How to Never Pay Full Price for Fashion


With a shopping habit like mine, it’s a very good thing that I’ve learned to very rarely pay full price for my purchases.

And by purchases, I’m talking brand new, current season fashion.

Not needing to pay full price for current season fashion is a relatively new phenomenon too.


A few years ago, there were stocktake sales in June and December and the odd end of season sale. That was about it.

How the retail landscape has changed in the last five years or so.

Nowadays, there is a sale every other week to the extent that your inbox and senses can feel overwhelmed.

Despite the volume of notifications I receive, I’ve found that it’s actually well worth paying attention to these emails. By clicking through and having a look online, I do a little reconnaissance before I head in store. I have time to have a quick look in my wardrobe and to think about what I might need or want.  I also tend to think about what I need ahead of time and before the sales start – whether for the upcoming season, specific occasions or a general wardrobe update – so when sale time comes, I’m good to go and able to save the big bucks.

So how do I save cash and only buy on sale? I’m glad you asked …

1. Join the loyalty programme – this is the best way to be notified of sales as soon as they start. I reckon it’s particularly worth making the most of start of the season promotions as well i.e. storewide sales on new season stock, as you will get the full season’s wear out of them. This applies particularly to shoes, such as boots in Autumn/Winter.

2. Spend and Save – if you shop regularly at Country Road or Trenery, it is easy to never pay full price. Their Spend and Save promotions take place several times each season and in between there are other fantastic promotions without minimum spends, such as 25% off all shoes and accessories.

Some other retailers, such as Sportscraft and Witchery have introduced similar promotions and smaller, independent labels such as Bohemian Traders have also followed suit. If you love a label, make regular purchases from there and can hold off in between promotions, a Spend and Save can save you heaps.

3. Expect regular sales and prepare accordingly – Some stores, such as Gorman, Marcs and Mimco, have storewide sales but much less frequently than many other retailers.

If it’s been a while between sales at your favourite store, head in store and try on a few things. That way, when the sale starts – with little notice and often for only 24 hours – you can snap up what you want (in your size) online as soon as the sale starts.

4. Get to know the sales assistants – this can be a challenge when there is high staff turnover but it’s well worth the effort. A friendly chat, asking about what’s coming in and subtlely dropping in to conversation that you are a regular/VIP card holder can increase the chances of being told in advance about an upcoming sale. I’ve had girlfriends being firmly told by sales assistants to perhaps come in tomorrow *wink* instead of completing their purchases then and there. Sure enough, the following day there is 20% off storewide or a Spend and Save has begun.

Sales assistants have even suggested that I bring in recent purchases, return them, re-buy them and get a refund for the difference.

5. Wait for seasonal sales – Patience really pays off. If you know there is a seasonal event coming up, it’s worth keeping an eye out for promotions. Mother’s Day is a great example of a time when you can expect stores to be running promotions in the lead up. In the week before Mother’s Day there was 20% off at Kikki K, Sussan, Seed Heritage and Mimco to name a few.

There are similar promotions around Easter and Father’s Day. This is the perfect time to buy a one off big ticket item such as a coat, bag or boots.

Likewise, by mid November, the Christmas sales and promotions will begin in earnest as all the retailers try to get consumers to flick the Christmas purchasing switch on.

6. Expect centre wide sales – two or three times a year, my local Westfield runs Super Saturday promotions where all the stores in the centre offer a storewide discount or promotion. Sometimes, sales assistants have given me the heads up a couple of days before these days which has been very helpful intel indeed.

On Super Saturdays, I arrive early, go hard and go home. In stores I frequent often, I’ve even called the shop and placed an order over the phone if I can’t get there.

Like your local centre’s Facebook page to stay in the loop.

7. Don’t dismiss the sales rack – with the turnover of stock so high and new drops coming in weekly, there is only so much stock stores can hold at once. The sales racks are always worth at least a cursory look both in store and online. If you’re size or preferred colour is not available in store, chances are you’ll find it online.

8. Check the sale section/outlets when shopping online – I often buy jewellery on sale and find it easiest to find online. I regularly check the sale sections of two of my favourite stores, Mimco and Peter Lang and have scored some serious bargains.

Another favourite of mine is the Trenery outlet which also stocks sale stock from Country Road. I find Trenery to be excellent quality generally speaking and their sale stock is often heavily discounted and still in season. Definitely worth checking out.

9. Google for discount codes – if you are shopping online at international stores, it is well worth spending a couple of minutes googling for current discount codes before you add to cart. I enter the store, the month and the year to find a current code. For example, “boden uk may 2015”. I’ve found is a great place to start for UK brands including Marks and Spencer, Boden and Oasis.

For more tips for how to shop online, check out my Tips for Shopping Online for Clothes post here.

Are you a frugal fashionista?  What’s your sure fire way to never pay full price?