There are very few things in life we love more than getting a good deal on something that is new, now and of the moment. It’s one of the most common questions we get on the Refined Side – how do you afford everything you want when you’re buying quality, not quantity and have a real-person job? Well, today we’re going to share with you some of our top tricks that we use to save money on all favourites – including 5 of our top picks for fall 2014.
It’s one thing to score a deal on last season’s it-piece at 90% off, but it’s quite another to score up to 10% off right now when it’s still at it’s most popular. One of fall’s biggest trends was the explosion of animal print on everything from jackets to nails down to these absolutely stunning leopard print running shoes by Stella McCartney that were on our fall favourites list.
But if the shoes are such a great deal, how does one get them at 10% off right now? Well, we found these shoes for sale at Anthropologie, which offers a fairly regular stream of coupons on their own. But the trick comes in the format of buying a gift card for the store at a discount to the face value – guaranteeing you a purchase made in cash to combine with other offers while having already locked in your savings. We love relatively new site Raise, which buys gift cards that others have received at a discounted price and did not want and then resells them at a discount to someone who does need/want the card. Taking a look at Raise’s site, you can see that they have a variety of Anthropologie gift cards available at discounts of up to 10%.
Another of our fall favourites? The cape. We loved the high-end looks shown on the runways of Tadashi Shoji, Ralph Lauren and YSL – but spending several thousand dollars on a cape was not nearly as appetizing when next year could be all about the non-cape.
So how did we manage to score a deal on this Jones New York Houndstooth cape? Easy – we signed up for the site’s e-mail newsletter which sent us a thank you that included a discount code for $20 off our first purchase at the website. This brought the price down to an incredibly reasonable $49 which was really all that we were willing to invest in what looks to be a hot trend that may not have the staying power to make a larger investment worthwhile. You can also double up your discounts and check out Raise to see if they have any discounted gift cards available. At press time, there were unfortunately none.
We also love deals off the runway. Magazines, beauty editors and beauty bloggers have been raving about face balms and oils this season as the new big thing. We couldn’t agree more, having discovered Diptyque’s Nourishing Cleansing Balm in Spring 2014 and being devotees since that time.
What is most difficult about a luxury brand like Diptyque is that their products never go on sale. Trust us, never. So you have to be crafty with your budget hunting when it comes to this brand! We found two ways you can save money – the first being through one of Diptyque’s many promotions that they run for those subscribed to their newsletter. (See a trend here? Sign up for newsletters!) They offered us a free Figuier candle, body wash set and deluxe sized perfume samples if we bought other items on their site. Seeing as we are devotees of the brand and would have bought the candle anyway, this was a huge savings! If you’re less likely to think of savings that way and want the cold, hard cash in your hand, then you still have options if you go through one of their re-sellers, like Nordstrom or Barneys. By buying the Nourishing Balm through Barneys, you can automatically get 2.5% off the purchase price through eBates, another of our genius tricks. eBates gives you cold, hard cash back for your purchases made online. And we’ll vouch, they’re 100% legitimate as we’re up to $500 back this year already off stuff we’d be buying anyway. Free money! Triple up your discount and make your purchase at a time where you get a free gift, use eBates and track Raise for any Barneys gift cards that may come in to maximize your money.
There is then the option of making your purchases through a well-known large retailer, such as our beloved Nordstrom where we found this newly released Joie Mathisa Open Front Wool & Cashmere cardigan on sale!
Shopping with a large retailer like Nordstrom is a classic and old-fashioned way to make sure you get a good deal as they have regular sales throughout the season – even at the beginning of the season as they do with their famous #nsale – and there are many ways to get additional discounts with them, such as signing up for their loyalty programs where I routinely get gift certificates mailed to me to thank me for my spending with them. I also find great savings on Nordstrom through eBates (at press time it was 3%) and Raise has a rather large inventory of cards offered to save an additional 2.5%. It all adds up!
And what would the season be without a swoon-worthy purse? We were loving the fact that many of fall 2014’s purses shown on the runways were purses that we, women with real lives, could see ourselves carrying from meeting to meeting or daycare to nightclub. The classic, chic and versatile look is one we’re always looking for and one we’re willing to spend a little to get – like this Prada gray clutch.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Amanda, Prada purses don’t go on sale. And, you know what? You’re right. But remember above when I mention that buying from a large retailer can have a huge advantage? Let me restate it. It can have a HUGE advantage, especially when paying for a pricier item. We found the Prada purse at Saks Fifth Avenue and also discovered that opening a Saks card with them will get you a whole 10% off your purchase. When you’re talking about an item on the more expensive side, this is key! And since we’re fans of doubling and tripling up, eBates has 4% cash back at Saks and Raise sometimes has their cards in stock – you can even sign up for alerts!
To summarize the tricks?
We hope these tricks will help you save enough to buy all your fall favourites!
- Raise – Great new site which buys gift cards that others have received at a discounted price and did not want and then resells them at a discount to someone who does need/want the card. You can sell unwanted gift cards as well and get cash or cards you actually want – perfect to bookmark for the holiday season.
- EBates – with this site, you log in to their browser (or install their applet) and you automatically get cold hard cash back when you shop at designated retailers. We have gotten well over $500 in cash back this year alone – using it on everything from purchases from eBay to Expedia travel. Adds up quickly!