T here is almost nothing better than scoring big at Marshalls, T.J Maxx or Nordstrom Rack. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment when I find clothing, shoes and accessories I want for a third or their actual retail price. I don’t know if this obsession intensified after I started working in retail or if this mentality was subconsciously trained into my psyche by my sale adoring mother.
What I learned from working in retail is that the actual value of things is intensely skewed by timing. What I mean by timing is that goods are always at their highest price when they first go up for wholesale purchase. If you’re patient and are cool with getting things that aren’t “new for the season” then off-price shopping is perfect for you. These brands need to clear their inventory every season to make room for their new goods, thus allowing us to score big and pay so much less for the older product.
These off-priced retail stores get these “seasoned” goods for a serious cut in the MSRP (merchandise suggested retail price) allowing their customers to save on the “original sale price” often marked on the new tickets. Let’s break it down: your favorite brands sell their “older” and therefore “less valuable” product on super sale to Marshalls allowing you to then buy it at a fraction of the cost and this price is always less than the lowest sales price offered at the department store it came from.
It’s important to note before becoming a sale obsessed shopper, that you will need patience and you will need time to hunt for the perfect pieces. These stores are loaded with random sale product leaving us to dig long and deep for those diamonds in the rough.
The styles they receive more than one unit of are usually displayed on the aisles, on the most focal display fixtures. this is where your chances of finding your size are greatest.
This shopping environment is not for everyone, but those that are willing to fight for the markdown, will be more than fulfilled when they find those winning pieces because where there is off-price, there is endless opportunity!
For those reluctant to dig through the sale piles, then flash-sale sites are a great alternative! Be sure to check out HauteLook, Gilt, Romwe, Rue La la and Ideel. Keep in mind that with flash-sale sites you don’t have the benefit of trying things on before purchase, so make sure you check the return policies! You will also need to be willing to make an account in order to get access to these “exclusive” sales.
In an attempt to keep the hope alive, here are some of my favorite finds from off-priced retailers:
Sun Dress- $16– Marshalls
Sandal Sale- $103.82– HauteLook (for all of this!)
Bucco Gladiator Sandals- $26.97– Hautelook
Skort- $18.99– Marshalls
Jean Overalls- $13.33– Romwe.com
Sugarlips dropped waist pleated dress- $24.97– Hautelook
Floral Dress- $16.67– Romwe
Pineapple Romper- $16.67– Romwe