Beautiful Savings – Guide to Surviving Sample Sales

I’m sure everyone is familiar with this feeling: you’ve been eyeing the most gorgeous pair of Tory Burch heels, with its gorgeous silhouette and sleek style. But alas, your heart skips a beat when you look at the price, as you replace them on the shelf and silently affirm “One day… I’ll save enough to have it.” Well, thanks to the numerous sample sales in New York City’s fashion district, “One day” may be much sooner than you think! The one thing that shopaholics (such as myself!) like better than shopping are bargains! And bargains are always beautiful! Here are some tips on scoring heart-stopping deals with prices that won’t give you a heart attack.

Research, Research, Research!

The wealth of information available on the internet is amazing! Websites such as Topbutton and DailyCandy post information on sample sales in various cities.

Got some extra time during the day? Prominent shopping areas, such as New York City’s garment district may have people advertising sample sales for specific showrooms. Take a stroll in these areas and be on the lookout for someone handing out fliers to such sales. Once you’re at the sale, place yourself on their contact list so you can be notified of future sales. Some showrooms may not be so public about their sales. Well-known designers, such as Prada, have sales twice a year, so if you know someone who’s in the loop and has info to a certain showroom, try calling calling in favors and ask when the next sample sale will occur.

Go with a Plan!

Plan on arriving 30 minutes to 1 hour before the sale, particularly for sought-after brands. Anticipate long lines for entry, try-ons, and purchases. Be patient! Usually the first day of a sample sale has the best selection due to the highest number of inventory. If day one is a no-go on your schedule, call ahead of time and ask if additional items will be put out or prices cut later in the week.

Always have cash on hand- some sales may not accept credit cards or personal checks. On the plus side, some sales will may fore-go tax if you pay in cash.

Wear leggings and a tank top or sports bra under your clothes. This allows you to easily try clothes on, especially if private dressing rooms are unavailable.

Never wear a brand to its own sale. It could get lost amongst the other merchandise.

Shopping buddies are great to have- they give their honest opinions on what does and doesn’t look flattering.

Survey the land.

If the atmosphere is relaxed, you can take your time and peruse the aisles and racks so you can decide what to buy. But in the event that chaos is present, it’s always effective to grab and go! Select items in your size range that look appealing to try on, avoiding anything that’s stained, torn, or needs a lot of tailoring. Having a friend sample sale shop also helps, especially when it comes to the long try-on and check-out lines.

Mind your manners.

Sample sales can get overcrowded, and the more bodies under one roof, the more colorful the personalities. While there are those that can get aggressive, and sometime downright rude, I personally feel no item is worth fighting over. If someone is blocking a rack or dominating a mirror, politely ask her to move for just a second. Remember, when it comes down to it, it’s just stuff; there’s more to life than having everything.

Shop Smart

Look for unique pieces that you can’t normally get from the local department stores. The best deals at sample sales are bags, dresses, outerwear, and shoes. Prices on these items are usually below wholesale price. Always try to ask for a better price, especially if you are buying a lot of items. If you are buying $400 worth of merchandise, see if you can get it for $350. The people at the register know that people are here for a deal, and they want to get out as much inventory as they can.

There are more than just sample sales.

Shopping, samples, and cocktails- need I say more? Companies such as Shecky’s Media and Style Fixx hold events at popular venues that are more like happy hour with girlfriends than shopping. These events have local designers and beauty companies that showcase their newest products, all at 30-75% off retail. They also offer “goodie bags” filled with product samples for you to try. Sign up for the next Shecky’s event here.

The internet’s popularity has also allowed for online sample sales that offer discount for designer items. Sites such as RueLala and Ideeli require membership to shop online.


Shop In Style: Your Online Shopping Guide

Computers have come a long way since the early days. Now, with secure methods to transact business, online shopping has become a popular trend among today’s consumers. Online shopping is a great way to shop, as you can do it in the comfort of your own home without having to venture out to the mall. It’s convenient, you can find novelty items that wouldn’t be available in a store, and you can have items delivered right to your door. With so many perks, it’s no wonder online shopping is the fashionable way to shop. However, there are some important concepts to keep in mind before whipping out your credit card.

