Professional Shopper Strategies


Dress like a million bucks while sticking to your budget.

If money were no object, how much would you spend on clothes? According to the Nielsen market research firm, people who make more than $100,000 a year spend $8,000 of it on clothes.

Unless you’re in the money, you probably have a much smaller budget. To dress like a big spender without spending big, try on these pro tips from personal shoppers.
1.Start with a clean slate. If your closet is overflowing, do some purging. Donate anything that doesn’t fit or you haven’t worn in a while. Then you’ll know what you have—and you’ll have room for your new clothes.

2.Take inventory. To make sure you don’t already have what you need, go through your newly cleaned-out closet. Then make a shopping list. You’ll be a more efficient shopper, which improves the odds of finding what you want.

3.Do your homework. Looking for a particular item? Shop around. Start online, where you can compare prices at your convenience. While you’re online, check for coupons and sales; you might save big. If you find the exact item you want, search the Internet to see if it’s available at any nearby stores. You may be able to reserve the item there and avoid paying for shipping. Otherwise, go ahead and buy online—as long as returns are easy and inexpensive.

4.Shop early. Hit the stores when they first open, and go on a weekday. The store will be tidier and less crowded, which makes it easier to find what you want and get the service you need.

5.Be nice to the staff. Don’t wave off the salesperson that asks if he or she can help you. In fact, make friends the minute you walk in. Treat the staff well, and they may be more inclined to help you with everything from finding items at another store to giving you a call if something you want goes on sale.

6.Keep the basics “basic.” Don’t spend more money than is necessary on simple pieces like T-shirts, tank tops, loungewear and workout clothes. Go with generic brands for everyday cuts in solid colors.

7.Mind your money. Only bring as much money as you want to spend on the items on your list. It will help you avoid temptation—and may motivate you to keep looking for a better bargain so you can still get everything on your list.

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