How To Be A Smart Shopper

7 January 2020

On the theme of New Year (Decade), New Me. 2020 me is refusing to buy anything at full price. There are so many ways you can buy items you want at less than the full recommended retail price, and after buying items at the full price for the majority of 23 years, I’ve decided enough is enough.

 Throughout the last year, I have learnt so many tips and tricks that have saved me money but without the compromise of having to say no to an item that I love, so here are my top six.


  • Pre loved
I was recently at the Reformation store in Notting Hill, London (yes for reformation having a physical store) and came across Timpany’s who were hosting a pop up concession in the store for the weekend. Timpany’s are the queens of pre-loved designer goodies, with stores in Berkshire and Chelsea, they source high quality designer goods from owners and sell them at a discounted rate, giving owners back a fair share of the sales. And with a banging Instagram page, and WhatsApp group telling you when all the new pre-loved items are available to buy, Timpany’s is my go to for eyeing up any designer goodies I want. They are decently priced and contribute to the idea of the ‘sharing economy’ saving the planet as we go along. Win for all. 

Top spot: I witnessed someone buy a Large Envelope Bag from YSL for a third of its recommended retail price.

Another great shout is going to blogger sales. In London, they’re quite regular and having been on the buying and selling side and they’re great way to get a bargain on some clothes form your favourite influencers and have a chat (usually over a cocktail).
  • Getting money back from your purchase
If you read my Black Friday article you would’ve heard me bang on about cashback sites, with Top Cashback and Quidco leading the way for the best sites that will give you money back (i.e. their commission of a certain percentage) when you follow their link to cement a purchase online. This way, because you get money back from purchases, you are never really paying full price for an item. 

The only downside of these sites is that they can take absolutely ages to process the money and you can be left for months before having seen the cash but trust me, it’s worth it when you see how much has built up due to all your online spending. Top tip, set a reminder to make sure you use a cashback site every time you buy online – it can be super easy to be on autopilot and forget to go through the link that the cashback website provides.
  • Price Tracking
Whilst there are certain times it is best to buy a product, no-one has time to continuously check the Internet and walk around stores looking for when the price goes down to cement a purchase. Which is why I’ve turned to price trackers. Because who doesn’t want a little automated bot that remembers an item you really want to buy and tracks the price movements, essentially telling you when is the best (cheapest) time to buy it. 

  • Secret sales
I was a bit sceptical before actually realising how good secret sales are. I’ve always thought ‘how secret can they really be?’ ‘what’s the point, they’re just retailers getting rid of all their dodgy stock that no one wants’. You sign up to a site and get alerted to when there is a sale upcoming or a current sale. What they don’t tell you is that some secret sales are rewarded for the most valuable customers i.e. the ones that spend a lot of dollar. Basically the motto is when you sign up to one of these sites, keep your notifications on so you don’t miss out.
  • The beauty of TK Maxx
I used to be a beauty snob and only bought my products from places such as Selfridges, Harrods and Sephora. But TK Maxx is great for beauty bits, with the stores tag line offering up to ‘60% off the Recommended Retail Price’, the beauty section within TK Maxx is the place to head to.

I’ve spotted brands such as Charlotte Tilbury and Morphe in my local TK Maxx as well as some brands that I could only buy in America (avoiding the extortionate customs charges I would face if I ordered them online). Century 21 is a great equivalent if you're US based.

  • Big Sister Swap
I came across Big Sister Swap when they reached out to me to collaborate on Instagram. I am still in the process of sending my items to them but I LOVE the concept of it. You package up either a kilo gram or two of your unwanted, good quality clothing, send it over to the team at Big Sister Swap and after paying a small sum and answering some questions on your personal style, t

hey send you a parcel of pre-loved clothes suited to your style. If you check out their Instagram, they have a great selection of garms which could be yours.

Happy shopping (at reduced prices)

Outfit details: Coat//Missguided, Top//ASOS, Skirt//Nasty Gal, Boots//Boohoo, Bag//Similar From River Island

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