©iStockphoto.com/ariwasabi Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/ariwasabi
1. Sign up for store newsletters and e-mail updates â€¨
Keeping tabs on your favourite stores to find great clothing deals can be as easy as checking your email. "You sign up in-store or online," explains Oliva De Leon-Gan, a self-confessed shopaholic and founder of the bargain-hunting fashion blog, The Cheap Girl, "and then from time to time, they'll send you printable coupons and codes, which can be used for buying from their online store."
You may also receive notices about upcoming sales, she says. De Leon-Gan, who regularly trolls the Internet for clothing deals, says email offers can slash prices by as much as 40 per cent. Buy-one-get-one-free coupons are common, too.
2. Enlist your phone â€¨
With mobile apps for everything from gardening to personal training, it's no surprise that there are plenty of shopping apps available, too. From shopcatch.com and shoptoit.ca, to apps like Google Shopper, De Leon-Gan says you can identify where the deals are for every store in a mall. These shopping apps can also provide you with mobile coupons, which can be redeemed at the cash register. Some apps will also provide you with notices about bargains that are in your vicinity.
3. Use social media
â€¨Social media tools like Facebook and Twitter allow you to connect with your favourite stores and find clothing deals, often before these deals are made public.
De Leon-Gan advises clicking 'Like' on a store's Facebook fan page because once you do, you will usually be provided with an inside scoop on upcoming sales, promotions, and sometimes, special coupons. Following stores (or in-the-know, bargain-oriented shoppers) you like on Twitter is another easy way to get a leg-up on clothing deals.
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4. Get to know sales people
Though she does a lot of her bargain hunting online, De Leon-Gan, who also runs an image consulting business, says nothing beats browsing for clothing deals in person. If you pop into your favourite shops regularly enough, you'll also get to know the employees -- and that can be an asset when it comes to getting the scoop on sales.
"If you see the same people all the time, ask them about deals," she recommends. "Or if you go into a store and there's no sale, ask them when the next promotion is coming up. If they are in the know, they'll tell you. If not, ask the manager."
5. Buy clothing off-season
An easy way to avoid paying full-price on clothing items is to wait until things go on sale near the end of the season. "I always try to think in advance: What am I going to need next spring or next fall," says De Leon-Gan. "So even though it's spring/summer right now, I am looking for winter deals. That's when you scoop up deals."
She says you can usually count on things being marked down a couple of months after they've been picked over on the full-price rack. "So the things that are new in August, are usually on sale by October."
6. Visit fashion outlets and discount stores
Trolling the racks at fashion outlets and stores that sell brand name clothing at discount prices are obvious tactics for bargain seekers looking to score clothing deals.
"I bought a leather jacket once that had been around $600 -- but I got it for $100!" De Leon-Gan says of one of her best discount finds. She says the jacket had a tiny imperfection, which also helped knock the price down. In fact, she says make-up stains and missing buttons are another great way to get the price down. "You'll often get a price reduction."
Admittedly, getting the best price can take a little extra planning, but the natural high that comes with scoring great clothing deals is usually worth it. So look your best (for less!) this season by keeping your computer close, your smart phone handy and your eyes peeled for bargains.
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