How to Shop During Sale Season / by Didier Young

One of my favourite time of the year is coming. For those of you who guessed that I was talking about Christmas, you are wrong: I am talking about sale season. It is no secret that I do have an affinity for shopping and it is not the easiest lifestyle to uphold. As such, I devised my own method to figure out when to buy an item full price, at the beginning of the sales or when I should wait until the end of the sales. Here are some of my tricks.

Full Price

Knowing when to buy full priced items is always key. Some brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci or Hermes typically never go on sale. While they do have permanent pieces that you’ll be able to find season after season, they often have special pieces that will only be season based. Those are the items that you want to buy right away if you really love them as often enough, they are quite limited in quantity. When it comes to high street and fast fashion brands, the date of purchase is often to be taken into consideration. if you are purchasing your clothes at the beginning of a new season, you might as well splurge and get it at full price. However if you time your shopping trip closer to the beginning of the sale season, you’ll often find the coveted items slightly discounted.

Beginning of Sales

The way sales work is often quite formulaic. There will be an initial discount of around 20-30%, before leading to a 50% and ending with around 70-80% off of the original price. It is easy to get blinded by the discount tag and simply purchase everything at the beginning of sales, however I would advise you to purchase smartly. Knowing the market and the availability of the product is important. I will often find the same item at multiple retailers online and offline, all marked down at different prices. The bigger the amount of retailers selling the product, the most likely you’d be able to purchase the piece at a higher discount. However if you know that the pieces are exclusive to one shop, I would advise you to part with your money if you truly do love them.

End of Sales

You have now reached the end of the sales. If you find pieces at 70-80%, that is usually as low as it will go. Buy. Now. The pieces that will last until this point are often either way too expensive to begin with, far too boring to be worth it or far too crazy for most people. Luckily for me, I do love a little bit of crazy. This is usually the time when I will finally splurge on the higher end designers and add new interesting garments to my wardrobe. It should be noted though that sales are often final at this stage, so make sure you are getting clothes you absolutely love. Do not compromise on sizing or colour simply because it is cheap. Make sure you really love them.

Price Adjustment

It is worth noting that some places will allow for price adjustments. Smaller boutiques do not usually partake but bigger department stores often have policies set in place that allow for more customer freedom. For example, Nordstrom allows you an infinite amount to time to return a product if you are not satisfied with it. Make sure to read the policies at the back of your receipts to know how long you have for a price adjustment. If you are past the date, you can simply do a return and repurchase and you’ll be able to get some of your money back.

While most people believe that finding a good deal is sheer luck, there is often far more work and research behind it. Learn about sales cycles, store policies and brand reach. If you know all your facts, then as a customer you will always be right.



OUTFIT DETAILS: Beret by Gallerie Lafayette/ Turtleneck by UNIQLO/ Coat by H&M/ Jeans by Diesel/ Bag by Louis Vuitton/ Shoes by Adidas/ Glasses by Saint Laurent