrift shop. I find lots of nice name brand things (sometimes with the tags still on!) at Goodwill or other thrift stores. You have to shop carefully and check things out but I got a black Banana Republic trench coat for $7.

    1. Nikki O'Toole Post author

      That is so great, Gina! There is nothing better than finding a steal like that! I bet it totally made your day (week, or month even!)! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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