4 Ways To Buy Designer For Less

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Ok so you’ve probably noticed I’ve got a bit of a thing for designer pieces (which girl doesn’t amiright?!) but these pieces can cost one hell of a pretty penny (or hundreds of them). Now if your New Year’s Resolutions include the following:

  • Save money
  • Buy better quality clothes and shoes

You might be wondering how to do both of these together! I promise you they’re not mutually exclusive. In fact, buying better quality (and generally-speaking higher priced) clothes, shoes and bags will be better for your wallet in the long run as you won’t need to replace pieces so often.

But they are exxy. So how do I keep my wardrobe stocked with designer goodies without breaking the bank? Easy!

Shop The Sales

A bit of a no-brainer this one, but it’s a classic for a reason. Always, always know what size you are in terms of clothes or shoes so that when sales roll around you’re not umm-ing and ahh-ing because you need to try them on for size. I know for a fact that I’m generally a size 38 in Valentino, 37.5 or 38 in Christian Louboutin, 38.5 in Jimmy Choo, etc. Pop into your favourite department store and try on the pairs that you really, truly do love and make notes in your phone about which size fits best and which colours you prefer. That way you can always go back on sales day and not have to queue to try them on.

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For example, I was dying for a pair of Valentino Rockstuds but wasn’t sure if I should get the high or low pair. Once I’d tried both on (albeit on the very slippery carpet of David Jones!) I realised that – depending on the colour – I’d get far more wear out of the lower heels. The high ones was stunning with a capital S but the lower ones were heels I could wear to work all day. Whilst I love buying designer I always think about cost-per-wear, yes even with Valentino! If I’m only ever going to wear them to dinner, there’s not much value in them for me.

So make sure you first figure out what size you are in the labels you love, then actually try on the ones you love and make sure you’ll still love them when you get those goodies home!

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Make sure you sign up to practically every department store mailing list. Annoying I know, but it means you’ll get advance warning of all the Friends & Family sales. Also remember Black Friday and Cyber Monday (the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving) and Boxing Day for good shopping – most of these sales are online so you don’t even have to step foot in a store. If you can, keep your much loved designer pieces in your shopping cart or a wishlist – most places will email you when they go down in price or go on sale.

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Online Consignment Stores

One of my favourite ways to get designer pieces! These sorts of places are where I sourced my Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots, Burberry trench coat, Chanel bag and more. These places are fantastic. Not only do they always show amazingly detailed photos of the pieces for sale (and if they don’t – steer clear!) but there’ll be a rating system for the quality of the piece and ways to contact the seller if you have any questions. Some of the sites even allow you to make an offer below the selling price (Vestiaire Collective) or pay using layaway (Fashionphile).

My favourites are definitely Fashionphile, The Real Real, Vestiaire Collective and Tradesy.

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An Oldie But A Goodie – Outlet Malls

They don’t really make ’em in Australia like they do in the US but outlet malls are one of the prime places to score a designer bargain. Every time I go overseas to the US, I always make sure to fit in an outlet shopping day. In the long run it’s so worth it – when I went to Hawaii, I practically updated my entire wardrobe! My advice – do your research ahead of time, get a map of the outlet mall’s layout and figure out the shops you definitely want to look in. Sometimes you just don’t have enough time to look in every store. And if you’re going with other people, just split up. If you stay together you’ll get frustrated waiting on your friends or family when there’s a pair of shoes calling your name two shops over and no one wants to be grumpy while they’re shopping! If in doubt, snap a photo of a potential purchase and send it around for suggestions.

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Last But Not Least – eBay

I’m sorry what?! I’m pretty sure I heard everyone say that through their computer/tablet/phone screen. But yes. If done correctly, eBay is a goldmine for designer pieces. What I think tends to happen a lot is people buy designer pieces either brand new or on sale but they don’t fit (probably because they didn’t read the first part of my post which suggests knowing your size before you buy!) so they then try to sell them on eBay. Whilst a lot of vendors can still charge quite a high price for things on online consignment stores, people browsing eBay are very much used to low prices and getting deals. So if you price things to high you simply price yourself out of the market.

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I found my Valentino Rockstuds on eBay as well as a pair of Christian Louboutins (Follies Strass for any Loubie die-hards out there! To be featured soon!). The good thing about eBay (and no, this isn’t an ad) is that eBay will completely cover the cost of your purchase if you don’t get what you ordered. So, say you ordered a pair of designer heels and paid $400 for them – if what arrives look like fakes you can contact eBay and send the item back and get fully refunded – even if the vendor doesn’t accept returns! Not bad right!