From 70s-inspired flowing tops to whimsical dresses to a perfectly curated collection of shabby chic home decor, Anthropologie is one of my favorite stores. Everything at the store is just dreamy; unfortunately, the price tags on most full-price items are so high that they might as well just read “Dream on!” However, if you want to make your Anthropologie dreams a more affordable reality, then utilize these cost-cutting strategies for shopping at Anthropologie:
1. Sign up for ANTHRO
ANTHRO is Anthropologie’s free members-only communications program. You can sign up for free here. Some of the money-saving perks you get by signing up include: a birthday discount, two free shipping periods a year, and advance notice of sales and special promotions. To receive your birthday discount, you must enroll in ANTHRO at least 60 days prior to your birthdate. Your birthday discount is good for 15 percent off any one purchase during your birthday month.
2. Buy discounted Anthropologie gift cards
Buy discounted Anthropologie gift cards for typically 5-15 percent off their face value on sites such as Raise.com and Plastic Jungle.
3. Use online coupon codes and stay in the loop about sales and promotions
Anthropologie frequently has online coupons/promotional codes for discounts and free shipping. Look up these codes and promotions on RetailMeNot and other coupon code websites. To stay in the loop about sales and promotions, in addition to signing up for ANTHRO, I also recommend liking Anthropologie on Facebook, following Anthropologie on Twitter, and following blogs such as Effortless Anthropologie (this blog is not officially associated with Anthropologie).
4. Get a job at Anthropologie
If you are looking for a retail job and a great way to save on Anthropologie duds and decor, why not get a job at Anthropologie? Anthropologie is known to give one of the best employee discounts in the retail industry: 60 percent off designated full-price items, 40 percent off all full-price apparel and accessories, 25 percent off all full-price home goods, and on special employee appreciation days, you can get 40 percent off all sale items.
5. Find Anthropologie items in other stores
Many brands that are carried at Anthropologie (i.e., Joe’s Jeans, J.Brand, Ella Moss) are also carried at other stores. As such, I recommend that if you see something you like at Anthropologie, don’t buy it right away but rather write down the brand and style. Then go online and enter this information in a shopping search engine such as ShopStyle, which will show you if other stores carry the item and how much they charge for it. For example, at Anthropologie.com, the J.Brand White Aidan Boyfriend Jeans are currently full price at $202. However, a quick ShopStyle search showed me that these same jeans are selling for $135.34 at Nordstrom.com and $96.96 at Shopbop.com.
6. Work an inventory shift
Once a year, all Anthropologie stores recruit non-employees to help inventory every item in stock so they can verify exactly what merchandise is on their shelves and update their systems accordingly. In addition to being paid hourly to work for a few hours, you also get one purchase for 40 percent off. The length of shifts varies depending on the size of the store and how much inventory needs to be scanned and counted. Stores typically ask their employees for recommendations for these shifts, but you could also call your local store to see if they would need additional help.
7. Shop for Anthropologie items on eBay
Since Anthropologie items are more expensive, people who are cleaning out their closets are more likely to try to make a profit than donate their Anthropologie clothes for free. The trick is to search by brand instead of by the store name. Searching for “Anthropologie dress” on eBay will bring up a long list of knockoffs, ripoffs, and look-alikes that are not actual Anthropologie products. Check this handy list of brands sold at Anthropologie created by an eBay user for an extensive list of brands and tactics to determine if the product is authentic or not.
8. Shop the sale room
Every Anthropologie store has a sale room or area just for sale and clearance items. Sometimes this sale room is hidden in the way back of the store, so ask a sales associate if you are having trouble finding it. Also, if you see something you like on the sale rack but it’s not in your size, ask your sales associate to call around to other Anthropologie stores in your area to see if they have your size and can put it on hold for you. If shopping online, make sure to check out the online sale section too.
9. Shop the sale cycles
Anthropologie.com usually puts items on sale or makes additional markdowns on sale items really late on Sunday night/early Monday morning. As such, the best time to shop the website for discounts is Sunday night/early Monday morning when everyone else is sleeping. As for the in-store sale cycle, ask a sales associate what day markdowns are made on. This is the day you should be checking out the store’s sale room.
10. Make an online wishlist
If you sign up for a free Anthropologie account, you can create an online wishlist with items you select from the website. If I’m waiting for an item to go on sale, I always add it to my online wishlist and then check my wishlist after sale day (Sunday night/Monday morning) to see if the item has been marked down. I even keep “sold out” items on my wish list, because Anthropologie allows returns of some items that are over a year old. This means that “sold out” items will sometimes pop back into inventory after a long period of time and are often priced at a steep discount.
11. Save your receipts for price adjustments
If you bought an item at full price and it goes on sale, bring your receipt back within 14 days. Anthropologie will refund the difference between the full price and sale price.
12. Check out discount retailers
You may have a store near you that sells discounted Anthropologie merchandise. If you happen to be in Gainesville, FL or Tallahassee, FL, make sure to check out a store called Urban Thread—a discount retailer that sells catalog returns and excess inventory from clothing stores including Anthropologie, J.Crew, Urban Outfitters, and Free People. Urban Thread has three locations: one in Gainesville, FL (117 W University Ave.) and two in Tallahassee, FL (1318 N. Monroe St.; 1410 Market St.). At the Gainesville store, I got an Anthropologie quilt, two matching pillow shams, and a duvet cover for $70 total (the retail price for these items at Anthropologie would have been over $400). If you happen to be in Berkeley, CA, check out Jeremy’s Department Store (2967 College Ave.) which sells discounted, brand-name clothing from designers including Anthropologie that have been culled from window displays, sale samples, overstock, returns, and other sources.