Do you know how many times I have bought this J.Crew Yass One-Shoulder Ruffle Dress in Sweet Hibiscus before I was finally able to get it at close to a perfect price? 5 times! Although I knew I wanted the pretty ruffle dress when I first laid eyes on it but I just was not sure if spending $168 on that type of dress makes any sense. Especially if you know the brand often offer random sales such as 30% or 40% off regular items. If you are lucky, you could score your coveted pieces on a sale-on-sale offer. What do I mean by sale-on-sale? This is when an item is on sale and the brand/store is offering an extra percent off on the same item.
When I first bought the dress from J.Crew, it was on one of those special sales for 37% off ($105.84). I thought the size 2 was a bit fitted so I exchanged for a size 4 only to find out the latter size was a bit loose. I am basically a size 3 in this one-shoulder dress which means the size 2 is the better option at this point since J.Crew does not offer a size 3. Well, according to the reviews and the pace at which the sizes kept disappearing, your guess is as good as mine that this is a coveted item most especially the Kelly Green version. Everyone swears by the Kelly Green to be the prettiest of the four colors offered. I have returned the size 2 that I initially bought and facing the dilemma of returning the size 4 and forgetting about having the dress or buying it at Nordstrom at the full price in a size 2 or simply exchanging for another color from J.Crew at the sales price.
As I was contemplating on what to do, two weeks later the dress went on sale for 40% off ($100). Then I remember there might be a way around my situation that could get me the size 2 at Nordstrom. The ‘price honoring’ system. See, if an item you want at Nordstrom is on sale at another store, Nordstrom would honor that price but the size you want must be available at the store offering the sales. Okay! I want a size 2 and J.Crew does not have a size 2. To get to Nordstrom’s size 2, I bought a random size (a size 0) that was available at both stores with hopes that when I am ready to exchange my newly bought size 0 for a size 2 at Nordstrom, it will be available. Remember the dresses in Sweet Hibiscus and Kelly Green are selling fast. At this point, I returned the size 4 to J.Crew as I waited for the size 0 to arrive and kept an eye on Nordstrom’s size 2 hoping to be able to get one for myself. Crossing my fingers. At this point, I have bought this super-fun dress three times now. I hope I have not confused you like I did my coworker, Scott. LOL!
Two days after buying the size o from Nordstrom, J.Crew decided to throw a curve-ball and offer a sale-on-sale but only in the color that I wanted. This time the dress was on sale for $99 with an additional 30% off. What! I immediately returned the size 0 to Nordstrom and went back home to place a call to the store and ordered a size 4 to take advantage of the new incredible sales price since J.Crew still does not have a size 2. This time I bought the dress for a perfect price of $69.99. Now we are talking. The dress arrived in the mail in a size 4 and I was able to exchange for a size 2 all because the sales representative was kind enough to honor my exchange terms. Sighed. I have finally arrived at my destination. It took five stressful but pleasurable turns however, I profitably made it to my destination.
The perfect life of a savvy shopper!
What does it take to be a savvy shopper?
1. You have to have the patience to chase that item down at the right price. The first thing to do is to identify whether you should pay a full price for that item or not. There are other items that I would not mind spending that much money on but the brand and fabric choice would determine this for me. For instance, an Equipment silk top or a cute Rebecca Vallance dress.
2. Identify which stores carry the brand. For instance, you could find the J.Crew Yass One-shoulder Dress at Nordstrom, Net-a-porter and J.crew. Knowing this allowed me to be able to compare prices. Another perfect example is the brand Frame. Knowing just about any departmental and e-commerce stores such as Revolve and Saks carry the brand made it easy for me to determine where I could get the highly coveted designer Le High Skinny Jagged Hem Jeans.
3. Know your store or brand and its sales system. For example, there was a time that Banana Republic offered a 40% off on every Wednesday on full priced items. So I know to only visit Banana Republic on Wednesday to take advantage of the sales. Although this sales system is no longer available, but the experience groomed me to take caution before paying full price on ANY item. Now I am a strict sales shopper except in instances where I know the brand rarely go on sale and the item is desperately needed at a last minute for an event. Also, some stores will let you return an item 7 days after buying to re purchase at the sales price but you must have the receipt.
4. Google is your friend so search for discounted fashion. Think about registering with sites or apps that would alert you when an item goes on sale. Before it was shutdown, Polyvore performed this task for me. I could clip the same shoe from 5 different sources and have Polyvore monitor and tell me when the item goes on sale at any of the stores.
5. Be able to shut your eyes and walk away from an item you so much desire but not offered at your price cap. Don’t we all wish we could have it all. Just know that there will always be more and better shoes or accessories that would come along at a fantastic price. Just be on the lookout.
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