If you’re buying a designer handbag, typically, the easiest way to “save” on your purchase is to shop in Europe. If you don’t have vacation plans, and you want a classic style that never goes on sale, the next best option is to take advantage of department store promotions. Many promotions exclude high-end designer brands, e.g. percentage off Friends and Family promotions, so the only time you can reap any return is by opening a new department store credit card account or taking advantage of a gift card promotion. One caveat, the brand exclusions aren’t consistent for every promotion, so make sure to check. LV and Chanel are typically excluded.
Neiman Marcus has a great double gift card promotion twice an year and one is currently underway. Through Tuesday, November 30, if your purchase totals $1,000 or $2,000, you can get 30% of your purchase back in gift cards.
- There is some fine print, such as this promotion only applies to regular priced items and you have to double dip handbag/shoes and the apparel categories. So if you want a YSL bag, you have to add an apparel item (like undies) to hit the double gift card requirement. If you’re buying a $2,000 handbag, that’s like a pair of free Louboutins!
- This is an online only sale.
- If your purchase isn’t exactly $1k or $2k, consider if it’s worth spending a little more to get more back.
- Keep in mind NM does take a month or two to process the gift cards.
Continue reading “to shop / when you can’t get to europe”
The summer sales are on its last legs.
Photo credit: Jcrew.com, Theory.com, and Gap.com
- J.Crew currently has 40% off sale items and free shipping on any order, which is pretty much unheard of.
- Not all sale items are final sale – check your cart to see if there is a final sale notation. Even if it is final sale and you’re not happy, try your luck returning in stores. Be honest. I usually return items at the J.Crew near my office. The manager there processes my online returns often, so the second time I asked to return a final sale item, he offered credit (which works online too). It’s better than nothing and I shop there often enough.
- They refresh their inventory every day. I won’t tell you when… but if there’s something you thought you missed out on, keep on checking and have fast fingers!
- If you are wondering how something fits, google “exact item name” + j.crew review. You can also try “exact item name” + jcrewaficionada. More often than not, something will pop up.
- Theory has an 70% off sale on their website (and I’m sure it’s in stores too, but hey, I’m lazy and like non-store handled merchandise). I was drooling over the blue Landon blazer in regional fabric for a while. I saw it at the outlet in Woodbury in the wrong size, so I was ecstatic that they marked prices down this much on their website. The sale is final sale, so luckily I have a sense of what my Theory size should be from prior experiences.
- For the longest time, the pants that match the blazer were sold out in my size. I even called their fabulous CS, who has the ability to search inventory across all retail stores and outlets, and was told it was sold out and that they weren’t going to have much new inventory. So, imagine my surprise when my size popped back up. Moral – bookmark and check in periodically.
- I think they may be pulling the sale soon because all sale prices have disappeared from the website.
- Sometimes retail store final clearance sales are cheaper than outlet sales. If you are sad about missing the sale, Clothingline is hosting a sample sale for them soon (and their sister brand, Helmut Lang).
- Bergdorf Goodman is a subsidiary of Neiman Marcus. They share inventory (as in BG has a subset of what NM has and some BG-only items), but their sale promotions are not aligned.
- Sometimes items are significantly cheaper on one site. E.g. A Marc by Marc Jacobs’ dress is $114 on BG and $164 on NM (inclusive of their current 25% off sale promotion). If one site’s price drops dramatically, you can also ask CS to pricematch for you if you’re within a certain timeframe. Their online CS is very helpful, especially since I like to minimize human interaction ;)
- NM runs free shipping promotions way more often than BG. If you paid shipping on your BG order, and you wouldn’t have had to on NM, ask CS for a refund.
- If you like Spanish shoe brand Chie Mihara, Simplysoles is having a great sale. I’ve had the Chie Mihara Lara shoes bookmarked since my March Barcelona trip. It is unfortunate that many of the styles and colors on Chie’s website never make it stateside. A visit to the Chie Mihara outlet in Spain is on my list of to-dos…
- Gap is having 40% off promotions again (*shakes fist*). They were in-store for a bit (and may be again – signup for emails and their FB page to stay updated). I got a targeted email again for a 40% off online promotion.
- I love Gap for their workout gear, basics, and GapBody. (On a related note, I am also a fan of Old Navy’s new compression workout bottoms for the warmer summer months and there is currently a 30% off promotion – never pay retail at Gap/BR/Old Navy!.)
- They have been known to pull promotions before its official end-time, so don’t mull on your shopping cart too long. On the flip side, Gap stores don’t mind online returns because it doesn’t hit their store margins.
- More often than not, the online reviews steer you in the right direction. I love reading online reviews for anything I buy!
- Barneys was one of the first department stores to markdown. They refresh their inventory continuously but the updates have gotten less exciting. On the plus side, they have free shipping for any order… and 33% off Marc by Marc Jacobs designer moleskines.