How to Get Designer Goods for Less

Runway model wearing designer clothing at a fashion show

If you dream of owning the classic Chanel 2.25 bag or a chic Burberry trench, but your checkbook says otherwise, this post is for you. Shopping for discount designer clothing can be something like detective work. Sure, sale-watching and off-season shopping turns up some amazing deals — but when your heart’s set on a specific piece, you need a broader set of shopping tricks at your disposal.

And — hello, world wide web — many of those ‘tricks’ are pretty easy to organize into a folder of browser bookmarks you can pull up when the shopping bug strikes you. Combine that with alerts that tell you when your piece shows up on the interwebs, and your sure to add some discount designer clothing to your wardrobe.

If I lost you at browser bookmark, don’t worry. Stay with me and it’ll all make sense.

How to Shop Online for Discount Designer Clothing

Shopping from home is a luxury in itself. No bad lighting and recycled air, no disastrous changing room mirrors or long check-out lines. Plus, there’s a slew of sites that offer sweet deals on designer wear, both new and used.

When only new will do, try these online shops for discount designer clothing:

What to know about shopping designer discount shops

These sites carry lots of high-end merch, but common sizes and the best styles sell out fast. That means you should be prepared to check in on the selection regularly.

Also, the garments are mostly overstock and past-season pieces. They may have been out on a retail floor somewhere, and subject to the abuse of the try-on room. Before you make a purchase, double check the return policy in case that discounted designer garment is damaged when it arrives. And then wash it before you wear it.

Online Sample Sale Sites

Another great way to nab designer goods for less? Join a designer sample sale site like Beyond the Rack, Gilt and HauteLook. These sites are able to offer discounted merch because it is available for a limited time only — usually just 48 hours. But the deals are there for the taking at up to 80% off retail prices!

Online Designer Consignment Stores

Another avenue for the savvy shopper is the online consignment store. While there are many of these, a few specialize in designer pieces. And up-and-comer here is The RealReal, which has about 3,200 Chanel bags as of this writing. Other options include:

A Word on eBay

eBay is another fab way to score major brand names at a discount. If you’re lucky, you can find pieces that are NWT, or new with tags. Otherwise, you’re looking at used pieces.

eBay sellers have duped many buyers into fake merch over the years, so shop the eBay authenticated goods only. The prices will be higher than non-authenticated pieces, but your risk is much lower. (A sidebar: the trouble with fake merch is that it will be overpriced for the quality you’ll get. You might as well spend less and get a longer-lasting piece with no logo.)

Bookmark your shopping sites

Bookmarks used to be fairly popular, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about right now. Well, here goes: I like to keep a shopping folder in my browser (Chrome), so I can jump to my fav sale sites right away.

To set up your own discount designer clothing bookmarks folder in Chrome, look for the white bar at the top of the page with the URL in it. On the right side o f that box, you’ll see a star icon. Click on the star to save the site for later, or click More and organize your saved shopping sites into folders. The same concept applies in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. Safari doesn’t use a star, but you’ll find “Bookmarks” on the main menu at the top.

Get sale alerts

Shopstyle sale alerts

You can also set up alerts to notify you when your preferred designer brands go on sale.

  • Shop It To Me asks you to pick brands, sizes, garment types you love, and then sends you an email when those items go on sale.
  • ShopStyle lets you save items you like and sign up for sale alerts at the same time. Say you search for summer dresses and you fall in love with an orange sequin swing dress — it’s perfect for a summer party you have on the calendar. If you click through to the selling website and then return to ShopStyle, the site prompts you to save that cute dress for later. When you do so, you’re also signing up for sale alerts.
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Catherine Brock

Catherine Brock is a writer, editor and marketer who's been sharing wisdom online since 2002. She's been featured on DrLaura.com, Wellness.com and ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis and KCAL9 Los Angeles. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter. Learn more about Catherine.
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