Here at Luxe for Less we’re most passionate about two things; finding a bargain and buying designer brands. Sadly for us those two things don’t usually go hand-in-hand and we’ve definitely got a champagne taste on more of a beer budget. But what if we said we’d found a way to combine the two so we can buy designer for less? Well, we have.
Just because you’re at uni and working two jobs just to cover your weekly partying habits, doesn’t mean you can’t afford to treat yourself with a couple of designer items. In fact, with our handy and resourceful tips, you’ll be surprised to see how much you can save on designer stuff!
And if you’re still um-ing and ah-ing over whether to buy yourself that Gucci handbag, there are some factors every shopper should consider first. Read this post to decide whether you want to go ahead and splurge.
This is my first port of call when I’ve found something expensive that I decide I can’t* live without (*actually probably can, but who cares). I will check back regularly to see if the item I’m after has been posted. In fact, I bought my latest Gucci handbag off Ebay for 45% off the retail price! Obviously you want to be sure it’s real and in good condition, so I always make sure the seller has pics of the original receipt or authenticity card, as well as plenty of photos of the item itself (always get them to send more if you’re unsure) and if they’re located in my city, I’ll tee up a time to meet with them to inspect the item before I buy. Often if a seller isn’t willing to provide you with such authenticity guarantees, it may not be authentic. Don’t forget other sites like Gumtree in your secondhand search. Remember as well, if you have the time, scouring charity stores like Vinnies or Salvos may lead you to make some awesome designer finds at a fraction of the price.
#2. Buy last season goodies or explore odd colour options.
If buying a specific style or brand isn’t a necessity, this may be a great option for you. If I find a piece I love the look of, I will usually trawl through outlet sales online to see if I can find the same or a similar-looking piece from last season. It’s also not unusual for a red bag to be cheaper than the same bag in black. Barneys Warehouse is amazing for last season stuff – you can get up to 45% off designer gear. The Outnet, Nordstrom Rack, Gilt, Neiman Marcus Last Call and the Century 21 Clearance section are some of my other faves. Shopbop also does really decent sales a couple of times a year, so sign up to their emails to find out when they’re on. It’s a really good idea to do your shopping towards the end of the season, as that’s when you can get the best deals.
#3. Buy from overseas websites.
If you’re in Australia, my advice is to ALWAYS buy designer stuff (unless it’s an Australian brand) from overseas websites. That is until the Government decides to apply GST to overseas-purchased goods under $1,000 (quick, get in while you can). I purchased my Alexander Wang handbag for about $350 less than its price in Australia on Neiman Marcus. It’s important to remember that if you buy something from overseas over $1,000 you’ll have to pay duties and tax on it… but, depending on what it is, it still may be cheaper than at home.
#4. Do a Google search of the item.
This is a trick of mine, which I find works really well. Once I know the exact style name and brand of the item I want, I punch it into Google which will then show a bunch of places where that piece is available, including Ebay, and for what price. It helps you to compare prices on different websites, as some may have sales on when others don’t.
#5. Sign up to website newsletters.
A lot of online stores now offer discounts when you sign up to their newsletter, or even just for making your first purchase with them. I always sign up to the newsletter to get by 5-20% off and then just unsubscribe once I’ve purchased the item.
#6. Visit markets or vintage sales.
Shopping this way can be quite time consuming, but I love it! I’ve found awesome designer items at the markets over the years, including Ksubi jeans and real leather jackets. You have to spend a bit of time trawling the racks, but it can be worth it. Camberwell Market in Melbourne is one of my faves, but get there early so you don’t miss out! Also, if you’re in Australia, Hawkeye Vintage does incredible vintage designer sales throughout the year where you can get awesome treats, like Chanel handbags for just a few hundred dollars.
#7. Wait until your favourite designer/store has an outlet sale.
This is probably an obvious one… Follow all your favourite brands and stores on Instagram, as that’s usually where they will post about upcoming outlet sales. You can often get pieces at a HUGE discount. At the last Green With Envy warehouse sale I went to, I picked up six Nicholas dresses for $70 each!
#8. Set up a swap meet with your designer-loving friends.
Swap clothes with your fashionable gal pals. It’s great for both the environment and your bank account!
#9. Don’t buy – HIRE.
Designer hire websites are becoming more and more popular. It’s a way to be able to wear the latest season designer pieces without having to fork out your life savings. Some of my favourites include Beyond Your Wardrobe, Her Wardrobe and Glamcorner.
And if you decide you still don’t want to part ways with your hard-earned cash for real designer pieces, check out Jessica Buurman. It’s a replica website, which has some of the best designer copies I’ve ever seen! Most bags and shoes are real leather and they always have the hottest, newest styles.