Incidents of an aimless mind.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Shopping Sample & Private Sale Sites

Most of you know who I am. My name's JP, and I'm the Denim Debutante. I have what some might call a fetish for jeans. I own many, love all... but, more than anything, I really like finding great deals on them. That's what my site's about-finding awesome deals on amazing, long-lasting, high-quality items and helping you become more knowledgeable about those things you call jeans.

Tammy already did a number on what it's like to hit up sample sales in NYC... and she's a lucky one for being able to live in a city that has all those options.

Most of us aren't living in LA or NYC, though. Some of us, like me, are smack dab in the middle... and you can't really enjoy the wonders of stumbling over a Rebecca Beeson or J Brand sample sale. It's just not how it goes.

But, for us, there are Sample Sale and Private Sale sites. And, there's a specific trick to shopping them, especially if you're fond of getting things like... say, some denim.

1. All of the bigger sites offer a credit... and most are $10 and up per referral. That's right; if you refer a friend to one of the sites and she ends up buying something, you've automatically earned yourself anywhere from $10-25 to spend... for doing nothing more than giving them a link to click on. There are HUGE financial benefits to this!

2. Save up your credit for something you REALLY want/need. Just because you've got that $25 sitting in there, waiting for you to spend it, doesn't mean you have to do it right away. Case and point: I, pretty much unknowingly, accrued $75 in credit to Billion Dollar Babes from friends making previous purchases. Friday came along, and they had an insane Kasil sale (which you heard about if you regularly frequent my Denim Debutante site or Minnow's Pond). I ended up snagging two pairs of $200 jeans for $14... with shipping. That's about a 95% discount!

3. Know your style! Once again, I know they've got damn good deals on those sites. They're insane sometimes, and even I struggle to say no every now and then. But there are some things you need to ask yourself before you click that Buy button:

a.) Will I wear this?
b.) Does it match anything I already own?
c.) Can I afford it, or do I just want the great deal?
d.) Do I really love it?

Answer all these questions yes? Then own it. And do so fast... odds are, someone else wants it too!

4. Don't forget about shipping! This is a cost that most people just don't remember to factor in. Whether you're buying from a site that offers you a base level of shipping no matter how much you buy (like Gilt) and some offer an escalating price from your first purchase. If you add this to the actual price listed and then find the percentage saved. Is it still over 50%? Then you're probably still getting a great deal.

5. Don't listen to hype! Just because someone tells you to jump off a bridge, does that mean you should do it? No, of course not. Find what you like, at the price you want to spend. Gimmicks work for fast food restaurants (and Snickers bars), not for clothing... and especially not for good denim. Don't get tricked into getting something you're only okay with... fall in love with it, or don't get it at all!

Learn, live and love these five rules, and you'll find yourself swimming in great deals... and not regretting any of them!


3 thoughts:

Paula June 22, 2009 at 11:04 AM  

All great point Jaime!! I have $25 sitting at ideeli right now just calling my name, but I am holding out!

cleverly June 22, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

I've joined a bunch of sample sale sites but haven't bought anything yet. I haven't found anything worth it enough. I'm holding out for something I really love. Great blog, Jaime.

Oh and Minnow, you've been having some great guest blogs!

lilminnow June 22, 2009 at 7:16 PM  

I have been! I am very lucky and thankful to both Jaime and Tammy for sharing their deal savvy ways at Minnow's Pond. =)

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