What makes it a **Deal**?

With so many stores having sales, clearances and coupons, it can be hard to cut through the noise, and figure out what is really worth buying. Knowing that these are items that people did not want to pay full price for, we have to make sure they are indeed a hidden treasure that people just missed out on, and not just cheap closet filler!

Believe me, I have had my share of "flops" when it comes to the sales rack, and have added a checklist to my brain. I run through the questions quickly when I am facing 4-5 shopping carts online, or an overly fruitful shopping trip.

1. Does this mix with items already in my wardrobe?
I try and think of 3 outfits using the item and items already in my closet. If I can't do it quickly, it goes back on the rack. If it is a crossover piece (both work and play), even better. Once I get it home, I does it actually work with the outfits I imagined? Does it fit with others instead? If not, it must be returned.

2. Is the item itself already in my closet?
I try and think if I am buying a duplicate item. Will it fill a hole I have, or is it just another "xyz"? I am notorious for picking up black cardigans. I already have a short sleeve sweater, a 3/4 length one and a long sleeve one. I am still inexplicably drawn to black cardigans. Once I run through this question, it gets hard to explain to myself exactly why THIS black cardigan will fill a need one of the other 3 doesn't already fill.

3. What does it feel like?
Am I just buying something because its cheap? What is the fabrication? Is it cotton, wool, silk? Or is it a cheapy polyester top that is going to unravel after 2 or 3 wears. Are the sleeves binding? If I put it on, and it feels like heaven? Keeper. If anything is itchy or uncomfortable - back on the rack it goes!

4. How does it fit? Really?
The fit must be as perfect as something I would pay full price for. No exceptions. If I am in a store, (or once I get the item) The first thing I do is sit down. When I stand back up, am I playing the tugging game? This is a big problem due to the curves. Do the sleeves or hem fit and hang properly? If not, will I get it hemmed? Really? Honestly? If there any any doubts on the fit, it goes back on the rack, or back to the store.

If the item has made it ALL the way through the list, and I like the price, its worth coming home. This is how I kill the noise, and focus on adding just the things I need.

A "final word" on final sales: Stores are adding a "wonderful" category called Final Sale. You cannot return the items for refund or exchange. It makes it very hard to make a good decision when shopping online - thats kind of the point. These are items no one else purchased for some reason, so be wary. If its a store you are familiar with, and know the sizing, you can probably feel ok with your buy, but just be ready to possibly lose the money, or have a plan to offload the item for some of the cash back.

Happy Hunting Girls!!


  1. oh, just saw this post. i need to come back and read it. you have some good stuff here and we can compare notes. have a great night, i am off to bed

  2. cool - be sure and post any additional thoughts you have! I am going to start posting things about where I find stuff, how I stack deals etc. some of it will be repeats for most people, but maybe someone will get something out of it. :-)

  3. Very informative list for us to go by. Great advice!

  4. I agree, Final Sale is a risky business and best done in person, not online.

  5. Very good list. Sometimes I start a buying season with all of this in mind but by the sales I'm not so strict.
    I'll remember your wise advice.

  6. Oh yes, I have definitely been burned by online final sales :) Great tips!

  7. Great list! These are good things to think about *whenever* you are buying something.

    I'll be honest though, my usability requirements are more lax when the price is low- things I wouldn't pay full price for due to how much I think I can wear it I may buy if the price is low enough.

    I always have to remind myself to be careful to check fit rigorously when I shop, though I've gotten much better over the past year! It amazes me how easy it is to walk out of a store with an unflattering garment.

  8. Thanks for posting everyone.

    Jess, it got so bad for me, last time I cleaned out my closet, I gave away 51 stil tagged or only worn once items to a friend of mine. (I am not going to mention the older stuff I just dropped at the goodwill.)I totally had to get myself together LOL!! Even if its only $15, 51 of them are $750 wasted dollars. Boo for me LOL!!


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