How to Buy Designer On A Budget

BY CHRISTINA COCO

Without hurting your bank account or selling your left kidney.

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26 AUG - 2021

Here are 5 tips to help you get closer to buying your next luxury designer item.

So you’ve decided to buy a designer item. It’s exciting because it’s a personal investment and something you’ll probably have forever. Now, you’ve likely spent a lot of time researching, deliberating and you’ve finally decided on what you want. Throughout that process, however, you’ve probably gone through the mental olympics of justifying the purchase and I’m here to tell you, you are not alone!

Like you, I have gone through all the back and forths, the justifications and the sale trail of hunting it down for the chance of getting it half price. That is how @Bargainhunteraus was born; out of a desperate desire to fulfill my expensive taste whilst not wanting to break my bank. So throughout my journey, I have accumulated 5 tips that have helped me navigate my designer purchases, without feeling the pinch or instant regret.

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Patience is a Virtue

Firstly, decide if you like something and then WAIT.

Honestly, wait. Give it at least six months (trust me, you CAN wait it out even if you really want it now) and if you still like it by then, then at least you know you really want it. Try to go for a more classic and high demand style that you won’t get over. The upside is that if you ever decide to sell it later on, there’ll still be a demand for it.

In 6 months, chances are that it may have gone on sale! This may not be the case depending on the brand (some brands never go on sale) but in some instances, you might be lucky!

Ask yourself, does it go with at least 5 things you like? To make sure you get the most out of your designer purchase, consider at least 5 things it could go with. If you can say yes, chances are you’ll likely be able to wear it with most things in your wardrobe!

My advice, sign up to all of the designer sites directly as well as the designer shopping platforms like Net-A-Porter, The Outnet, MyTheresa and Yoox. This way, you’re always in the know of any new releases, promotions or big sales. Yes, your inbox will be inundated with emails for a while but you can always unsubscribe later! For labels like YSL, Gucci and many others, a lot of these sites that stock them also offer 10% discounts for signing up, so you could instantly save a few hundred dollars just by joining.

But my new favourite, On the list au, is the newest entrant to the market who hosts PREMIUM FLASH SALES of luxury brands; most recently doing a six-day flash sale of Jimmy Choo excess stock. Their aim? To salvage excess luxury stock that would’ve ended being destroyed/or in a landfill. Get a bargain and help excess stock avoid becoming additional waste.

Hot tip: Based on wherever you are around the world, make sure you check conversion rates and shipping taxes/fees that may add to the price.

Consider Pre-loved Designer

The pre-loved market has recently gone through a massive boom and the demand is at an all-time HIGH.

This is for a few reasons:
- The rise of Instagram particularly has had a huge impact on designer fashion, allowing these brands to have direct relationships with consumers through their own social presence but also via the endorsement of influencers and celebrities, have increased demand like never before.

- The emergence of more trading platforms like Facebook marketplace, Depop and Vestiaire makes it easier for people to list and trade their pre-loved designer items instantly.

- From a category perspective, you may have heard about something called luxury price inflation. According to The Business of Fashion, Bottega Veneta, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and other luxury brands recently raised prices on some of their most coveted items.

Several, including Chanel and Gucci, did so TWICE. Why? Well, like most businesses, COVID has impacted many facets of the supply chain (like the price of cotton, materials, shipping etc) which puts pressure on profit margins. As a result, more people are turning to pre-loved items, which you can get at a lower cost. Also, a lot of the time, the designer items on second hand sale have barely been used. The other main advantage is that going vintage will mean your pick is unique and not many others will own it.

- Inflation is generally a scary word but it can be a good or bad thing depending on how you want to look at it. On one hand, a price increase isn’t favourable when you’re the one making the purchase because of course, you don’t want to be paying more. On the other hand price inflation over time guarantees the increased value of your item and therefore, increases the resale value if you do decide to sell it later on.

My advice, check out Hawkeye Vintage. They are my number 1 favourite vintage luxury retailer and their Insta Live Sales are INCREDIBLE. They always have a vast selection of designer goods and they have a really good eye for upcoming trends before they happen so if you pay attention, you may be able to get a really good deal on something before its value increases! Other great alternatives are Farfetch, The Real Real and The Consignment Collective.

If you pay attention, you may be able to get a really good deal on something before its value increases!

Ask, and you shall receive

Birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, whatever it is! - I promise you, your friends and family want to get you something you LIKE and will USE. Why not ask them to contribute to a luxury purchase item?

I am very lucky that my friends and family all contributed to luxury gifts for my recent 30th birthday and because I’d been looking at these items for so long, they knew what I wanted! Any contribution that gets you closer to that item, will make it easier for you to buy. Not everyone may want to do this but you’ll find most will be happy to contribute as it takes the stress of figuring out what to get you!

My advice, communicate this to your partner or best mate - someone you trust and have a good relationship with. Don’t expect people to know or guess that you want something! You must tell them.

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To put it simply, save.

There is no easy way to put it because this purchase is an investment. It’s exciting and it’s special. For big purchases, there are some great saving tips that you can follow to get you that LV bag you’ve been eyeing.

My advice: Get good financial advice from experts. I personally love following 'She's on the Money' Instagram and listening to her podcast for advice, tips, and expert opinions on achieving financial freedom.

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Follow me!

For updates on warehouse sales (in Aussie only, sorry NZ!), outlets, online sales and fashion tips, follow me on @bargainhunteraus.

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