Hi all! Welcome to our very first guest poster - January Sublime (isn't that a cool name?) They wrote a delightful article on bargain hunting - something we are rather fond of! Hope you enjoy! xx
You might be thinking "Rules? There are no rules, this is no sport!" Well, we're here to set you straight. Bargain hunting is a defined art - the clues in the name. A person does not merely drift hopelessly about and stumble upon plentiful bargains, oh no, they must acquire the skills that enable them to pick up on those underpriced garments, or spot a deal from a distance.
We at JanuarySublime like to believe that we are a pair of pro bargain hunters. Since we were young, we've been trawling charity shops, and searching out market stalls for things that make us go "ooh", rather than "ahhh" at the price tag.
Here are a few tricks of the trade that we've noticed along the way...
1. A bargain hunter knows his/her budget.
- This is a particularly important rule. When you spot an attractive item, you must be able to calculate the maximum that you are willing to spend in an instant, and this is your limit. None of this "Well, I saved money by walking into town today so I deserve to spend a little extra now" or "I skipped lunch so technically this is just my sandwich money that I'm using to buy yet another old school cardi". If you look at a garment and decide it's worth £3.72 then trust your judgement (unless you check the label and it happens to be designer, in which case a bit of recalculation is needed).
- Even the most skilled of bargain hunters can be caught out by this one. Whether it's "20% off" or "2 for 1", those reduced red labels always catch our eye, with a convincing con that the item is a bargain. Don't fall for the trap! The item may suddenly seem cheap and appealing but would you really pay a tenner for this item if you saw it in Primark? Is 20% off actually significant? A bargain hunter always questions and never allows themselves to be dis-alluded.
A bargain hunter must be able to use a little imagination here and there. Something that looks like an ordinary old jumper to one person, might be a DIY project waiting to happen for another! This is especially the case for charity shopping, as "one man's trash is another man's treasure" - to quote Sex and the City. Don't say no before you give it a go.
For example, I recently visited the British Red Cross and saw this gold cardi. At first it didn't appeal to me at all since it looked slightly tacky and old, but I decided to give it a chance and when I tried it on I fell in love with it! Now it's one of my favourites, I even added a little vintage badge for good measure! The best part is, it only cost me £3.50 and it was originally from Wallis so the quality is great!
4. The possibilities are endless...
Bargains come in all shapes and sizes, but more importantly, they can be found all over the place! Of course, some places are more obvious - your basic discount clothing stores. But the best bargains are high in quality, low in price, which requires some foraging - hence bargain "hunting".
This is why charity shops and vintage stores are good searching spots.
However, don't limit yourself to the high street. One of the best bargain-hunting tools around is the internet! Thousands of online clothing stores, vintage boutiques, home-made crafts, and last but not least - EBAY!
This site comes with it's own set of tricks:
a) Keep your search open - Rather than searching "Black dress, size 10, Topshop", try leaving it as "Dress 10" as you'll come across hundreds of items and may discover something better.
b) Try ordering items by "Ending Soonest". This way you see the price the items are finishing on, and snap up those that are at their cheapest! Often some real gems slip through the radar of most people, especially at certain times of day, so keep your eyes pealed!
c) Put a price cap on it! - If you're not willing to spend over a certain amount, set your maximum price for the search, and you will only be shown what's in your budget. I usually set it as around £5 max. and always find something I like ending soon for mere pennies!
Check out some of these bargains I've nabbed on Ebay.
5. Treat yourself once in a while.
Bargain hunting is a great way to cut back on clothing expenses but keep up to fashion. It just requires a little more efford, that's all!
But don't forget that sometimes it's worth investing in something you really love, whether it be a designer piece, or some good quality jewels. Ask yourself how often you'll wear the item, or if there's a cheaper alternative, if not then treat yourself!
Check out our posts on Bargain Hunting:
Thanks for reading!
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For the Love of Vintage
Lara & Tura xx