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What are Discounts and Retailers?
Discounts are a form of a deduction from the actual price of the item. This can be in the form of a “compare to,” percentage off, a specific amount off, 2 for the price of one, “buy one get one,” a rebate (where money is given back to you after the upfront cost), clearance (last call items), and even free. Yes, free! Free would go under the category of “buy one get one” due to a purchase having to be made in order to get it free. Or by any chance you are at a yard sale with a child that really wants a toy and the seller gives the item to the child (this actually has happened to me, true story!) As you can see, discounts take many forms and are made to work in your favor, if used correctly. Now that we know what discounts are let us discuss what retailers are.
Retailers consist of businesses that tailor to every need that involves the exchange of payment (cash, card, virtual (i.e., Paypal)) for items and services. Retailers can be in the form of grocery, garments, electronics, household, and dealerships. Retailers obtain their items from the manufacturer, wholesaler, or distributor. Therefore, anyone can be considered a retailer if your purchase an item from any those 3 places and resell the item (with the proper authority). Donation centers such as Goodwill and Salvation Army stores are considered retailers. Even though these centers accept donations and do not buy items from a manufactures, distributor, or wholesaler, they do sell the items (goods) in exchange for payment. Interesting how that works. Since we are on the topic of donations, let us go ahead and jump into different discount methods that can be used and specific types of retailers that you can visit.
Second Hand Retailer (thrift stores)
Second hand retailers have clothing and household items that are donated, bought by the quality/pound, or from their own homes (consignment). Second hand stores have just about anything you need from household products to clothes to even prom and wedding dresses for those that cannot afford those luxuries. Some of these second hand stores benefit the community with every purchase and/or donation such as the Goodwill and the Salvation Army. If you love browsing around in stores for bargains, sparking creativity by putting outfits together, or even bringing old styles back with a twist, then these are the stores for you. Below are some examples of second hand stores.
Goodwill– This by far is the best second hand retailer that I personally purchase from and donate to. They use their funds and donations to give back to the community through jobs and other activities. At the Goodwill, you can purchase two carts worth of clothes for less than $50 including household items. Goodwill also has deal days where certain items with certain colored tags are discounted on certain days. They have a little bit of everything for the whole family. When I started a new position with my past job, I was broke to where I couldn’t even afford McDonalds once a month or even gas to get to work. Since the only wardrobe that I was wearing for my previous position was scrubs, I needed to buy business clothes for my cubicle position. I didn’t have “business clothes” type money, so I decided to go to the Goodwill and low and behold I find 4 outfits for less that $20 (slacks, skirt, dress, and a few blouses). I was set for my first week. I interchanged the shirts and blouses to make different outfits. My whole life even from when I was young, Goodwill has always been the place to go. The saying of “one persons’ trash is another persons’ treasure” is of truth in my life and what I believe to be the heart of good will (see what I did there!).
Salvation Army– This is another second hand retailer that uses their funds and donations to give back to the community through jobs and other activities. I primarily donate here for the kids and teens during the holidays when I have it. Lately when I go there to shop, I have noticed that their products have become a tad bit expensive in a town that should not have thrift prices that high (in my opinion). It all depends on the area that they are located in for their economy and prices.
Consignment Shops– These retailers are usually the owner’s clothes, bought or donated clothes from other individuals, possibly family or the local community. Consignment shops are usually strictly donations, but there are a few that will actually buy your clothes to sell. Some consignments will sell your clothes and then give a portion of the funds to individual, once the clothing items have sold. They are more of a third party, in-person, clothing seller. Be mindful of the consignment shops that you donate for funds from, as some may not pay you the portion of money that is owed to you or may withhold a heavy percentage as a seller’s fee. To buy from them is like shopping at any thrift store.
Farmer’s (Flea or swap-meet) Market– Okay, so the names flea and farmer’s is a little misleading! This is not a place where literal fleas congregate to shop or you literally buy fleas or only a place for farmers or literally buy farmers. These good ol’ flea markets allow for brands, privately owned business, entrepreneurial, and look alike products to be sold at cheap and reasonable prices. Many clothing items are new and are sold by entrepreneurs. I have made bold statements with farmers market clothing and have received plenty of compliments as well as “Where did you get that” questions followed by a “Really!” So, don’t be afraid to go against the grain of fashion with a “wow” outfit from a farmer’s market.
I have been to plenty of these markets from Cowtown Farmer’s Market and Berlin Farmer’s Market in New Jersey, New Castle Farmer’s Market in Delaware, and Aquaduck in New York. These are some of the farmer’s markets in my area that I have visited and loved. Bonus: Cowtown Farmer’s Market has an added bonus of having a live rodeo every Saturday, May through September. It has been around since 1929 and is known country-wide. So if you decide to shop one of those Saturday’s, try to stick around, purchase a ticket and enjoy a good ‘ol fashion rodeo (that was aired on tv).
This dress and handbag was obtained from Cowtown (wallet included, but not found). The dress was $7 and the handbag was $10.
