Sales mania … it’s a (discounted) jungle out there

Nikki Parkinson Fashion 4 Comments

I don’t know about you but it seems that there hasn’t been a time this autumn/winter fashion season when fashion retailers HAVEN’T been on sale.

And today, my inbox has been inundated with sales emails from everyone from Myer to Witchery, Cue, Country Road and Metalicus.

  • Here are just a few:
  • Country Road:  up to 50% off selected items.  Other discounts for cardholders
  • Metalicus:  30-50% off
  • Veronika Maine:  up to 50% off
  • Witchery:  up to 50% off.  Extra discount for members
  • Cue:  up to 50% off
  • Myer:   30% off handbags, jewellery, scarves, hats, dresses, knitwear, shoes
  • Mimco:  Up to 50% off

It’s a buyers’ market out there, which is great for us, the regular fashion buyer, but not so great for the smaller, independent boutiques who don’t have the volume or pulling power of the majors to compete for our dollar.

So where do you stand?  Do you only buy based on price and a (perceived) bargain?  Or do you shop where you know you will get service matched with a garment that won’t be seen on the next person you run into while at the supermarket or out on a Friday night with the girls?

I admit to swinging a little in every direction.  I do like to watch what I spend on clothing but as a small business owner, I’m all for supporting other small business owners … whether that’s an online business or a shop front in a local shopping precinct.

I also like to support (where possible) Australian-owned, designed and manufactured and my loyalty also extends to making a point of supporting Queensland and Sunshine Coast labels.

But someone hold me back if there is a “take 25% off the already reduced price” sale at Myer.  I can sniff out a bargain from 50 credit card applications away.

As we step head-first into the official end-of-season sale period (yes, I know winter only starts tomorrow but in fashion land, winter 2010 is officially soooo last season) I’ve listed some dos and don’ts of clothes shopping during sales.

1.  Stay calm.  There are enough bargains to go round.  There is no need to crash tackle your BFF to get that sass & bide tee off the rack at DJs … although this is quite amusing when watching others take part in the blood sport that is sales shopping.

2.  Don’t buy an item just because it is reduced.  If your style is more corporate than boho luxe then refrain from buying a fringed scarf.  Know your style and buy accordingly.  It’s not a bargain if you never wear it.

3.  DO buy quality classic winter pieces that have been drastically reduced.  Winter is such a short season in most parts of Australia.  You don’t need a lot of garments to get you through until September.  You just need key items.  So if you find a trench coat, blazer or pair of killer boots on sale, then snap them up.  You’ll be wearing them for many winters to come.

4.   DO NOT get  into such a frenzy that you take the “she’ll be right, I don’t need to try on this top” move.  This move will only send you straight to bottom of the Sales Shopping 101 class.  And that top?  That top’s destined for the bottom of your wardrobe, with its tags still on. Every time you open your wardrobe those tags will stare at you accusingly until such time as you pass it on to charity or your little sister.

5.  DO NOT head to the shops without a plan.  Edit your wardrobe first and find out exactly where the gaps are.  Create a shopping wishlist from those gaps and then head out with a goal in mind.

6.  Take me along for the ride.  I’ll be armed and ready to stage a sales-intervention … and I promise I won’t nab the best bargains for myself!

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