How to save money by clothes shopping online

Last year research revealed that women in the UK spent on average £74 a month on clothes shopping and own around 95 garments in their wardrobe. The signs don’t appear to be slowing either as it was found in a recent survey that the UK spend a staggering £400 more on clothes shopping than the French who are notoriously known for being fashion conscious.

So, where are we going wrong? 

With ASOS Instant being introduced at the end of last year, it is safe to say that retailers are recognising a certain trend in online shoppers. The prospect of bargain hunting and ‘shopping around’ seems to be outweighed by our impulse to purchase immediately. Retailers are also making use out of our urge to spend by making it easier and quicker to check out, leaving limited time to contemplate your buys.

So, to make your pennies go the extra mile here are some clever tactics for online shopping that will guarantee you more for your money.

Ebay Stores 

It is estimated that 25 million people use eBay to sell and 81% of the items listed are new. eBay is a great way to make a clothes purchase without feeling unnecessary guilt. In fact, there is a real sense of reward when you have knocked someone off the highest bid and when the item ends you are left with a new belonging. But, exploring the eBay stores is another story. With the likes of Very, Debenhams, Office, Laura Ashley and Boden using eBay to sell their end of line stock, you can bank on the fact your purchase will be genuine and authentic as it sent straight from the retailer, but you can look to save 80% off the original retail price. Items are listed at a set price as opposed to being auctioned which means you’re guaranteed the item but at a much lower cost than visiting the online store.

Charity Shops

Online charity shops are as cheap as visiting the store, however, they are not often considered as an option when online clothes shopping. Offering brands such as Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Reiss and Whistles Oxfam are definitely one of the best online charity shops to visit. Their online shop is the biggest in the UK, stocking 130,000 unique items from vintage to designer wear. Charities such as the ones listed below sell their clothes via eBay stores which also feature high end brands:

Cancer Research UK Shop
Trinity Hospice Charity Shop
St Gemmas Hospice Shop
PDSA Charity Shop
All Aboard

Often celebrities will donate their clothes to charity shops and it pays to know where these charity shops are. Fashion for Change are an online boutique who buy and donate luxury clothes for charity. They have an area on their website dedicated to celebrities such as Emma Thompson and Lorraine Kelly who have given up their belongings for charity.

Sample Sales

Depending on how big your pockets are, most of us wouldn’t just walk into Burberry and pick up one of their signature macks and a scarf to go. Instead, buying designer wear needs to be carefully planned. Think sample sales… Slashing prices with up to 80% off, sample sales are worth the visit and they start with just joining the mailing list. The most popular websites who host samples sales feature below:

The Sample Sale Guide
LDN Fashion
The Music Room
Chicmi
Shopping Spy

Subscribe 

Make sure to sign up to your favourite store’s newsletters and subscriptions so that you can be first to hear when they start their sale. That way when you have your eye on that special something, you can find out when the price has been reduced and buy it then at a discounted rate. Make sure your will power is up to the challenge as you’ll receive plenty of emails with tempting offers but only buy what you really think you need. I can vouch that it is well worth the spam in the long run.

Price Match

If you have fallen head over heels for an item but you can’t justify the price tag then you should use price comparison websites such as Kelkoo, Price Runner and Style Lounge. These sites are designed to provide you with more affordable alternatives by comparing a variety of brands from major and local retailers. By making more informed shopping decisions you’ll never want to buy an item at full price again.

Price Alerts

Buying online makes shopping accessible from the comfort of your home, so it is easy to lose your head when you’re having an evening in browsing your favourite online shops. If you save your shopping sprees for certain times of the month, it could make your money go further. For instance, if you download apps such as Mallzee, Grabble and Lyst you will be notified when your favourite pieces of clothing have dropped in price.

Help Chats

If the retailer you’re shopping from has an option to start a live web chat then my advice would be to do so. This way you can talk to a member of staff about any promotions on the website that you may have missed whilst browsing and you can enquire about when any of their full priced items are going to be discounted so that you can be one of the first to know. Additionally, if you’re having any trouble with your discount code, the live chat will enable you to raise the issue so that you can solve the problem without leaving your basket full.

Swapping

If you really want to explore more adventurous ways of online shopping then you should look into clothes swapping. Clothes swapping will enable you to trade the clothes that have been sat in your wardrobe untouched for months, for clothes you think you will get more wear out of. Websites worth the visit are Vinted, Swishing and Swap Style.

Which online shopping tactics are you going to try next and what are your personal favourites?

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Isabella Wells
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Isabella Wells

Loving looking at the charity shop stores on Ebay – had no idea! Already have my eye on some things….and will def now be using price alerts. Clever stuff.

Colette Hayward
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Colette Hayward

Lots of excellent advice on how to make ‘considered choices’ rather than impulse buys. Looking forward to future blogs!