Online Second Hand (peer-to-peer) Retailer
Online is becoming the next go-to shop for clothing and for many reasons: convenience, variety, discounts, deals, and of course free shipping. It was only right that I mentioned the benefit of shopping at second hand retailers online. Of course shopping at Fashion Nova, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and many more are trendy and exciting. Sometimes we just don’t have the money for some of these items. I know that I don’t! This is where second hand stores come in handy. Some of these stores include Depop, Poshmark, and ThredUp. These online second hand stores tend offer peer-to-peer high quality, barely or never worn clothing for reasonable prices. I say never worn because some of the clothing may have tags still on them. Clothing that was hanging in their closet or just sitting in their drawers. Some sellers would rather make a profit off of those items for their personal expenses, rather than donate them. Not every online second hand store is the same. Some such as Postmark and ThredUp takes extensive measures to verify name brand items to ensure authenticity. Why not purchase name brand for pennies on the dollar and help someone else in the process? Its a win-win! Bonus: These stores, like any second hand store, sells more than just clothing, so while you are there, feel free to browse around.
Bundling discounts is a method that I tend to do along another methods that will be talked about next. Bundling discounts may be a weird way to put it, but it’s a simple thing to do. Many retailers have store coupons plus additional regular coupons or VIP/subscriber discounts. I use all of these in combination in one shopping trip to get more clothes for the price or bang for my buck. For example Kohl’s is a great example of where you can get name brand clothing, use your Kohl’s cash with a circular coupon, and coupons that state an additional percentage off with your purchase. Signing up for subscriber lists for the companies that you are most interested in can be very rewarding. When special or flash sale days occur and you have a coupon to add on top of that or even for those special coupons that state 30, 40, or 50% off with free shipping over a certain amount. Boscov’s and Macy’s are also other stores where discounts can be bundled. These stores are most often shopped around the holidays and eventful times such as Christmas, Back-to-school, birthdays, and even baby showers. These are the times to splurge on those items that you have been eyeing for a while or when you need to buy in bulk.
This is by far my favorite method of obtaining clothing to be up-to-date in fashion for Adidas, Boohoo, and the Shoe Carnival. I also use this method for stores like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Boscovs, and ASOS. I use this method along with bundling discounts. I go the extra mile to get a little more discount off of my purchase through Rakuten (formerly Ebates) or through a credit or debit card reward programs. Cashback rewards give a portion of your own purchase back to you. You may not see the reward back instantly. It may appear on the next billing statement or on the next “big fat check” from Rakuten. This definitely comes in handy for buying those items that have been sitting in your wish list or online cart for few weeks. Some cashback rewards also have double cashback days where for example, instead of the normal 4% cashback you will get 8% cashback! Yes, double the money back into your pocket. So, be sure to check into every crevice, nook, and cranny for your benefits through your financial cards, Ebates, your job, or even small rewards cards such as Plenti, AAA, and many more. Bonus: You can use cashback rewards for more than just clothing and everyday items. It can also be used for travel discounts, vehicle rentals, subscription boxes and certain services such as digital and streaming.
Fashion Discount Retailer
Who doesn’t enjoy the environment of browsing with other individuals in a store, face-to-face interaction, feeling and trying on clothes (not in our current times), and having the satisfaction of bringing home the items same day with easy in person returns and exchanges (if necessary)? I know I enjoy these sessions. It gives me time to be alone or enjoy bonding time with family and friends. Discount fashion retailers can allow you to enjoy those little moments with being stress free about the price. These retailers purchase clothing, including name brand, that cannot or was not sold in the allotted shelf time due to overstock or customer disinterest, and resells them for a cheaper price to still make a profit. This is a win-win-win for the brands for selling those items, the retailer for reselling and making their own profit, and for you the purchaser for getting a great pennies on the dollar deal while adding to your wardrobe.
Burlington (formerly Burlington Coat Factory)– Around since 1972, named after the town that it was founded in, this discount retailer, Burlington, has been a staple in their communities gradually selling more than discounted coats and jackets. Burlington is particularly good for event shopping such as Easter, Christmas, birthday’s, baby showers, and the beginning of swimming season. If you cannot afford to pay the full amount on the spot or you are budgeting and need to pay in installments for back-to-school shopping or clothing for an upcoming holiday, Burlington has layaway options. So, be sure to check that option out in store.
Gabe’s– Ever since this discount retailer built a franchise in a town near me, this has become my lifesaver store. This year, I became “homeless” in so many words, sleeping on peoples couches. I had nothing but a tote of clothing, which included 1 pair of jeans, undergarments, 3 tank tops, old t-shirts, a parka, and the bomber jacket on my back. I knew this store was being built. When my mother told me about the grand opening, she took me there to get some clothes. Not only did I purchase Calvin Klein boots at literally a steal (even the cashier was shocked at the price), but on top of the great prices, I have found clearance items for basically 90% off. I was able to get a few comfortable items in my wardrobe, that I could interchange for a job once I found one. This is a browse around store where you have to take your time and look through the clothes, but the benefit is absolutely worth it.
These cardigans, jeans, top, and boots were obtained from Gabe’s.
Looking stylish, being trendy, dressing for an event or a job, or just keeping up with the times doesn’t need to break your pocket. No matter the environment in which you like to shop (in store or online) there are many ways that you can look good without breaking the bank. If you have tried any of these ways to buy clothes for cheap, whether name brands or not, feel free to comment and let me know your experience. If you have other ways that are tried and true, please feel free to share them with me. I am always open to new ways to save and look fabulous.