The New York Optimist
January 2009
New York Shopping Frenzy—Five Ways to Shop More In a Recession
New York, the metropolis, of fashion has some well kept secrets. One of these secrets is a four letter word. More desirable than “love,” the
knowledge of this term sends female hearts everywhere into a palpitating frenzy.  This word as you may have guessed is “sale” and, to some,
this word is synonymous with love. However, this year has been tough on us usually resilient New Yorkers. The economy we’re in doesn’t
exactly signal a time to squander money, yet for many knowledgeable shopaholics, this season, though it has caused losses in the market, has
also led to loss of closet space due to a gain in clothes and accessories. Yes, ladies (and some fashion-forward gents), this was the season of
unheard of discounts! My advice is to take advantage of the recession come spring because the sales will continue.
Saks had up to 80% off for their fall/winter 2009 collection and, those who knew, snagged some of the most fabulous goods on the market.
Many items that are considered “staple” and, usually never go on sale, were marked down astronomically. Having desired a new tote, I went
to Saks bright and early the second day of the sale. As I stood there, waiting for the store to open, I heard one woman behind me discussing
the blueprint for battle with her girlfriends. “General Fashion,” as I lovingly named her, was a veteran of this shopping experience and she
was instructing a group of three “soldiers” on how to most efficiently complete the task at hand: “when the doors open, you must run straight
to Prada, grab everything you see and move systematically on to Chanel.”I rolled my eyes, thinking how shallow it was to shop this way.
Little did I know that when the doors were unlocked, I too would feel a rush of adrenaline and I too would become a ruthless killer on a style
mission.  I have never seen so many women shoving and pushing over a pretty
Prada purse or a luxurious Loubiton pump! I remembered
overhearing the words of General F. and I grabbed, pushed, shoved and maneuvered my way from department to department, sweeping
everything I could hold into my arms. And, oh, how worth it this experience truly was. Bags that were $2,000 were marked down to $500
and some shoes were under $150 dollars. Practically everything in the store seemed to be a trick for how could something this good be true?
I was, assured, however, that I was not hallucinating when I felt the weight of my shopping bags as I hauled them home, wobbling and
Thus, due to my post-holiday generous spirit, I will share 5 key ways for you to shop so that, next time there is a sale, you too can be a
professional shopper:
1.        About four months after department stores display their new products, they will normally start a sale. The two major sales are
November-December and then May-July. Keep these months in mind for deals and steals.
2.        Go to the department store of your choice and be very nice to a sales associate. I call it “make a friend.” Act like a big spender, say
you like to buy in bulk and give them your phone number. Having done this, ask them to update you about any sales. Also, sign up for a
mailing list.
3.        Almost every department store has a personal card. If you choose to open an account, you can get anywhere from 10-15% off with
the next purchase. After that, the more you use it, the better the rewards (money off certain purchases).
4.        PRE-SALE! It’s brilliant if you are not someone who likes to dig for deals in a sea of competitive women. Go to a store a day or two
before a sale is starting and purchase everything you like that is on pre-sale. The day the sale starts you can come pick it up or have it shipped
to you.
5.        Lastly, online sales start a couple of days after in-store sales. Go online at 12:00 A.M the day the sale starts, meaning if it is December
1st, go online November 31st at 12:00. Often, due to the amount of people that are trying to access the sight, the sight will be overwhelmed
and will stall. That is why I suggest buying items you know will be on sale and then price adjusting them afterward. To find out which items
is difficult, but take a risk. Order something you really want and, if it goes on sale enjoy it, but, if it does not, cancel the order. There is little
danger with department stores because their client relations policy is to allow full money back returns and price adjustments when appropriate.

6.        ***And now a bonus tip.
Sample Sales are another great way to shop. They happen all over the city, so you should check New York
Magazine for the dates and place. Online, however, sign up to
Gilt Group or Rue-La-La. They get new things every day at 12:00 P.M.
So, in conclusion, why pay full price when you can pay less than half? Be patient and follow these tips and, chances are, you will have more
designer clothing than you ever dreamed of.