1. Trade in your unwanted items
It never seems to fail that the shopping bug bites me when I’m low on funds! When this happens, I know what I need to do…clean out the closet! Why hang on to those old threads that you no longer wear when you can trade them in for cash or credit? Recently, when one of those shopping bugs hit me, I took about 10–12 items to Buffalo Exchange and walked out with $70! You can choose to take cash or store credit for your items, but you’ll get more if you take the store credit, so it is definitely worth it to shop around while they appraise your goods. I’ve seen designer denim brands such as Hudson, Seven for all Mankind, True Religion, and many others priced as low as $40 at these shops! In addition to Buffalo Exchange, you can trade in your unwanted clothing and accessories at Plato’s Closet and Crossroads Trading Company.
2. Have a jean party
At-home parties are no longer just for kitchen supplies and makeup—now you can purchase jeans at home-based parties, too! Vault Denim, a direct-sales company, puts together jean parties where customers can purchase designer denim up to 50 percent off department-store prices. When you sign up to have an at-home party, the consultant will bring jeans ranging from size 0–24, and party hostesses will earn a percentage of the sales which they can use toward their own denim purchases. However, Vault isn’t the only company for at-home shindigs when it comes to jeans—many smaller denim boutiques offer these types of parties and often provide a discount to those purchasing. If there’s a high-end denim boutique in your town, it is definitely worth inquiring about!
3. Past season websites
If you’re not the type to worry about whether or not you’re wearing last year’s fashions (I know I’m not!) then these websites can be a great option for finding chic designer deals. Both Yoox and TheOutnet offer merchandise from past seasons at a substantial discount. TheOutnet is the sister site for the upscale site, Net-a-porter. Items that didn’t sell during their current season on Net-a-porter make their way to TheOutnet and are discounted as much as 70 percent! They carry brands such as Victoria Beckham Denim, J Brand, and James Jeans. Yoox, which purchases past season’s items directly from designers, offers similar brands including Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, and Earl. Last year, I scored a pair of $195 James Jeans on TheOutnet for $65!
4. Buy discounted gift cards
As a Krazy Coupon Lady, I am always looking for the best deals—and that goes for gift cards, too! Why pay full price for a gift card when you can nab one for as much as 35-percent off? There are several sites that sell discounted gift cards including Raise, Gift Card Granny, and GiftCardRescue. I’ve seen gift cards to stores that any denim-loving diva would love, such as Neimans, Anthropologie and Macy’s. Typically, gift cards to these stores are around 15-percent off. In addition to purchasing gift cards for your designer denim, you can also sell any unwanted gift cards to these sites and make a little extra cash. These sites offer as much as 90 percent of the value of your gift card, so if you didn’t really want that Radio Shack gift card Aunt May got you last Christmas, why not trade it in and get the Bloomies card you really want?
5. Discount stores
You may already know some of the typical outlet or discount stores for finding premium denim—Neiman’s Last Call, Bloomies Outlet, or Off 5th—but you may be surprised at some of the other discount stores that carry high-end jeans. Two of the best stores for frugal finds are Marshalls and T.J.Maxx. Many people tend to avoid these stores because they think the items that they sell are several seasons old and have been through liquidators, so they may not be in the best shape. But this is actually not true at all! In fact, according to T.J.Maxx, roughly 85 percent of their merchandise is from the current season, and they deal directly with brands, not liquidators. I went into my local T.J.Maxx just a few weeks ago to look for home goods, but as I was walking towards the back of the store, I couldn’t help but notice the racks of designer jeans. I was shocked to see that they had so many different brands including Joes, Paige, Hudson, Ralph Lauren, and Seven for all Mankind! In fact, I spotted a pair of Paige jeans for $69 and a pair of Ralph Lauren jeans for $29! Although these stores can be hit or miss, they are now always my first stop when looking for denim.
6. Keep track of store sale schedules
Nabbing a pair of $200+ jeans when they get marked down 50, 60 or even 70 percent can be a serious thrill for a frugal fashionista! However, because these deals tend to go fast, knowing your favorite store’s markdown schedule can be key. Generally speaking, Memorial Day kicks off the shopping season, with department stores beginning to mark down items in May, and deeper discounts are given in June and July. Both Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus have their biggest sale during the month of July with markdowns as high as 70 percent. July is also the month for Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, which offers substantial discounts on the upcoming fall merchandise. Once you see markdowns start, it’s best to check every couple of days to see if the markdowns have gone any lower. In addition to the big seasonal sales, many stores mark down items weekly, so it’s always best to ask the sales associate at your favorite shop what their markdown schedule is.