A tale of designer castaways

A tale of designer castaways

Strolling by a resale shop in a nearby town, I spotted a pair of nude patent leather Christian Louboutin heels (you know, the red-soled shoes) displayed in the window and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to inquire about them. Upon further investigation I discovered the shoes were priced at a mere $50, in my size, and appeared barely worn. Stunned by the magnitude of the find (shoes currently sell for $650), I quickly cashed in on my good fortune and escorted the shoes out the door.

Now I am not chronicling this shopping episode to induce shoe envy (well, maybe just a little), but rather to point out that my experience is likely to be a somewhat routine one at resale shops located in wealthy locales.  People living in these areas tend to donate or consign high levels of status brands which in turn breeds fertile grounds for secondhand shoppers. Even with this kind of potential bounty, frequent resale shoppers, or “dealistas,” still say there is an art to hunting down the best finds. Here are a few insider tips for scoring a fabulous deal:

Make shopping your specialty

School yourself on what selling categories each reseller does best. For instance, one consignment store may have a truly signature shoe and accessories selection while a donation store just down the block has a fabulous assortment of contemporary dresses. Understanding the resellers’ best offerings helps focus your hunt.

Haggle until the price is right

Resellers consider a variety of factors when setting an item’s price, such as its brand name, condition, “vogue-ness,” seasonality and quality. Even so, pricing can be out-of-whack. Good news is, in the resale world things aren’t so darn pretentious. You are invited to haggle down wonky prices.

Be a label snob

From Mossimo to Missoni, there are labels of all status available at most resellers. Don’t waste your time/money on labels you could afford in the firsthand world, as their price savings at resale will be minuscule. Get more value by cashing in on the high-end labels’ massive price cuts.

Make friends (and a few enemies)

Beat out other dealistas by making friends with the sales associates at your favorite resale stores. Ask them if they would kindly put aside the newest, most special items just for your review.

Seek the unexpected

Donation stores such as Goodwill are great places for vintage home decor and hidden gems. When you browse a donation store, look for possible shopping scores in all its nooks and crannies.

Don’t hem and haw

If you see something you like, don’t hem and haw, buy it, otherwise another dealista will. In the resale world, inventory moves lightning fast. Get with the program or you will be left behind.

Don’t cheap out

Many items for resale are affordable, if not cheap, but price alone isn’t a reason to buy. A good deal isn’t a good value unless what you buy makes you feel/look like a million bucks.

Get a “NWT” steal

Dealistas love their “new with tags” (NWT) finds. There is little that feels better than getting a brand-new piece at a cut-rate resale price (and having the evidence to prove your massive savings).

When I was a girl, my mother liked to say, “Somebody’s trash is another’s treasure.” Years later, I find her mantra still holds true, especially when it comes to a pair of next-to-new nude patent leather Christian Louboutin heels.

Originally featured in Pacific Sun

Read More

Looking nifty under $50: week 4

Looking nifty under $50: week 4

Each week get a nifty head-to-toe maternity look for under $50. FD&D finds you cheap chic and sales items to help you pull off a pregtastic look, inexpensively.
dressearrings
clutchshoes


NiftyunderFiftyweek4

Read More

Looking nifty under $50: week 3

Looking nifty under $50: week 3

Each week get a nifty head-to-toe maternity look for under $50. FD&D finds you cheap chic and sales items to help you pull off a pregtastic look, inexpensively.

dress scarf shoes

NiftyunderFiftyweek3

Read More