Shopping for accessories might not be the cheapest activity, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive one. These money saving tips will keep both you and your wallet happy.
Just before the turn of the season, keep an eye out for drastic markdowns from your favorite retailers. Sales tend to start about a month before the next season begins, so be sure to start your search early. These types of sales are often very generous, as companies want to make room for upcoming inventory. Try and stay away from really trendy accessories; by the time you wear them next year, they’ll be out of style. Instead, opt for versatile pieces that can be brought from season to season.
Own Basic Accessories
It’s a smart idea to equip your wardrobe with the absolute basics. These items are accessories that can easily be brought from one season -- or year -- to the next. By owning these standard accessories, you won’t be stuck with a new batch of out-of-style pieces every time a new season starts. Otherwise, you’ll be tempted to toss them, increasing your chances of buying more things
If you’re wondering what types of accessories work well as basics, check out my list of accessories every woman should own.
Buy Used Items
You can save a pretty penny by purchasing used or vintage accessories. If you’ve been eying a specific accessory, look for it on eBay before reaching for your credit card. You’d be surprised at the amount of lightly used or new items that are available on eBay. You can even sort items from the lowest to highest price, allowing you to find the absolute best deal for a product.
To learn more about eBay, visit About.com's eBay page.
Thrift shops are also a great source for used accessories. Anything goes when it comes to vintage, so don’t be surprised if you come across some really unique finds. You might even luck out and score some accessories (and clothing) that are brand new with tags. Just be patient – it’ll be worth the money you save.
Refrain from impulse buys as much as you can, and take some time to compare prices. Simply looking up the name of an accessory on Google might lead you to a different retailer offering the same item at a lower price. Don’t forget to take into consideration taxes and shipping costs, too. The pennies will add up faster than you think.
Search for a Discount Code
When you're set on buying an item, take a few seconds to check the web for a discount code. There’s always the possibility of an active code floating around on the Internet. Search for the name of the website you’re shopping at, followed by “code” or “discount code”. For example, if you’re shopping at Gap.com, search for “Gap.com discount code”. You never really know what you’ll come across, so it’s always worth a shot.
Avoid Impulse Buys
While it’s easier said than done, lessening your number of impulse buys will help you become a smart shopper. This kind of self-control will take some time to develop, but it can be done with patience and practice. Before each and every purchase, stop and think about how often you’re going to use the item. You can consider the item if you’ve been looking to develop your sense of style. Otherwise, imagine it in your wardrobe, along with how many opportunities you will have to use it. The more you use something, the more you’ll get your money’s worth.
Use Facebook and Twitter Wisely
Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter are great sources for keeping up with your favorite stores, brands, and online retailers. Sometimes, exclusive offers are available just for fans (on Facebook) and followers (on Twitter). While you can grab some amazing deals at these sales, only do so under two conditions: you actually need the item, or you’re absolutely positive that you will use it often. This falls under the previous category concerning impulse buys, as it's so easy to browse and shop on the web.
Trade With Friends
We all have things we barely (or never) use, so why not trade them away? Gather those items, tell your girlfriends to do the same, and invite them over for a swapping session. You’ll be helping each other out by doing away with pieces that have just been sitting around. Encourage everyone to be honest and open when it comes to the fairness of trades; open communication is key to keeping this activity fun and exciting. You'll get the same thrill of shopping, without spending a single cent.