I would definitely consider myself the queen of the sale rack (trademark pending ;)) so I've had my share of good and bad sales purchases. It can be really tempting to make a quick purchase just because the price is so low! But when you do this enough it can really add up price wise, and if you are making purchases that you aren't totally in love with it can contribute to the negative effect our shopping habits are having on the environment. I've tried to be smarter when shopping clearance items, and have shared a few questions you should think about to avoid any regret!
Why Is This On Sale?
Yeah the price is low, but WHY is this particular item on sale? Is there an irregularity? Are there many like this on the sale rack? Is the fit off (ie try it on!)? If none of these apply, maybe the style was just not very popular with the masses, or it is an off return.
Is there Damage?
I've found a lot of one off items on the sale rack have some sort of damage (usually stain or a hole) Don't let this scare you off! Story time: I found a beautiful, classic, silk button down Theory shirt for $10 at Marshalls on clearance! However, I noticed it had a 1/2 inch pen mark along the side. But luckily I knew that hairspray magically erases ink from silk! I often see makeup also on sale items. These can also be easily cleaned out of clothing!
Would I Pick This Off The Rack If It Wasn't On Sale?
This is something I constantly have to ask myself. What do I like better, the price or the item? Would I even pick this up if it wasn't on the sale rack? This takes a lot of honesty on your own part.
What Are Three Different Ways To Wear This Item?
Something very important to me currently is creating a versatile wardrobe. So when shopping the sale rack I want to make sure this is a valuable addition to my closet, not just a purchase to make because it is cheap. If I can imagine three outfits with completely different items from the pieces I already own, I am more interested in purchasing.
Will I want To Wear This Item 1,5,10 years from Now?
As I expand my reselling business and learn more about how we shop and get rid of our clothing, I'm looking more at my own purchases when it comes to the longevity of the item in the my closet. Is this a trend item (ie only "in" for a short amount of time) or is it a classic wardrobe builder? There is no shame when it comes to buying trendy items, but it is worth the time to consider whether the trend is at the beginning or end of its trajectory. If this trend has been around for a while, is the price of the item worth it? On a side note, when you are ready to get rid of those trendy items, always donate instead of throwing in the trash. :)
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- Marie Claire, September 2016