I never buy anything at full retail price. Seriously, never. Why? Well, it’s a habit I developed in part due to my upbringing, but it’s also because I simply don’t have to pay full price and neither do you! The internet has evolved into an incredible marketplace of designer discounts, high-end resale retailers and online shops offering unbeatable deals on open box items. These deals are easy to find if you’re willing to look.
I’ve scored ridiculous deals on a wide range of items: a ball gown (worn once at a pageant by Miss El Paso for 10 minutes) on eBay at 70 percent savings; a Lululemon jacket previously owned but in like-new condition for 65 percent off the retail price; and most recently, a brand new Dyson vacuum for $150 off the regular price.
Discount online shopping is a frugal (and busy) girl’s dream come true! With so many retailers catering to the growing demand for more reasonable pricing, you stand a good chance of finding exactly what you want, at less-than-retail prices!
Don’t waste another minute spending your money on full-price items when you can discover the world of online bargains that are available to you right now. Here are eight of my favorite websites:
Ever wonder what happens when you return that Amazon item? Products in resalable condition are sent to the Amazon warehouse for sale as open-box items at big discounts! If you shop Amazon, you’ll want to start your search in the Warehouse before you make any buying decisions on full priced items. Amazon Warehouse is a business of Amazon’s that sells open-box and used products as well as renting out textbooks. This is my go-to for items I purchase on Amazon (which these days is practically everything I need) before I look for the products on “traditional” Amazon.
Amazon inspects every returned item it sells and assigns it a condition rating: “Like New, Very Good, Good, Acceptable.” Nearly everything Amazon sells can be found on the warehouse, although brands and colors/sizes may be limited. I’ve even bought diapers on the warehouse, which were likely returned when a child outgrew a size before the box was opened. The diapers arrived completely sealed in their original plastic wrap, but the outer box had some damage. At a steep discount from retail price, it was well worth the savings!
A newly discovered gold mine in my Rolodex of sale sites, Blinq partners with top retailers to sell their returned and overstock merchandise at deep discounts. Blinq prides itself on providing its customers with significant savings, while also saving the environment from millions of discarded items that could potentially hit landfills each year. Inventory is constantly changing, so check the website often for new stock. On the days I searched, I found a pair of Tory Burch aviator sunglasses for 73 percent off and Hunter rain boots in traditional green for 46 percent off! Items range from “used” to “brand new,” and shipping is always free!
One of several large “off-price retailers,” Nordstrom Rack sells brand name apparel, shoes and accessories for less than its full price department stores. Some merchandise comes to the Rack as clearance items from the full price store, while others are purchased specifically to be sold in Norstrom Rack stores, such as end-of-the-season closeouts and excess inventory from various brands. The discounts are worth checking out, and multiple times a year, the “Clear the Rack” sale offers an additional 25 percent off already reduced prices!
6PM continues to deliver significant savings every time I search its extensive inventory! The online outlet for Zappos, 6 PM sells many of the same brands as the massive online retailer, including Sperry, Coach, Chloe, and more. I’ve had great luck finding deals on shoes, but 6PM also has a huge selection of designer apparel brands. My best deals to date are a pair of Hunter boots on massive clearance, priced at $80 and a pair of Kate Spade leather pumps I bagged at 75 percent off! Shipping is easy and free with any purchase of 2+ items, or a purchase over $50.
If you don’t mind the thought of buying gently used or previously owned items, then online resale sites are a fantastic option to save big on brands! While living overseas in Japan, in-store shopping was nearly impossible for me. Most tops never cleared my broad shoulders and my size 9 feet had no chance of squeezing into any shoes sold in stores. If I wanted to stay on-trend without paying full price from traditional online retailers, I had to get creative and that’s when I discovered the shopping power of resale websites!
Ebay has been the strong and steady ecommerce site for online auctions since the late 90s. Now, eBay has boomed into a multibillion dollar business that also includes business-to-consumer shops selling new and refurbished items directly from the manufacturers. I use eBay similarly to Amazon: for everything I want or need. I have purchased ball gowns, shoes, yoga clothes, sunglasses, cologne, purses and several wallets from sellers on eBay. The volume of items can be overwhelming, so it’s best to search using the “filter” tabs to whittle down size, color, brand or any other option you want to narrow. I often search eBay for items I intend to purchase on Amazon, just to make sure someone isn’t selling the same thing for less.
Geared heavily toward millennials with its app-driven design and Instagram-style photo sharing options for selling, Poshmark is another great platform for buying clothing and accessories. Items also can be purchased through the online website and both platforms have options for “But It Now,” or “Make An Offer.” Often I have found better deals here when compared to eBay, because Poshmark takes less of a cut from the seller’s profits. The marketplace includes hundreds of labels and Coach, Tory Burch and J. Crew are some of its top-selling brands. Recently, Poshmark introduced the option to buy and sell men’s and children’s clothing and accessories. Shipping is a flat fee per transaction.
Launched in Japan, this peer-to-peer marketplace app has millions of American users and is popular among sellers who want to capitalize on the low seller-fees. For buyers, this means you can find items for sale at some of the lowest prices available. No more waiting for an auction to end with this app. Mercari has straight-forward postings with a “Buy Now” button and depending on the seller, sometimes the option to “Make An Offer.” I’ve grabbed a pair of designer shades from a seller on Mercari for $35, and the transaction was fast and smooth!
Last, but certainly not least, is the “Largest Online Consignment and Thrift Store,” where you can find ongoing sales on top of the already low prices! For those leery about online buying, ThredUp accepts returns! ThredUp operates on consignment, taking in sellers secondhand items, inspecting them, professionally photographing them and posting them for sale on its site. Items range from quality brands, to premium brands, maternity, and now juniors. This is a fantastic option for buying secondhand Lululemon because it has been inspected for quality and is still in beautiful condition! I’ve purchased several Lululemon Define jackets (Reg $118) from ThreadUp and never paid more than $45 dollars each. It’s the best way to shop secondhand from the comfort of your home, with all items clean, wearable and at great prices!