Customers searching for cheap, cute clothes have known their best bargains will be online for at least a decade. At first Amazon.com undercut other stores’ prices. Then Walmart expanded its online offerings to include a marketplace. All the while, small online-only stores were created with the simple concept of reselling wholesale purchases from China; now some of those same small stores are selling on Amazon and participating in the Walmart online marketplace. Even so, the largest online retailer is neither Amazon nor Walmart but Alibaba. Obviously, customers should look online for cheap, cute clothes, whether they seek clothes for juniors, women, men, or children.
However, supply chain issues have backed up deliveries across all sectors, including the fashion industry. Customers may have to wait a month—or even 6 months—for an order to arrive. In the fashion world, that’s unfathomable. What’s trendy today can easily be outdated and out of season by the time a delayed shipment arrives.
That’s why customers searching for cheap, cute clothes are taking a second look at brick and mortar stores. Rather than wait for a long delivery, shoppers can walk into a brick and mortar store and walk out in a new, cute outfit. What do customers do to lower the prices of their brick and mortar purchases? Two specific strategies work best for these frugal but fashionable customers.
- Shop at thrift stores
- Stack savings
Thrift stores, and their similar cousins the consignment stores and charity stores, sell gently used clothing for less than it would cost new. While some thrift store items are remarkably low-priced, the consignment industry has been consolidating and solidifying, increasing prices in order to maintain larger chain-like overheads. Customers who like retro, vintage, or repeat trends will do well with some thrift stores but find some of the busier stores simply resell last season’s discards.
Savings stacking is practically a sport to some savvy shoppers. Customers pinpoint their favorite shops and then research sales schedules, clearance schedules, perks for enrolling in the shops’ membership clubs, where and how the shop distributes other coupons, which coupon apps carry those shops’ coupons, and whether discounted gift cards can be found for making purchases at those specific stores. Each store has its own specific rules. Each coupon, in fact, comes with its own small print details. To stack savings, a customer needs to cross-check rules and be aware of how the savings will work together. While most savings stacker groups focus on groceries, a few with a love for cheap, cute clothes will pinpoint a shop for exploration.
For example, a customer who likes the trendy junior clothes at Hot Topic and does research on how to stack their savings can probably save about 33% off regular prices there on new arrivals, and much more on clearance. A Hot Topic savings stacker forum suggests buying Hot Topic gift cards from Ibotta, which at that time was selling Hot Topic gift cards at a 5% discount from the card’s face value. Join the Hot Topic Guest List loyalty program to earn points that lead to rewards; each $1 spent earns 1 point, and 100 points can be redeemed for $5 off. Finally, invest in a coupon app, like VIP Perks, that has a 30% off Hot Topic in-store coupon. It’s an investment, because coupon apps usually cost $5-$60 to join. VIP Perks is sold through CouponFindr.com (and you can use the code “Gazetaflash” to get 10% off their annual membership price) where there are articles on all types of savings topics, including price comparisons for products and services. Once you have the 30% off coupon, use the Hot Topic loyalty program, and pay with the discounted gift card, you can save about 33%.
For cheap, cute clothes at Aeropostale, savings stackers start with a discounted gift card purchased from Sam’s Club for 25% off the face value. Add a VIP Perks coupon for $10 off $50 purchase (20%), and customers save about 40% off regular Aeropostale prices.
Of course, there were two techniques mentioned: thrift store shopping and deal stacking. Why not do both?
Once a customer has checked out a thrift store to make sure it has cheap, cute clothes, they can do the same savings stacking research to learn how to lower the price even further. The VIP Perks coupon app carries coupons for many consignment stores, both local and chain stores, often for $5 off a $25 purchase, which is 20%. Many thrift stores have loyalty programs, too, giving loyal customers dollars off on future purchases, sending coupon texts, and—unique to thrift stores—offering to buy back the clothes once customers no longer want them. In fact, customers who want cheap, cute clothes can save money simply by selling back their clothes once they have outgrown the items or no longer find them suitable. While they are less likely to offer discounted gift cards, savvy savings stackers ask about cash-transaction discounts or use a credit card that gives a decent percentage of cash back.
While waiting for supply chain bottlenecks to uncork and delivery times to improve, customers who traditionally turned to online marketplaces for cheap, cute clothes should take a second look at brick and mortar stores. By shopping at thrift stores and practicing diligent savings stacking, customers will find plenty of cheap, cute clothes suitable for juniors, women, children, and men.