I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here yet, but I’m now a weekly contributor to The Frugal Shopper, a U.S. News & World Report blog! Every Wednesday I’ll be sharing tips and tricks for getting the best shopping deals, but every day there will be new posts from an assortment of frugal bloggers and websites that are definitely worth checking out!
In today’s post I wrote about six items to purchase now that will save you money later, and included among them things like an Amazon Prime membership, reusable water bottles, and cloth napkins. I also mentioned that I nearly always invest in high quality shoes because they tend to last years, as opposed to cheap shoes that’ll usually last no more than a season (if you’re lucky).
I’m a bit of a shoe nut. There is nothing else in fashion that holds my fascination so much as a good pair of shoes, and some (my husband) might say my own shoe collection is a bit much. The thing is though, shoes never really go out of style and even if they do the style will eventually come back into fashion. I’ve been wearing a size 8.5 since I hit the 7th grade, so I’ve actually had some of the shoes in my closet since I was in high school.
While I favor designer/high-end footwear because of the quality, there’s no reason that one needs to pay full price for such shoes. With few exceptions, I rarely do. If you want to start building your own designer shoe collection, here are a few ways you can find designer shoes for less:
1. Store Closing Sales
Admittedly it’s not that often that stores close, but you better believe that when they do I head right to the shoe section! I wrote about the Shirise Store Closing Sale yesterday, where you’ll only find designer shoes for less. Back when I first started this site I was a little obsessive about checking the Plaza Too website, a New York City shoe store that always had amazing sales. When they went out of business I stocked up on Frye pumps that cost $48 and Cole Haan wedges that cost $45!
I also stopped by Filene’s Basement when they shuttered their doors and scored some amazing deals, and would have stopped by Loehmann’s if there was one closer to my house.
2. Buy Last Season’s Shoes
New shoes come out constantly and while I admit to always wanting something new, there’s hardly a difference between the shoes that were out last summer and what will come out this summer. Stores hold sales at the end of every season to clear out their stock, and these can be an excellent way to get designer shoes for less!
In particular, I tend to check out Macy’s because their prices are right and they always have additional coupons (I once walked out of there with six pairs…) and the Nordstrom Shoe Clearance (the most recent of which just ended). Another great place to look is the 70% off section of the Shopbop Sale.
3. Outlet Stores
I RARELY allow myself to go to the outlet mall because I cannot contain my shoe obsession when they’re marked down so much! Currently my favorite outlet stores where I find designer shoes for less are Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Bloomingale’s The Outlet Store, and Nordstrom Rack.
I’ve spotted brands like Cole Haan, Sam Edelman, Prada, and Gucci at Last Call, while I was REALLY tempted by the Frye boots and UGGs I spotted at Bloomingdale’s The Outlet Store earlier this year. Nordstrom Rack is my go-to for sneakers and sandals for less.
4. Off-Price Stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls & Ross
Until a trip to New York City a couple of years ago I’d always assumed that TJ Maxx and Marshalls were pretty much the same store, and while I still believe that to an extent I did learn that Marshalls is where one goes when they want to go shoe shopping! All Marshalls locations contain extended shoe areas where you can frequently score designer shoes from brands like Coach and Kate Spade for way below retail! The shoe section at TJ Maxx is nice too and there are great deals to be found, the selection just isn’t as large as the selection at Marshalls.
Ross is also an excellent place to shop for designer shoes for less. While I haven’t seen super high end brands, I have picked up both GUESS and Tommy Hilfiger shoes from Ross for less than $20 a pair!
5. Sample Sale Sites
There’s no denying that the advent of sample sale sites has greatly increased the number of shoes in my closet. In fact, right now I’m waiting for a pair of Cole Haan sandals to arrive from Rue La La and New Balance sneakers to arrive from Zulily! Additionally, in the past I’ve also picked up shoes and boots for way below retail from Gilt, Ideeli, The Clymb, and The RealReal.
One of my best finds ever was getting my Butter wedding shoes for about 75% below retail from an Ideeli Red Sale!
Sample sales may not be the best option if you’re between sizes or frequently need to try on multiple pairs to get the best fit, but I’ve never had a problem.
Of course, if you’re in New York City or Los Angeles then you can often stop by sample sales in-person!
6. Thrift Stores/ Consignment Stores/ Garage Sales
I have not been as lucky with finding designer shoes at thrift stores, consignment stores, or garage sales but I know many people who have had much better luck than me! I was recently talking to someone who had found a pair of barely worn Prada shoes for less than $20 at a Goodwill here in Chicago! (I need to remember who told me that because she also told me that she’d take me shopping with her.)
Personally, I don’t have the patience to keep searching but if you do these outlets may be an amazing way to score designer shoes for less!
I obviously couldn’t end this list without mentioning eBay, which is where I once scored a pair of brand new Christian Louboutin pumps for $400 (about $350 below retail). I can almost always go on eBay and find something I “need.” It may take some time to watch the auctions, but the price savings can be worth it!
8. Keep an Eye on the Daily Deal Sites
Finally, I highly recommend keeping an eye on the daily deal sites because you never know what’s going to pop up on any given day! I’d start with Gilt City, but also check out Plum District, Groupon, and Living Social. Groupon and Living Social both have “goods” or “shopping” sections, and the deals can be amazing! I once picked up a Kate Spade voucher from a daily deal site that when combined with a Kate Spade Friends and Family sale, allowed me to pick up a brand new pair of pumps for more than 50% off!
While I have a shoe obsession, I’ve greatly been able to reduce the amount that I’ve spent over the years by using the sources listed above! Also, the thrill of finding a good deal adds to the excitement for me!
Do Tell: What other tips do you have for scoring designer shoes for less?