Tip #1: Play It Safe
The most important tip to remember when online shopping is to always keep safety in mind. If a website requires you to put in any of your personal passwords, asks for personal information that wouldn’t be needed for a sale, or just seems suspicious, steer clear! Some websites are recognized safe zones, while others have a more seedy reputation. Check the website for the Better Business Bureau to find information and reviews about the website you have selected. Remember, never give out your passwords or other sensitive information!

Tip #2: Check Policies
Another important tip is to check the policies of the website at which you are shopping. Look for answers to questions about the cost of shipping, return policies, samples, and anything else on your mind. Check closely for any hidden clauses to avoid hassle later if you don’t like an item or it doesn’t match what you had in mind. Be aware of any extra fees the company may charge for an online transaction.

Tip #3: Verify, verify
Double check the pricing on an item before you order it. Check your totals on the website and then check your credit card history or other payment history to verify the purchase price. When you receive the article, verify that it is the correct item and that it works correctly. Doing this now can help you avoid problems later.

Tip #4: Leave A Review
If you received good service and a good product, consider leaving a favorable review for the company. Similarly, if you had any problems ordering from the company, if the service was shoddy, or if the item you ordered was not correct, it’s important to leave a poor review so other customers will know what to expect. Doing this is a thoughtful way to give back to the online shopping community, and hopefully others will do the same for you!

A Guide to Purchasing Prescription Eyeglasses

Deciding which pair of prescription eyeglasses is right for you is not rocket science, but there are a few things to consider that will make this decision easier. Some of the most important things to factor in are your own personal taste, your features and appearance, and the lifestyle you maintain. Here are a few tips to guide you:

Consider your lens solution before buying a frame. Obviously this is something you must consider and cannot control. Some frames may not be a match for the lenses you need. For example, progressive lenses do not go with today’s smaller stylish frames. If you have a high prescription, it is best to choose a smaller symmetrical frame that centers on your face.

After you have become aware of the lens solution you need, you can start looking at eyeglass frames. When choosing a frame, you need to take into consideration your facial shape and coloring. Your best friend or favorite actor may wear a style you love, but remember that every shape is not perfect for everyone. What may be a perfect match for George Clooney or Jennifer Aniston might look terrible on you. Frame shapes are determined by face shape.

As a general rule, you can remember not to choose a frame that is close to the shape of your face. For example, if you have a round face shape, it is important not to wear a frame that is also round.

If you need help in this area, do not hesitate to ask the advice of your optician or eyeglass salesperson. They are knowledgeable in this area and would be happy to assist. This will help you achieve the most flattering look with your new eyeglasses.

When choosing a place to purchase eyeglasses, it is best to find a store that you trust and have heard good things about. If you do some research you can find the best deals while still purchasing quality lenses. Some stores offer two for one deals often, so doing a little research beforehand can be very worth your while.

Some people find god deals on glasses online. While shopping on the Web can provide you with some great deals and unique styles, it is important to be careful and only shop on reputable sites. It is hard to tell the quality of glasses online.

There are few accessories that will be seen and noticed as much as the eyeglasses you choose. This is why it is important to make your selection carefully. You want your glasses to last as long as possible, within reason, of course. If you have had the same glasses for twenty years, it is probably time for an upgrade.

A suitable pair of eyeglass frames can actually add to your personal appearance and make you appear more fashionable. They can distinguish your character and give you a professional appearance. It has been said that the eyes are the “window of the heart” so use your eyeglasses to enhance your beauty and not dull it.

Christmas Shopping the Easy Way – How to Save Time, Money & Your Sanity This Christmas!

Christmas is here again & soon frantic shopping starts. So often because we’re all so busy these days shopping for gifts gets left to the last moment & then it becomes a headache rather than something pleasurable.

