Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tips on working a sale - edit, edit, edit

Even if you love the excitement of sales, they provide a very risky environment - all those reductions, all that stuff, it's so darned tempting to buy, buy buy.

Follow my 9 rules & you will have the best chance on earth of keeping a cool, calm, clear head and not over spending - despite the excitement. 

Some of us love sales as much as the rest of us hate them. 

Pushing, shoving, trawling through racks, things all over the place, no change rooms, bad lighting and did I mention things are absolutely everywhere?

Follow these rules & you will navigate sales better than you ever imagined.

Rule 1. Homework

Do your homework prior to the sale - know roughly what they will be offering. Cosmetics? Homewares? Clothing? Shoes? Bags? other?

Rule 2. Know your budget

Know how much money you have to spend.

Rule 3. Make a list

Write a list of the things you want. It will help if you know what portion of your budget is homewares, what portion of your budget is clothes for you, what portion of your budget is  clothes for the kids etc etc.

When you get to the sale, sometimes you find such crazy bargains, that you dont stick to the budget or the percentages you estimated. But having the list will keep you as focused as possible.

Rule 4. Go early, go early, go early

a) Go early during the sale period (but keep your ears open as to whether there will be new drops on subsequent days). In my experience, while there may be more stock brought in during the course of the sale, often its more of the same stuff - otherwise the VIP customers who get first day dibs get peeved.

b) Go early in the day - when things are organised & easy to find. Forget lunch times & forget after work - waste of time, waste of energy.

Rule 5. Use queues to gain information

If you have to wait in any queues, talk to as many fellow bargain hunters (& staff) as possible. Ask about the layout, whether new merchandise will be put out, whether there will be extra discounts on the last day....

Rule 6. Grab everything, grab multiples

When you go in, grab EVERYTHING that remotely interests you. If you dont grab it & you decide to back track & find it late, trust me, it wont be there.

I often grab two (or three) of something I like, yes, identical items/sizes/colours, because often at sales items are damaged & by the time you go back to the rack to grab the other one, it will be gone.

Rule 7. Do a few laps of the room 

You'd be amazed at what you find second & third lap. I also stalk the racks near the change room & the area near the registers (for the discards).

Rule 8. Edit, edit, edit

After you have grabbed everything, (& tried it all on, if possible), find a quiet corner & go through your pile. Look at each thing & decide if its worth the price & if you love it & if its you.

It's important to do this away from your friends and the maddening crowd (which tends to encourage you to spend money at big sales).

Discard anything you dont absolutely love.
Discard anything whose colour doesnt flatter your face.
Discard anything that isnt "you". Just because it's a great price, alone isnt the reason to buy something.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, discard anything you have ANY doubts about, no matter how small the doubt...

Here is the clothing which I collected then discarded at the Ozsale sale today at Smithfield (& why). 
The price for all clothing was $25 per piece or three for $50.

L to R: 

1. Zara Woman cream long line vest, fully lined
A beautiful minimalist piece but I look sick in cream & hate the idea of only being able to wear something in the wrong colour with something over it, in the right colour - not enough versatility for moi..  

Bye bye vest.

2. Zara Woman lemon sleeveless tee
90% cotton, 10% cashmere. Yes, cashmere but any yellow near my face makes me look ill.
I hate the idea of only being able to wear something in the wrong colour with something over it, in the right colour - not enough versatility for moi.

Bye bye tee.

3. Zara Woman cotton tunic in red floral print with a green floral border. 
Really pretty & I loved the two different prints/colours in the one item. I also love things loose & this was too close to the body for my liking.

Bye bye tunic.

4. Cute top
Red/white/blue no famous brand cotton top with double ruffle raw edge hem.

Cute cap sleeves & an open neckline - I'd spend the whole day adjusting it. Probably a bit short for me too - every time I would lift my arms, you'd see muffin city. Not a good look.

Bye bye cute top.

5. Fleur Wood cotton smock with completely open sides with ties. Again, lovely, correct size, but the style is muffin city.

Bye bye smock.

In summary, 

Despite the 3 items for $50 deal, I walked away with only one piece of clothing - a Sportscraft mint coloured gingham shirt.
Cool, calm & clear headed.

Rule 9. If you dont ask, you dont get

The final piece of sale advice - ask for a better price at the register. No matter how reduced the items are, they will always do better at the register if you ask nicely. And they did.

Good luck & happy shopping.

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