Regardless of one’s income bracket, there’s something about hitting the right sale at the right time that spikes adrenaline and smells like victory. The good news: the era of online shopping has redefined the concept of, and need for, the event sale. Whether seeking merch online or at traditional bricks-and-mortar stores, it’s never been easier to avoid paying retail prices for designer goods and upscale experiences. As ever, it’s simply a matter of being in the know, particularly in terms of where to look, and timing purchases appropriately.
Here, then, numerous top suggestions for those who want to live the high life for less. Really, who doesn’t?
Give your closet a designer makeover without leaving home. Online vendors like Gilt, Beyond the Rack, MYHABIT and Bluefly offer a wide selection of luxury men’s apparel and accessories at deep discounts. A recent peek at Bluefly, for example, revealed an Armani Collezioni two-button wool suit, regular price $1,825 US, for $788.39 US, and Cole Haan leather boots, regular price $278 US, for a mere $66.59 US — both less than half price. The sale section on Harry Rosen’s website features impressive reductions on labels like BOSS Orange, Etro, John Varvatos and Citizens of Humanity. You can also score snappy suits, sweaters and slacks from desirable mid-price retailers such as Banana Republic and J.Crew. Check the sites’ “Sale” section and sign up for emails that alert you to even deeper discounts — sometimes as much as 50 percent off sale prices.
Groupon, TeamBuy, RDeals and other group buying sites offer everything from paintball to car detailing, but the most covet-worthy deals are the ones for upscale restaurants and travel experiences. For example, Groupon recently offered buyers in Winnipeg a six-night getaway for two to a resort in Fiji (10 miles from where Tom Hanks shot Castaway) for $939 — over $500 off regular price. Don’t want to get an avalanche of emails every day? Check out deal aggregators like AllDailyDeals.ca and Deal Page.
Dress up your home with affordable higher-end furniture, linens and accessories from Beyond the Rack and HomeSav, which both offer discounts up to 80 percent, or check the “Clearance” section of Umbra’s website. You can also shop in person for low-priced furnishings at HomeSense or the legendary Umbra warehouse sales. Speaking of which…
Yes, you often have to trek to the ’burbs and line up for hours, but the deals at warehouse sales can merit getting up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday. Stock up on designer menswear, sportswear and personal care products at low prices — discounts sometimes run as deep as 80 percent. Smartcanucks.ca and Style Democracy make it easy by listing upcoming sales — the latter features sales from names like Diesel, Sporting Life, Belstaff, French Connection, Slavin Agency, and Scotch and Soda. Drawbacks: Sales are usually final, sizes may be limited, change rooms are probably communal, and some sales don’t accept debit or credit cards.
Designers and vendors clear out clothing inventory by holding occasional sample sales, often tucked away in lofts or office buildings. Sign up for alerts from sites such as Style Democracy, I Love Sample Sales and Toronto Sample Sales. The drawbacks of warehouse sales also apply here, and certain sample sales (for ultra-luxe brands) are invitation-only.
Snowboards in spring, motorcycles in January, satin sheets in May — as basic logic suggests, you can save big by buying when retailers want to off-load merch. Check out this handy annual sale cycle, courtesy of Simply Frugal.
Know any other luxury discounts leads, or of any too-good-to-be-true sites that proved to be exactly such? Please share your insights in the Comments.
Image courtesy of O.F.E.