Hello, my friends! For those who celebrated Thanksgiving in the US, I hope you had a great time! I know I should have written this strategy yesterday, but it was my birthday as well, so I took the day “off”. 🙂
When it comes to shopping, I got asked a lot, “where did you get that?” 99% of the time, online. Besides groceries, I buy almost everything online. My years of online shopping probably can qualify me as a pro-online-shopper, especially when it comes to fashion. So today, I am sharing my Black-Friday super sales learnings with you, with the hope that these tips will help you navigate the sale and deal with all the adrenaline rushes with poise. ;D
Have A Wish List
With all the sales begin within a few hours of each other, all quoting “limited-time only”, it could be simply overwhelming and easily deceiving. If you followed my previous tips on sale shopping, you probably would already have wish lists ready. Even if you don’t, it is not too late to do that now. Take a deep breath, start list all the items you want to buy this season, without looking at any sales, on paper.
Once you start browsing all the sites, it also helps to put things you like into a wish list instead of shopping cart to prevent impulse purchase. It is usually very easy to move them from wish list / dream box to shopping cart, not much time loss there.
Another benefit of keeping wish lists on shopping websites is you can view the new sale prices in one look, without having to go check each item you are interested in. Here, for example, is how my YOOX wish list looks like:
Know Your Bottom Line & Compare
Keep a tag in your head each item’s net worth to you, regardless of current sale value. For well-sought-after premium designer items, such as those IT bags and IT shoes, the most likely case is 0-30% discount. Your best bet is to buy them during pre-sale or blanket sales like Matchesfashion.com and Farfetch.com. Both sites are having 30% – 50% off on designer labels as we speak.
Usually, at the end of each sale season, shoes can be up to 50% off with popular sizes or color still available and clothing can be up to 70% off. If a dream item, after all the discounts, has reach your bottom line, buy it. For those haven’t reach the line or if they are not on top of your wish list, hold on to them during Black Friday sales because the prices are likely to get lower and you might change your mind on them later.
Last night, during Farfetch‘s sale preview, I bought a pair of Saint Laurent Mary Jean because both the style and price are ideal, my marginal benefit of waiting for the next round of discount is quite slim.
Shoes & Bags First
Compared to clothes, these two categories usually go faster during sales, that is why they don’t have as deeper a discount at the end of sale season. Most online sites will have the designer shoes on sale at the same time as clothing, but they don’t get marked down as fast. They are larger ticket items, however, so if you have limited budget for sales, as most of us do, check out your must have shoes and bags first.
One thing to keep in mind about bags, if they go on sale, it is very likely they don’t have much resale value. A sale bag usually is not a must-have rather a nice-to-have, be extra skeptical when you hit the “buy” button.
Double Check Your Shopping Cart & Sale Terms
As Miss Chanel once advised: Take off one item before you head out of the door. That is what I would suggest you do before checking out your shopping cart, take a moment to rethink each item, do you have to have them now? Can the prices get lower? Are they out of your price range even if the discount is deep?
Some of the door busters, limited time specials, would be final sale. Be aware when you shop for those sales. My usual strategy is to stay away unless I know exactly what I am getting. For example, Intermix is having additional 30% off sale items but the sales are final, I would only buy labels I know well and styles I know will fit, such as these plaid shirts by Rails because they are of great quality and the prices after discount are superb.
It is better to shop limited-time sales where you can return unwanted items in case you change your mind or the items don’t fit. That is most websites these days. My favorite places to do so is Neiman Marcus, Saks, Shopbop and Nordstrom, they usually have free shipping and some have 30-day full price return policy for sale items.
Don’t Feel Obligated To Spend Money Today
Is it possible that after spending all the time browsing and you couldn’t find a thing to buy? Yes, it is very possible and congratulations, you’ve got good discipline and you will be rewarded later. Black Friday is just the beginning of sale season when it comes to fashion and the season lasts all the way to end of January! Keep the money in your pocket a little bit longer because your dream item might just go on sale or better sale the next round.
My past experience tells me there will be at least 2-3 mark downs before the sale is final, clothing from 40% to 50%m then 60% then 65% or 70%, shoes & bags from 20% to 30% and eventually 50% – 60%.
Although many online shopping sites might have marked down their times 50%, such as Matches and Net-A-Porter, and their inventory might seemed diminishing by the second, big retails such as Neimans, Saks, BG and Barney‘s haven’t even begin their designer sales! You still have plenty of opportunities to find your dream items on those sites later.
I hope you find my learnings helpful. Yesterday and the day before, I browsed in some detail sales on Net-A-Porter, Ssense, Matchesfashion, Intermix, Farfetch and selected a few things that I think worth considering at the moment. You can view them on my “shopping” page in case you are interested.
Happy Shopping! See you in my next post!