Wednesday, June 12, 2013

MY GUIDE TO THRIFTY SHOPPING

Hello all! Today I thought I would share with you my top tips for thrifty shopping and some of my favourite sites for bargain hunting online. I did one of these posts a LONG time ago but it's always been a popular one, so I wanted to do an updated version with some new additions. People are always asking how I find my bargains or manage to get items so cheap, so hopefully this will answer a few questions! So here is my run down of my favourite sites for shopping on a budget:


1. Ebay
Ebay will ALWAYS be top of my list for bargain hunting, purely because I spend so much time using the site. It's my go to site when it comes to finding something unique at a small price, or something that I missed out on first time round when it hit the High Street. I've bought so many gems from Ebay over the past few years, mainly clothing but also other items such as stationery, beauty accessories and even gadgets for my camera! Not only is it great for hunting down that must have item, it's also brilliant for selling too, and I often upload clothes I no longer want or need for a healthy profit.
When buying on Ebay, there are two main ways of doing things. You can buy outright using the 'Buy It Now' function, which is just like any other online shop where you add the item to your basket and check out right away, and there is also the 'Auction' format. Items up for auction are those that you can bid on. If you are going to bid, in my experience I would say it is best to hold out to the very end. There is no point placing a bid a few days before the auction ends, as chances are, someone is always going to outbid you. The best way to ensure you have a good chance of winning, is to wait until there is around a couple of minutes left on the timer, then be ready to go crazy on the keyboard! The price you input is your 'highest bid' meaning here you place the amount you are willing to go up to. If you get outbid, you can do this again providing there is enough time left. You should set yourself an absolute maximum that you won't go over though, as this can get addictive and you could end up paying a lot more for something than you wanted to, purely because you got caught up in the moment in a full on bidding war!
When you search for an item, I'd also recommend sorting your search results into 'Time Ending Soonest' so that you can see any last minute gems that are about to end, incase there is something you can quickly jump in and bid on. It's also good to filter your results by 'Buy It Now Only' and sort into order of 'Price & P&P Lowest First' to find any items that are super cheap with a Buy It Now price.

Some of my best Ebay purchases: Brand New Debenhams Trench Coat - 99p, Brand New Topshop Skinnies - £3.50, River Island Denim Shorts - £3.99, Pastel Blazer - 99p

2. H&M
Some of you may think H&M is a funny site for me to recommend for bargains, but let me let you in on a little secret about the online site! H&M allows you to stack two discount codes at once, meaning you can save a HUGE chunk off your purchases if you order them online. I must say, H&M's delivery service isn't the fastest, but if your willing to wait a week or so for your parcel and want to save bags of money, it's well worth it. There is a discount code that has been on going for a long time now, which is '1304' giving you £5 off your order, and you can also find others floating around voucher sites that you can then use on top of this. There's usually a valid 10% off code, or a 25% off the highest item code that you can apply to your order, and once there was even £10 off, so obviously you can see there is a lot of money to be saved! They also run exclusive offers for online customers, where a certain item is reduced to a tiny price for a short period of time. Plus, the brand has just launched a huge sale with lots of fab discounts which is well worth a look!

My best H&M order: £65 worth of clothing for less than £40

3. Fashion Vouchers
This leads me nicely onto one of my favourite discount code sites, Fashionvouchers.com, which lists hundreds of discount vouchers for some of the UK's top retailers. The site splits the vouchers up into clear groups of categories making it easy to find vouchers for the product range you are after. Brand new and most popular vouchers are also listed on the homepage so you can quickly find some brilliant discounts.

Some vouchers that are on the site at the moment that I think you lovely ladies will be interested in include: 30% off & free delivery at Motel Rocks using code JUNEFLASH30 (expires tomorrow! June 13th), 10% off at Missguided with code MG10 (expires midnight tonight!) and £20 off of orders of £100 at Lipsy with AF130520 (expires 24th June).

