Suzanne O’Connor’s Bargains LA

The Premiere Bargain Hunting, Bargain Shopping & Sample Sales Guide for the Los Angeles Area.

Zannee's Blog

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ten Tips for Savvy Shoppers

By Suzanne O'Connor

Most of us know most of these tips. But a little reminder is good for your bottom line.

1. Get educated!
Learn about quality merchandise. Become familiar with the range of retail market pricing and quality levels in apparel, household items, home furnishings, electronics, appliances etc.

Stop in to upscale retail stores. Examine the product they sell. Read upscale fashion and design magazines. Learn about manufacturing and construction. Ask store clerks questions. Use the internet, magazines, newspapers in your search.

2. Know your Lifestyle
Be realistic about what you would use and what you need. You don’t need 10 pairs of Louboutins if you’re an Athletic Coach or a Mail Carrier…. You may however if you run a Fashion Magazine, or are seen on the red carpet. Every lifestyle has different requirements.

3. Know your Financial Limitations.
Bargain shopping is about living better for less. It’s not buying cheap stuff, cheap or living beyond your means. It’s about living a higher quality of life by spending less. If you’re not Donald Trump, don’t spend like you are.

4. Plan ahead for big purchases and set a realistic budget.
Cars, appliances and electronics tend to get turned over every 3-10 years. Some of these items are necessary, some aren’t. Buy the best quality you can, not just a well known brand. Again, go back to tip one, get educated.

5. Don’t snub buying second hand.
Vintage garments, furnishings and some appliances are better made than what you can buy new today. A bit of restoration and care can give you an item that will last longer than you do. Thrift stores, garage and estate sales should be part of your shopping routine.

6. Bookmark coupon, discount, and outlet websites.
Use coupons and coupon codes for food and online purchases.

7. Become an internet fan of your favorite stores.
Sign up for your favorite retailers, designers, outlets and discounters newsletters. Like their Facebook page. You’ll often get insider discounts, special announcements and scoop before the public.

8. Always make a list of what you need and can afford. Buy what you need before you buy what you want… often easier said then done.

9.Pay with cash or ATM. Don’t use credit cards except for emergencies. Put your credit away where you can’t get at them easily… or cut them up completely.

10. New isn’t always better.
Don’t discard useful items. Repair and reuse items. Well made boots and shoes can be re-soled, polished and repaired. Old well constructed furniture can be refinished, re-upholstered, re-painted or re-purposed. If you can’t use it, someone else can. Good design is always good …and quality never goes out of style.

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