Monday, February 2, 2009

Shopping Secrets

My bargain shopping jackpot with the Manolo Blahnik heels was a rare occurrence. I wish I could say I had such luck on any shopping outing.  Several of you asked how in the world did I find such a bargain. Well, I wish there were a perfect formula for landing a deal like that one.

The best advice I can offer is this: Keep your eyes open. Look for beauty everywhere. (You've read about this concept, right?)

Now friends, the simple answer to the burning shoe question: 
"How do you buy a pair of Monolo's for $5?"  

Answer:  a charity shop

Some of these incredible stores open their doors to the public (not just the clients they serve) and offer their goods for amazing prices to raise funds for projects the charity is involved with.

At the shop where I lucked out, all of the shoes, new or "gently worn" were priced $5-regardless of designer.

My next piece of of stellar shopping advice would be to simply keep your eyes open.  Look for beauty and quality first.  Don't search for the designer labels.  Look and feel for the quality of an item's construction and open your eyes!

Sterling silver, for example, is black with tarnish--and fabulous patina!

Just take a look at Eddie's flea market candlestick find "before and after":
(I'm about convinced this guy could make a sow's ear into a silk purse!)

In our odd economic times, the New York Time's is spreading the news about alternatives to retail shopping.  Check out their article here(first published in 2006).   Here is another article on the love affair with malls-or should we say- retail therapy.   

Now it's your turn.  I want to know your very best buys.  What, where and how did you do it?  I know you've got treasures to tell all about and I want to hear!

A Teaser:  In a later post we'll talk about this:


  1. My best bargains have been from the usual online suspects (Ebay, Gilt Groupe). I'm afraid I get impatient sorting through physical thrift stores, but can browse for hours from my couch!

    I apply a "quality vs. quantity" theory in general to my closet; this is absolutely not to say that my quality items are all expensive - I'm wearing a Target dress & boots as I type this, actually - but rather that I prefer to have a few classics vs. thousands of choices.

  2. Great post - thanks!

  3. That house looks like a newer version of where I had my wedding reception. Can't wait to hear about it!

  4. thanks for your tips! i like to think i'm a bargain girl myself. hopefully even more so these days. nothing like that 'emotional/satisfying high' of finding a super deal.
    looking forward to the next home tour.

  5. Consignment shops are by far my best source for gently worn, high-end items. There is a hospital auxiliary shop in Greenwich where I scored a beautiful Chanel bag for $50...and all for a good cause!

    Can't wait to hear about the Cloister. We were just there this weekend and enjoyed a delicious dinner in the River Bar.

  6. wow! I need to find a charity shop like that (from the photo I would have sworn it was England!). You are so right about the cutlery - I find it all the time over here, silver plated, bundled up and selling for next to nothing, especially if they are oddments - but picking up these things are so interesting, when they have a provenance, don't you think?

  7. My best bargain was a pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes for $7 on clearance at Marshalls! It was my lucky day... Love the photo on your upcoming post, can't wait to here more.

  8. Wow! What a great deal! I once bought a pair of Stuart Weitzman's for $30 at Off 5th -

    I hope you have a nice week!

  9. what a pair of shoes! my daughter does the same thing - she buys her size 5 designer shoes at a second hand store where someone with exquisite taste who hardly wears her size 5 deposits them!!!

  10. I loved hitting the Op shops (short for opportunity shops) in Australia. I always feel bad going to Good Will etc here but I may start, especially given the economy. Everyone needs to be saving!

  11. My daughter and I stumbled upon a consignment shop once and took a look inside. She ended up with the most gorgeous designer dress for her winter formal for $25. Everyone raved over it and kept asking her where she got it. She would just shrug her shoulders and say it was from a little boutique downtown, which was (sort of) the truth. To this day, that is her favorite dress!

    Love your blog!

  12. My favorite store is Off 5th. They send out 30% off your entire purchase coupons multiple times a year. It is the place to go for deals on Stuart Weitzmans (my fav).

  13. Love your bargin tips and LOVE that sterling silver :)


  14. What great finds and a fun post! I was just thrift and consignment shopping today...paused over $50 Manolos today but passed, purchased new Merrell Mary Janes for my daughter for $6, and found some great Mini Boden pants for my son for $4. I LOVE bargains!

  15. There is a great consignment shop I go to - I bought two pair of Tods for $30 each and a Monica Noel dress for my daughter for $38.