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I love the finer things in life and have zero issues with dropping my coins to get what I want.
But I also love to save money, especially in this era of mass fluctuation that we’re currently in. I view it as irresponsible to not get the best deal that I possible can whenever I’m spending my cash.
I’m a HUGE propionate of buying used and I do that all the time through sites like Poshmark and Fashionsphile. But for this blog, we are going to narrow in on how to save when buying new. Saving while buying new items is a lot harder to figure out–espically if you’re shopping for luxury items. But if you time things right, you can get great deals and even reseller and make a bit of extra cash if you want.
So how do I go about saving upwards of 25-30% when I’m shopping for new luxury items? I will share exactly how I saved almost 25% on a new pair of Christan Louboutin heels and Saint Laurent bag. But first, let’s cover some savvy shopper’s basics.
My Good Friend Rakunten
I talk about this company so much, but that’s because I truly use them all the time when I’m shopping. Especially when I’m making larger purchases.
Rakuten is one of the largest online rebate sites that pretty much automates the whole rebate process for you. Simply shop with Rakuten and they take care of the rest. With an app and browser extension that can tell you which stores are offering rebates plus find coupons for you, they are really easy and convenient to use.
Rakuten has partnered with a huge selection of stores, including Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Net-A-Porter and Sak’s. Cash back at these stores generally fluctuate between 2-4% on every purchase. However, cash back can be as high as 10-15% if you shop at the right times. Which leads me to my next point…
Plan Shopping Trips Ahead of Time
There is hardly a time when planning, especially for bigger purchase, will lead you astray. I love the top label fashion houses as much as any beauty influencer, but Louis Vuitton is not cheap.
Planning and saving for major purchases before hand takes a lot of strain off your monthly budget. But it also prepares you to be ready for major sales department stores have through out the year.
There are about 5 times a year that I expect department stores and some luxury brands to have steep sales. New Years, Lunar New Years/ Presidents Day/Valentines Day, Memorial Day/Spring clear out, Labour Day/ Fall clear out and Black Friday.
Typical, these stores will have discounts as high as 60% off on some wonderful stock as they try to clear things out for next seasons. Planning to have cash on hand around these dates will allow you to take advantage of some of these great deals.
And wonderfully enough, around these dates is when Rakuten also decides to up the cash back at many of the sites.
Not good with budgeting? Don’t worry, I have a neat little budgeting spread sheet that makes saving a breeze. Download it here.
Store Loyalty Programs
Most stores now a days have some sort of loyalty program to enroll in. I have a love-hate relationship with them. I don’t like that they are used to track your information and the onslaught of emails they send (I’m the type of person that likes to be left alone a lot of the time).
But, they often do have great benefits built in. Programs such as the Loyallist with Bloomingdales, is free to sign up for and allows it’s members to get exclusive accesses to sales, as well as earn points that can be turned into store credit.
Many stores also offer credit cards that extend the benefits of their loyalty programs, like Neiman Marcus’s InCircle. While these programs can help you get a significant percentage off, I do want to caution against the frivolous use of credit. It ani’t free money, and store credit cards usually have a high interest rate attached to them. If you can’t afford to pay off your balance within one monthly cycle, I can’t personally recommend that you sign up for a loyalty program that requires a credit card for membership.
But all other memberships that are free can give you great value and are worth using if you’re trying to save a bit.
This one is so easy, but I feel is often over looked. Discount stores, such as the TJMaxx brand, Neiman Marcus’s Last Call, Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off 5th often carry a lot of luxury brand for way discounted prices. These stores typically don’t have sales because they are already heavily marked down. However, most of these stores do offer cash back on their online sites through Rakuten. You generally get anywhere from 2-6% cash back on top of the huge savings you’re already finding.
I bought in season Gucci eyeglass frames from Nordstrom Rack for 72% off retail price last year. Now I just can’t ever imagine paying full price for luxury eyewear ever again. And these stores carry a whole range of discounted luxury items from ready to wear, make up, accessories and bags.
In stores, things can be a bit chaotic and hard to look for. Online is way easier in my opinion, plus you get to get free cash back with Rakuten that way too.
Raise Your Savings With Gift Cards
Raise is an online gift card reseller site that can help boost the amount you save by a few percentage points. Raise sells unwanted gift cards at a price discounted from their original value. Raise certifies that all the gift cards actually work, so in a sense, you are getting some free money to play with when you use them.
Right now, I can buy a $150 value gift card for Saks Fifth Avenue for $144. That’s about 3.5% off. Add on top of that that first time users can get an extra 10% off using code FIRST, and another $5 off when they sign up through this link here. Those discounts combined will get you about $25 of free money to use on a $150 gift card.
Even better, Raise is also partnered with Rakuten and you can earn an addition 1-6% cash back on your purchase from Raise.
How I Saved Nearly 25% On Luxury
So how did I apply all this knowledge to save nearly 25% on a new pair of Louboutins and a YSL bag?
First, I planned on taking advantage of New Years Day specials. These are events you can almost certainly count on. So I started saving for some general items that I wanted back in November.
Once I was ready to shop, I hopped on to Rakuten. I knew that a lot of the stores would be doing double cash back because it was New Years and I wanted to take advantage of that.
I specifically looked at stores that were having sales. I was able to get two new pairs of Valentino shoes for 40% of directly from their site. However the Louboutin and YSL bag I wanted were not on sale. Rakuten did inform me however that Net-A-Porter had a 10% coupon code that I code use at check out plus they were offering 15% cash back.
I put the items in my cart, had Rakuten apply the 10% coupon code for me and checked out. After that, Rakuten automatically added the 15% cash back Net-A-Porter was offering that day to my account.
It’s really that simple to save. I did use some points when purchasing my YSL Lou Lou bag, so the saving there were a bit higher. But over all, I save $154 on my new shoes (22%) and $300 on my new bag (24%). Those saving are significant and on their own can go straight into my savings or another lux purchase.
These products are very expensive and I’m not trying to pay anymore than what I have too for them. But these savvy shopper’s tips can pretty much be applied to any shopping trip you do. I use Rakuten and Raise all the time for home projects or even just quick trips to Target. If you don’t have Rakuten already, I HIGLY suggest signing up through this link here as you’ll receive a free $20 cash back with your first purchase.
Is there a luxury item you currently have your eye on? Tell me how you plan to save some coin on your next shopping trip!