4. Car Boot Junction
A little bit of a different site here that isn't actually for online shopping, but is a brilliant tool for bargain hunters across the UK. Car Boot Junction lists the details and locations of hundreds of Car Boot Sales by area, so if you are thinking of scouring the stalls but aren't sure where to go, just simply enter your postcode and the site brings up the closest car boots. I've used this on a number of occasions when I've wanted to go and find a bargain or two, and have found it really useful, particularly when I was sourcing props and clothing for photo shoots at university. The site also lists seller fees and set up times, along with contact details of the owner, so if you wanted to actually pitch your own stall then you can easily apply to!

Best Car Boot sale buys: Vintage brooch - 20p, Rings and necklaces - 50p - £1 each, Vintage cardigan - £3.00, Vintage dress - £3.00.

5. ASOS Marketplace
A great site for Vintage and second hand finds, as well as on trend pieces at prices to rival the High Street, ASOS Marketplace is fast becoming one of my favourite fashion destinations. Sellers can upload the items that they no longer want to raise a little cash, and also independent boutiques have chosen this as their platform of choice, so there is an array of items to choose from at affordable prices.

My favourite sellers on ASOS Marketplace: Mary & Milly, Coco Boo, Lily Lulu and NaaNaa.

6. TKMaxx
TKMaxx is something that everybody knows about, but for some reason I had never realised they had an online shop until now. I'm a big fan of the homeware and beauty ranges at TKMaxx as well as the clothing collections, as there are some great bargains to be had. Specialising in designer brands at low end prices, the store stocks current season pieces at cut cost, and also features a number of High Street brands, meaning there is something for every budget. The beauty range there is unbelievable, with some really high end brands (Clinique, OPI and Lancome to name a few), and is somewhere that people wouldn't usually think to check for makeup or fragrance products.

My best buys at TKMaxx: Varsity Jacket - £20, OPI nail set - £9, Elle Macpherson bra - £2.99

7. Blog Sales
Finally, something that is a brilliant way of finding a few bargains, is to take a look at your favourite blogs! Many bloggers run what are known as 'Blog Sales', me being one of them, where they sell their unwanted fashion and beauty products at low prices to their readers. I've bagged many items from tonnes of bloggers in the past few years, and love the whole idea of blog sales as you can get some great items. Being a blogger myself I know that we tend to buy things on impulse and don't end up using them, so the majority of items I've bought have been practically untouched for that reason! You can also find some brilliant high end beauty products, particularly on beauty blogs, for brilliant prices, so they are well worth a look!

My best blog sale buys: Vintage blouse for £5, Primark dress for £5, Mac Lipsticks for £7 - £10

So those are my top sites for bargain hunting and thrifty shopping. I hope they were helpful for you! If you have any tips I would love for you to share them with me, as I'm always looking to save money when it comes to buying clothes (if I can get something at discount then it's easier to justify!). Let me know if you've used these sites before!

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8 comments

  1. I am a huuuuge fan of eBay, I always look on there before making a purchase and also find H&M to be really good with their prices and discount codes.
    Great post!
    LaraLouise 
    x

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  2. Amazing post and some really helpful tips!

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  3. I love ebay and ASOS marketplace! Blog sales are such a fantastic idea, great for making a bit of money and recycling clothes.

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  4. I still think there are bargains to be had at charity shops, though you do have to look a lot harder than you used too as prices are going up. As I originate from the North West I think some of the best places are retirement towns on the coast. Older ladies tend to give away some amazing things. In Lytham I managed to get the most amazing vintage J R Taylor coat beige with a leather strap and faux fur collar at £35 and in St Anne's I managed to find a Diane Von Furstenburg classic wrap dress for less than a tenner at Age UK...(mind you it was stuffed with a load of other dresses so I had to look around pretty well). But there is nothing better than a full day rummaging. x

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  5. Love this post, I never knew that about H&M and I'm always apprehensive about buying stuff as sometimes they put the prices up unnecessarily :) Bigger discounts, the better!

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  6. Great post Claire! Can't wait to get to a car boot soon, haven't been to one in years!

    tie-dye-eyes blog
    make the switch and follow me on bloglovin here :)

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  7. Great post! I'm off to check out TKMaxx online :)
    Now following you.

    darlingsophie.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. Ooooh amazing post, so glad to know about carboot junction!! Thanks, def following! xx

    fashiontatt.blogspot.com

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