Monday, January 16, 2017

Tips for Shopping Designer Brands at Amazon

Over the years, I've become a very savvy bargain online shopper. Remember Carrie Bradshaw's mantra that "shopping is my cardio"? Well, online shopping is something of a sport to me, too... only I don't get to burn calories doing it.

Amazon is one of the best places to find deals on designer brands. Take today's dress, for example:

Originally priced at $218, I found this Eva Franco dress on sale at Amazon for just $38. And the dress, in case you can't tell from the photo, is absolutely beautiful. In fact, it could probably serve as someone's wedding dress if they wanted to keep things low-key. The dress is a gorgeous champagne color with a subtle silver pattern, and the overall silhouette is extremely flattering. It may be a little too dressy for work, but dressing up makes me feel so happy, so... why not?

Outfit Details:

Dress: Eva Franco Zander High Low Fit and Flare Dress

Shoes: Kate Spade New York Isa Ankle Strap Dress Sandals

The dress is still available at Amazon and a few other retailers (Zappos, Lord & Taylor, and Dillard's), though not for the low price I paid. It's also available in silver on Read my tips below for bargain hunting on Amazon.

A Fashionista's Tips for Shopping Designer Brands at Amazon

1. Start an Amazon Wishlist 

The easiest way to keep track of items you want on Amazon is to organize them in a Wishlist. If the item on your list has this notice -- Ships from and sold by -- then your Wishlist will actually note if the price has dropped since you added it! It will also tell you how many items are left in your size, creating a sense of urgency if there are only one or two left.

2. Use the App to Regularly Check on Items You Want

It's important to keep a close eye on the items in your Wishlist. Prices can change daily, and will fluctuate up or down depending on demand. I've seen items at 75% off jump back up to full price because there is only one left in stock. The Amazon app makes it really easy to peruse your Wishlist to see if those items you want have been reduced to a price you're comfortable paying. And remember: never pay full-price.

3. Be Willing to Take a Risk

Amazon will NOT price match on items like dresses and shoes, so once you pay for an item, you are paying the advertised price -- even if the item's price drops even further. Sometimes I feel like I am a stock broker, watching a dress like it's a stock on NASDAQ, waiting to see if the price will go up or down, and if it's time to buy or continue waiting. It's actually kind of fun.

4. Don't Turn Your Back Too Soon

I've definitely been in situations where I bought too early, and weeks or even days later saw the price drop again. It's harder for me to keep track of these items, since once you buy an item off your Wishlist, it's removed, but if you paid a lot or are having buyer's remorse, just add it again or add it to your favorites. It can't hurt to keep watching the price.

In cases where a dress or pair of shoes I've bought saw another huge price drop, I will return the item if (a) I have not yet worn it, and (b) I can save more than $50.

All I do is buy the item at the reduced price and return the previously purchased item. Yes, it's an extra hassle, but if I'm saving money, it's worth it. If you don't get free return shipping on your item, if you contact customer service and explain the situation, they will usually gift you with the free return shipping label.

5. Keep an Eye Out for Your Friends

Sometimes I may come across an item I love, but my particular size is still full-price, while another size is crazy cheap. (It happens all the time on Amazon.) If the dress is one I think a friend will like, I will send her the link. I'm happy to do it for anyone who is willing to tell me their dress or shoe size.

Shopping online is an escape for me. I work really hard, so when I'm home just sitting in front of the television, I'll often be browsing my favorite sites to see if there is a new deal to be found. Aside from my running, shopping is definitely my favorite sport.