The best shoppers in the world know that retail stores are trying to get the most money from you that they can, by marking up all of their products by as much as 3x. Although it might not feel natural to buy fluffy sweaters on the first beautiful day of spring, these shopping experts regularly shop off-season to save well over 50% on all of their clothing. So, put down those $110 strappy sandals now!
Here's how to get the most bang for your off-season buck:
Shop Early—Er, Late.
Items invariably go on clearance when a store switches its inventory from one season for another. You can easily save 30% to 70% simply by buying at the end of a season. Even though ice cream cones in the park don't put you in the mood to buy winter cashmere, you'll have these items when you need them next year (and for any lingering cold days this year).
The savings are really remarkable, and consistent across the board. In February, we bought a versatile gray wool blazer from J. Crew at 60% off, marked down from $198 to $80. We just finished shopping for next year's winter holiday parties, and soon we're planning to look for some great cashmere; recently, we checked out a glam Alice + Olivia silk silver ruffle dress for $202—also 60% off the original price.
For the best prices on seasonal gear, here's your key:
Buy Now, Gloat Later.
We like to pack up our purchases right away—tags and all. That way, when we break out our new winter boots next December, they'll feel brand new!