Name brands can be expensive…
…so why invest in them?
- Trust (They became a name brand by building a reputation)
- Customer Service (Usually much higher than no-names)
- Predictable Build Quality (You know what to expect!)
So how can you STILL get all that – for less money?
This article will show you how.
- They use the same last on all of their shoes – so a pair made 5 years ago will fit the same as a pair made yesterday.
- They Goodyear welt the soles – so they can be re-soled without damaging the integrity of the upper.
- And their customer service is top notch!
And with the insider secrets I share in this article & video – you can score these items for HUGE discounts.
Tip #1: Group Order Websites
Today we can use the Internet to get more of our goods at the prices we want them. A group order model is all about teamwork. That's where Massdrop comes in.
Launched back in 2012, Massdrop is a unique platform that brings together communities of shoppers for what's known as group or collective buying. The concept started in China with the practice of tuángòu – where an item had to be bought for a minimum price or quantity so the sale would push through.
Now we have people at Massdrop who join a “drop” to lower the original price. The more people there are in a drop, the lower the price of an item will be for everyone. Some big names that have had their stuff up for group buys include Alpha Industries, Rancourt & Co., Oak Street Bootmakers and Seiko.
Before a drop happens, Massdrop users first vote on polls for the products they would like for a group buy. A product that wins the majority of votes gets priority and Massdrop contacts the manufacturer. If there’s a deal – the drop is created.
Tip #2: Outlets
That’s right: outlets are alive and well these days. A 2014 study by Value Retail News revealed that an average discount of 38% was offered by over 140 outlet chains in the U.S. And the better news? More of these outlet stores have moved closer to the cities or major metropolitan areas (as malls with in-house restaurants).
So now you don’t necessarily drive long hours out of town just to go bargain shopping. But if you'd rather not spend that time out of the house, many outlets also open their doors online!
Either way there's one thing you need to keep in mind: set lower expectations. Most items at outlets aren't meant to be retail store quality. That's the way it works.
Here are some outlets that you want to pay closer attention to:
- Part of the Saks family brand together with Saks Fifth Avenue
- Includes the More! discount program which you can join for free to gain access to special offers and additional discounts (exclusive to OFF 5TH branches and Saksoff5th.com)
- Features new designer finds from Neiman Marcus
- Holds items from Original Penguin, Hugo Boss, Michael Kors, Robert Graham, Psycho Bunny, Magnanni and Cole Haan
- Has an online store with a “Shop By Style” section that includes Formal, Casual, Office & Career, Outdoor and Athleisure categories
- Has a “Men's Fashion Tips” web page in which their staff of expert stylists gives practical style advice each month
Tip #3: Reselling Sites
Sharing is caring. Fortunately there are still a lot of good Samaritans who sell their useful secondhand goods. And eBay is the biggest platform for these.
But watch out for certain types of sellers on eBay who aren’t so noble. Always check the profile page for any feedback that doesn’t reflect a trustworthy guy.
If previous buyers state an item was “not as described” or that “the seller was difficult to deal with” – stay away. For clothing, it’s crucial to check the measurements listed or ask the seller for more specs and details.
Also check out the blog Put This On. There you’ll find a series of “eBay Roundup” entries that summarize the best eBay deals at the time of posting. Put This On also offers a subscription service called “The Inside Track” – in which every week you get a list of eBay auctions that you won’t find elsewhere. Recommended sales are included too.
The following are some alternatives to eBay that are worth checking out:
- Similar to eBay except anyone can make a listing and there is no seller’s feedback
- Has posting areas for most major cities which make it more practical to buy from local sellers
- Users can agree to meet in person so they can examine an item before paying
- It’s always best to meet in a public place and be careful about online transactions
- Has a wide collection of men’s footwear including Boots, Oxfords, Slip-ons and Specialty Shoes
- Includes sections for Vests, Sportcoats & Blazers and Suits & Suit Separates
- Offers accessories such as watches, hats, jewelry and laptop cases
- Accepts a broad range of menswear and men’s accessories
- Puts up brand new listings in less than a minute
- One of the only online secondhand stores that only cater to men’s clothing
- Has 3 selling categories: Grailed (for all designer items), Basic (for Gap, J.Crew etc.) and Hype (for super-hyped collaborations like Yeezy Season and Supreme)
- Includes men’s wallets and accessories such as ties, sunglasses and leather footwear
Tip #4: Clearance Centers / Sales
It’s true that outlet shopping can be risky. There’s always a chance that an outlet store product winds up inferior to its retail store counterpart. Sometimes the thread count is lower or the item didn't turn out 100% well.
However that's not the case for clearance goods. There you can count on great quality despite the lower prices offered. Nordstrom Rack has items up for clearance on their website, in which their products are consistent with those found in actual stores. And don't forget about clearance sales – these are the more advantageous kinds of sales.
Tip #5: Companies' Contact Lists
A lot of companies want to “reserve” the best deals for their loyal fans and followers. So it's good to make use of multiple communication channels.
Follow your favorite brand names on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Subscribe to their email lists. Check out their physical catalogs.
The whole thing takes very little time and effort – & brand loyalty does have its rewards.
Bonus Tip: Big Box / Consignment / Thrift Stores
Here are a few other great sources of finding the brands you like:
Big Box Stores
These are the places people go to find everything they need. So it makes sense that most Walmart and Kohl's branches carry the big name brands. Many big box stores offer wide sales that can reach 40% discounts or higher. Here you want to be smart and hunt down deals that you won't get in retail stores.
These are designated shops for people to put up well-curated items for sale. Owners pay a fee to the shop as compensation when something gets sold. Compared to thrift stores – these guys have higher standards for items and don't take in donations. But prices are still kept low.
These are the go-to shops for donations. And if the folks in your area are generous, chances are you'll find branded items that fit – maybe a decent suit or that “brown leather jacket” Macklemore rapped about. Thrift shopping can be fun!
Below are the best times for you to visit thrift stores:
- The early hours: Being an early bird means getting to see what’s just been put out from the previous night, plus fully loaded shelves
- Sale days: Each store has its own sales on certain days of the week so it helps to do research
- Spring: Drop by while everybody sends away unwanted stuff as part of spring cleaning