This year things are tough for a lot of people & many families will be looking for any way they can to save a bit of money on Christmas Gifts & toys for the kids.

Buying online is growing in popularity each year as the shopping experience becomes more secure, the choices increase & delivery is highly efficient.

The phenomena of online shopping has led to fierce competition amongst retailers & that’s where the canny shopper can capitalise this Christmas. It’s a double whammy for shoppers because not only do you get the benefit of being able to comparison price shop without even leaving the house, you also get lots of really good ideas for gifts while you’re at it.

It also saves you lots of time as you don’t need to spend time trying to find parking at the mall, going from shop to shop looking for inspiration & then getting your parcels back to the car & into the house.

Honestly, last year when I did some of my Christmas shopping online for the first time I could have kicked myself for not doing all of it & sooner. After having a really stressful experience at the shops as a result of parking dramas, crowds & snappy over busy staff in the week leading up to Christmas day – the very next day gifts I’d purchased online early that week arrived. A knock at the door & they were inside ready to wrap.

This year I got started early as money isn’t what it was last year in our household. I was looking for the best prices & also interesting gifts for the kids & close friends & relatives. I do struggle each year to think of things to buy grownups, even my husband. Most people these days have what they need & simply buy what they want when they want it, so it’s hard to think of useful gifts that won’t be stuck in the drawer & forgotten.

I went from no inspiration to having too much choice. My brother is a mad golfer & last year I went to the golf shop but had no idea what most of the things were or if he needed or wanted them. This year I found a brilliant golf site & it had a Top 10 Golfing Wish List with a description of the items. Perfect. I then went to Amazon to price check, found what I wanted at a better price & added it to my list, so that all my purchases could be delivered together to take advantage of cheaper shipping prices.

For my nephews, nieces & grandchildren I found a vast range of Christmas toys at great prices this year. Bakugan is the craze right now along with Ben 10 for boys, plus PSP games for the older ones. The little girls all still love Barbie & this year I purchased 2 sets of Barbie Fashion Fever styling heads which can be made over with makeup & hairstyles. Then there were the little Fur Real friends realistic animals that the seem to be popular as well, & the nursery animals are well priced.

Maybe I sound like a scrooge, but we’ve had to tighten our belts this year & if I can save money then I can & do, but that’s not the only reason I’ve loved shopping this way. I can get online at any hour of the day or night, when it suits me & that works really well for me.

I like to get up early & run, come home & shower before anybody else is out of bed. Early morning is a great time for me to get online while I drink my cup of tea. I’ve done all my Christmas shopping that way this year & it’s been simple. Even though it’s often taken awhile, that’s usually because I’m enjoying myself & lose track of time.

I don’t think I can ever remember actually enjoying myself Christmas shopping. When the kids were little it was something I dreaded.

I can still recall that sinking feeling of looking for a cabbage patch doll (yes, back in the olden days). Those dolls were massive that year & my girls wanted one each, but they were sold out everywhere when I went to buy them. I felt guilty because I’d left it until too close to Christmas Day to go & get them, not realising they were selling out. The girls were really disappointed on Christmas day & weren’t consoled by the idea that they’d be getting one sometime in January, somehow it wasn’t quite the same when they finally arrived.

So this year if you haven’t already, have a think about doing a bit of Christmas Gifts searching & shopping on the internet. You’ll find the prices are often as good if not better than the shops, the delivery times are quick & the shipping costs have come right down due to competition. If you like me get stuck for ideas, then take a stroll around Amazon & you’ll be amazed (my husband calls it Amazazon) by the amount of choices of gifts & price ranges.

Of course there are plenty of other great Christmas Gifts Guide sites where the short listing of Top 10 Toys & Gifts has been done for you including the price shopping but I’ve got comfortable with Amazon so that’s mostly where I do my buying in the end. The internet has changed our lives enormously in a relatively short space of time & big online stores like Amazon have worked hard to make shopping online a secure & easy experience.

This year take a look at online Christmas Shopping. You have hours of time to gain, money to save & nothing to lose.