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How To Shop Sales

How To Shop Sales


An email pops up in your inbox.. "30% off!" it says ".. Until midnight only". You feel the pressure and frantically decide which item(s) to buy that you didn't think you needed until you opened that email. "Hmm fall is coming up and I COULD use a pair of boots." A commercial  comes on TV, screaming this sale is ONE DAY ONLY.. so hurry up! A Pandora ad interrupts your music with music that so isn't soothing and repeats.. multiple times... that this deal on skinny jeans ends this month. And lastly, my favorite: a sample sale or "CLOSING!" sign on the street (with neon lights no less) dragging you in to peruse a bunch of stuff you kind of-maybe-sorta like making you late for a coffee date. 

Sound familiar? If we ran our life around sales, we'd be broke and get nothing done. Shopping is an art and when done right, it doesn't need to rule your life or wallet. 

I've found being discretionary when it comes to sales is the best method of action. 

Here's my rationalization around them. 

Anything less than 40% off isn't really a deal. I heard this piece of advice once and agree. If you're looking for a true bargain to make your hunting worth it, don't settle for anything less than 40% off.

Is it possible to buy everything on sale? Yes, if you wait until the end of the season. This is typically how I score nice accessories like bags at a good price or next years coat. However, before you buy evaluate if you really need it. Retail's fast pace is all about pushing merchandise and this likely isn't the last sale they'll have.

That said, know the big sales and times to shop. Nordstrom has a banging bi-annual sale and Victoria's Secret has 7 for $26 underwear a few times a year (if you're into Victoria's Secret). 

I've found Black Friday isn't as sale worthy as I previously thought. And let's be honest- is the 12 hour middle of the night marathon really worth the few good deals you score? I'll leave that up to you to decide. 

What matters is that you think what you spent was worth it. Everyone has different priorities. Some scoff at jeans for more than $30 while others relish their $100 jeans because the pennies per use are minimal. 

You shouldn't feel better about buying something solely because it's on sale- you should buy it because you love it. If it doesn't pass this test, don't bother:

1. Would I wear it today? 

2. Do I absolutely love it because I love it? (If you only like it because everyone else has it, or it's trendy, or you saw some celeb wearing it- put it back!) 

3. Does it look good on me? So important! Every item you own should flatter you. If it doesn't, you're doing yourself a disservice.

4. Do I need it/ will I use it?

In defense of this question- it's okay to buy things you may not need right now but know you will sometime soon. I just so happen to have a mini wardrobe of fancy dresses should I ever be invited somewhere that requires such exquisite attire. I'm still waiting... but I know that they will be put to good use. Just don't go overboard. All of my designer dresses were thrifted and keep each other company in a garment bag until the day they get worn. My closet is otherwise filled with clothing I wear consistently, and I no longer purchase additional fancy schmancy dresses. Furthermore, when the time comes to wear them I'll be wearing something I love and not anxiously running around looking for an appropriate dress only to settle for something I don't absolutely love. 

There is always a sale to be shopped and coupon code to be had. So next time you hear about a sale and your heart starts racing fast, take a step back and be mindful of what you really need.

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