IT’S no secret that dressing in designer takes some serious dosh, but one money-saving expert has revealed his tips for getting hold of high and brands for less.
Consumer Expert Tom Church, Co-Founder of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, has saved thousands on big brand names over the years and has plenty of tips for budding fashionistas.
He says: “Often big brands may feel out of our reach, as they’re attached to eye-watering price tags.
“However, I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve to help you save £1000s with ease. From renting garments to shopping sample sales, here’s what you can do to get that killer outfit sorted.”
Rent Your Designers
You may have your eye on a pair of designer shoes for a work event or a stunning dress to take on holiday with you, but when you check the price tag your excitement turns to dismay.
After all, designer brands aren’t cheap and you might be looking at bills which go into the £1000s! However, there is a way to get around this expense and still take such garments away with you.
Sites like By Rotation offer you the chance to rent designer clothes for a fraction of the price – ideal if you only need the item for a one-off occasion but can’t see yourself wearing it regularly.
For example, I found these Christian Dior boots, which retail at £1320, available to rent for a week for £294 – that’s a saving of £1026! Plus, you can return them once you’re done and swap them out next time for something completely different.
Use eBay To Your Advantage
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If you’re on the lookout for a specific coat, bag or pair of shoes – such as the one that got away during a 2017 sale – there are few tools better than eBay. It’s always a good idea to quickly check this site during your online search.
You never know who has bought the item you’re looking for, decided to return it but can’t find the receipt – so will be willing to sell it for a lower price.
What’s more, the site has plenty of tools you can use to your advantage – as waiting around for that ‘lucky eBay find’ like the one your friends claim they picked up isn’t guaranteed to net you any results!
Next time you go hunting for a specific item, use the search function wisely. For example, avoid using words like ‘and’, ‘or’ and ‘the’, plus extra punctuation such as the hyphen in ’t-shirt’.
Plus, try making a small list of words with similar meanings – you never know what a seller will describe an item as. For example, if you were searching for an Armani mini dress for a party, try searching for ‘Armani party gown’ as well.
Seek Authentication When Shopping Online
There’s nothing worse than forking out for a great online deal on designer shoes, only to have the parcel arrive and discover it’s a cheap knock-off. So how you can ensure that a purchase made from a site other than the official one will get you the real deal?
Well, eBay offers an Authenticity Guarantee, which means you can rest assured that a designer handbag purchase has been verified by a team of professionally trained authenticators.
This team will send the bag directly to you after checking it out via two-day delivery which requires a signature upon receipt. You can read more on the eBay website.
Use Designer Outlet Loyalty Programmes
If you have a designer outlet shopping centre near you, it’s worth doing your research and finding out if there’s a loyalty club that will net you some extra savings.
For example, McArthur Glen in York offers a Privilege Club which you can sign up for via the website or app. You’ll receive a QR code which you can scan each time you’re shopping in one of the participating stores. You’ll then earn points regularly, which you can redeem for discounts.
Participating brands include Michael Kors, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger and Swarovski to name but a few. Which loyalty club offers do you have near you?
Visit Designer Collections On Charity Shop Websites
You may associate charity shops with rifling through racks of dresses to see if you can find some treasure, but did you know there are designer clothes, bags and shoes waiting for you online? Simply go to Oxfam, Cancer Research UK and more to find reduced Jimmy Choo, Dior and Gucci.
When you visit the Cancer Research UK website, you’ll have the option to click through from their marketplaces page to their Vestiaire Collective.
This reseller marketplace offers second-hand designer fashion to help reduce the environmental impact of the industry. Each item is sent by the seller to the Vestiaire Collective team so they can check it for quality and authenticity before it’s sent out to the buyer.
There are some great bargains if you check regularly – for example, today I saw a Gucci cloth hat reduced from £351 to £120!
Browse Pre-Loved Clothes In Affluent UK Areas
Those who are wealthier may be donating expensive clothes to their local charity shop. In other words, if you want to find second-hand designer clothes, shoes and bags, it’s worth doing a ‘charity shop crawl’ in the most affluent areas of the UK. A particularly wealthy area is the south-east of England.
Bargain hunters from the LatestDeals.co.uk community recommend browsing affluent areas of west London such as Kensington or Richmond, plus places further south such as Lymington, Emsworth and Chichester.
Sign Up For Sample & Overstock Sales
Never heard of a sample sale? Those in the fashion world use these events to grab some major bargains!
Sample sales are a useful tool for the big brands to shift samples that are given to factories to base their production on, pieces sent out for press photoshoots and those worn by models on the runway.
If you’re lucky, you’ll also find one-off items which were never produced. As these are one of a kind, they’re highly valuable!
The downsides of sample sales include the fact sizes are limited and damage is likely. Many sample sales promoted online these days are actually overstock sales, which do what they say on the tin – provide excess merchandise that brands are trying to get rid of.
These allow for items from previous seasons to be snapped up for a fraction of the price. A good place for both kinds of sale is Chicmi – sign up online for the latest events. For example, the Chelsea Paris sale is offering deals such as Slash Orange shoes for £80, reduced from £295 – that’s 73% off!