Shopping secrets: get just about any clothing item for less

Looking for fashionable, flattering, quality clothes without raising your budget? Use these strategies and your clothes will always be on sale.

Shopping secrets: get just about any clothing item for less

Invisible sales

Many of us are programmed to take store pricing at face value. If you see a pair of trousers on the rack priced at $48, well, that's what it's going to cost you to take them home, right?

No. The truth is that clothing stores are so desperate to move their merchandise these days that you can take home just about any garment at a discount — if you know how to go about it. Here's how to take advantage of a clothing store's flexible policies.

Have fun trying these shopping tips.

  1. Take a full-priced garment to the checkout counter and ask them to hold it for you until it goes on sale. Many stores will accommodate you and you will be assured that they won't sell out of your size.
  2. Go ahead and buy the item you want at full price, but keep the receipt in an envelope in your car. Two weeks later, drop into the store with your receipt in hand. If your garment has gone on sale in the meantime, go to the register and ask for credit.
  3. Make friends with one of the salespeople at your favourite clothing store. This clerk will be able to alert you to upcoming sales and will keep an eye out for the kind of clothing you like. Selling clothing has become difficult enough that he or she will work like the dickens to get you to buy merchandise.
  4. If you're making a big purchase at a department store, go ahead and get the extra discount they offer for accepting a store credit card. The card will qualify you for future discounts too. But be sure to pay the balance off immediately so you don't have to pay finance charges, as store credit cards often have exorbitant interest rates.

Shopper's secret: RN numbers

  • Garment manufacturers often ship their trendy new styles straight to discount stores at the very same time that they ship them to high-priced department stores.
  • The trick is that the manufacturer may package and label the clothing differently for the two stores. How can you tell if the discount-store item is the same or a cheap knock-off?
  • Here's the secret: every piece of clothing is tagged with a code that identifies the garment's manufacturer, no matter what the packaging says. You will see the letters "RN" followed by several numbers on the tag.
  • So jot down the RN number of the garment you like at the department store and see if it matches the number of the garment in the discount store. If the numbers are the same, the manufacturer is the same.
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