Unless you’re capable of sewing your own wardrobe — or you’re a nudist — at some point, you’re going to need to shop for clothes.
Even if you’re not a fashionista, clothes shopping can be a lot of fun. Matching patterns and styles, trying on outfits, picking out the right look for the right event — there are entire magazines and television shows devoted to artfully shopping for attire.
But if you’re not a careful shopper, you can also fall into some traps. There are so many options, from boutiques to giant department stores, each with their own way of selling and pricing. It’s little wonder a shopper can feel lost in a land of designer labels and impressive price tags.
Before heading out to fill your closet, try on this advice for size. These dumb clothes-shopping mistakes could cost you plenty.
1. Falling for a fake ‘sale’
When you see a price slashed by 50 percent or even more, that’s a deal worth nabbing, right?
Not so fast. Make sure the supposed original price hasn’t been hiked up just to make this “deal” look juicier.
Do a little online research for the actual list price — or at least to get a sense of what other retailers are charging for the item — so you’ll know if that bargain is the real thing. To learn more about this trick of the trade, check out “Why You Should Think Twice Before Paying a ‘Sale’ Price.”
2. Not getting cash back
Are you passing up free money for items you’d be buying anyway? Here’s how to cash in on purchasing clothes:
- A mobile app like Ibotta earns you cash back in many stores.
- Shopping online? Try cash-back portals such as Ebates, TopCashback and Swagbucks Shop.
- So long as you are paying off your bill in full every month and thus avoiding interest charges, you can also earn money back by paying with a cash-back credit card.
3. Neglecting to follow your store online
Many major stores will text you a coupon if you sign up to receive their promotional emails. And you can collect coupons and learn about special sales by following the stores you like on social media.
Guarding your personal email address with your life? No problem. Set up another email address through a free email service and use it just for those deals, promos and purchases.
4. Being clueless about sale schedules
Stores love schedules. If you shop frequently at a particular chain, learn its schedule for markdowns and annual sales — and take advantage.
Nordstrom devotees, for example, know the store’s big anniversary sale comes in the summer. But the half-yearly spring and fall sales are also bargain-filled. Ask the clerks if you don’t know. These sale schedules aren’t state secrets.