5 Ways to Save Money on Clothes

I was recently asked how I save money on clothing, and once I thought about it, I realized that there’s not just one way…at least not for me.

Personally, when it comes to clothing, I can’t remember the last time I paid full price for something. My husband on the other hand, if he’s with me and sees that I like the item and not the price, he won’t hesitate! Anyway, just saying “never pay full price for anything,” seems insufficient. You can easily find a 15% off coupon for Kohl’s, so instead of paying $100 for a coat, you pay $85 (which for me feels like it only covered the tax. You’re welcome, California). That’s not a deal, even if your 15% off wasn’t for an expensive item. And so, I have some money saving tips to help with our clothes shopping battle:

  • Shop only the clearance section. If you are truly a deal finder (and you have the discipline to only buy a great deal), you can probably safely branch out of the clearance section, but if you are truly trying to save money, the clearance section is the place for you. Now mind you, Target’s 30% off “clearance” is not really clearance. My idea of clearance is about 60%-70% off. Even 60% is sometimes not tempting.
Tip: try on anything you want to buy! Once you have it on, you may realize that it's not worth the price!
  • Find your top 2-3 favorite stores and only shop their major sales. This requires that you get some classic clothes that will remain “in season” for a little longer (solids for example), but it doesn’t mean you have to wear clothes from the last decade. I think my favorite go-to store is New York & Company; they have some GREAT markdowns in the summer and right after Christmas. And on top of that, they offer $10 off of a $30 purchase (and I can spend $20 at NY&C!) and the deals continue to go up as you continue to spend money.
  • Welcome hand-me-downs. When a friend knows 2 things: 1, that you like the clothes she wears and 2, that you are trying to save money, she may very likely offer you her unused or unwanted clothes. This assumes you’re similar sizes, of course, and that your friendship is strong enough that you won’t offend your friend by not wearing them. It’s safe to say that about half my closet (or more) was given to me. And I have no shame in that!
  • Find the best consignment and thrift stores around you. For me, that means I have to travel about 45 minutes. But when I go to my motherland, the great state of Texas, it means I have to go 3 minutes down the street to Thrift City (and I might just find a $3 Gap sweater or a $5 Ann Taylor skirt – both in great condition). Finding a nice area matters for a couple reasons: 1, the nicer the area, the better brands you find (which matters not because of having a certain status of wearing name brands but because often better brands last longer and look nicer) and 2, they’ve taken care of their clothes; they typically don’t donate them with stains or rips, and they haven’t worn the clothing to a pulp; they simply don’t want or need that item anymore.
  • Find clothes on Poshmark or other clothing resale app. I’ve sold unwanted or unused clothes on Poshmark, and I’ve used those earnings to buy things I do want (another $5 Ann Taylor skirt!). So I’m basically trading what I don’t want for what I do want. But you can also find good deals on there without having to sell something first in order to pay for it. For more info, check out my post on buying and selling clothes online. Use this code to get $5 off your first purchase (I get $5 also): JXAXJ
Tip: Ask yourself, Would I rather have this article of clothing or $(name the price of the item)?

My hope is that at least one of these tips will work for you or at least get you thinking about how you can improve your saving and spending on clothing. Happy saving!

Photo credit: Picture of Money

Buying and Selling Clothes Online 

TLDR (Too Long; Didn’t Read): If you have extra time and clothing and want to make some extra cash, check out Poshmark! (See end of post for free $5 off!)

If you’re on a budget, purging and shopping might not be words you enjoy hearing. If you’re tight on money and do some purging, what happens if you get rid of it but find out later you need it? And shopping for new clothes? Remember the word budget? Yeah. I get it. I’ll suffice it to say that if you’re not using it, why not try to make a few dollars selling it online? And in doing so, you might find something you want to spend your earnings on, so then you’re basically trading, not buying or spending!

Here are my opinions of selling and buying clothes online using a couple of the most popular clothing resale and retail apps.

Poshmark

Pros for selling on Poshmark: 

You can market your closet as much as you’d like! (Sharing others’ closets usually yields to others sharing your closet which betters your chance of sales).

You can cash out promptly with no minimum.

You can do direct deposit or request a check.

The system automatically bundles your items and discounts the price according to your discount choice.

They have customer service personnel so you don’t have to deal with unsatisfied customers directly.

You get paid on time, as long as the customer is satisfied (otherwise your clothing will be returned to you). No waiting and wondering if the buyer will mark your item received.

Total earnings via Poshmark in 12 months: $307
Cons for selling on Poshmark:

Poshmark takes out 20% of your earnings if the price of your item is $15 or more and takes out $2.95 for items under $15.

The buyer is charged $6.50 for shipping, so it’s harder to sell a $5 shirt (in which you make $2!), because the buyer actually has to pay $11.50.

It can be somewhat time-consuming trying to share your clothes and others’ clothes in order to make a sale.

It can take some serious deals, cute clothes, and a decent amount of time to get some good headway in making money.

Poshmark pros for buying:

The filters are user-friendly.

You can shop your liked items.

You get notifications when a liked item has dropped in price.

You can negotiate the price with the seller, using the offer button.

You can find some awesome deals if people are just trying to get rid of their stuff!

You can return the item and get your money back if the item does not meet the description.

Cons for buying on Poshmark: 

As stated above, there’s a $6.50 shipping fee no matter what item you buy. The price goes up if it’s 5 lbs or more.

Sellers are not required to state if they have pets or if they smoke. It’s up to you to ask.

Of course, as with any online shopping, nothing beats trying on an item for yourself before purchasing!

Mercari

I don’t have as much to say about Mercari because… well it’s Mercari.

Pros for selling on Mercari:

You can sell just about anything, not just clothes.

They take out 10% of what you make, which is better than Poshmark in many cases.

You choose whether or not you, the seller, pay for shipping. This could get you more sales as people like the words “free shipping!”

You decide how soon you’ll ship it.

Total earnings via Mercari in 9 months: $65
Cons for selling on Mercari:

You can’t market your closet whenever you want to.

You have to wait for people to discover you.

There’s no real customer service; if you don’t like an item or if it’s taking a while for your money to come through, you’re stuck for the most part trying to talk it out with the buyer.

They started taking out a seller fee; they didn’t used to do that.

They only direct deposit your earnings on Mondays.

The customers are in the market for a serious deal, so you have to price items at $10 or less to have a fighting chance at a sale.

Pros for shopping on Mercari:

The search engine works well.

You can buy a variety of items from just one seller which can also lend itself to a deal.

You can negotiate via the comments section.

Cons for shopping on Mercari:

It can be overwhelming to know where to start.

The sellers are not always responsive to questions (not sure that the notification settings are up to par).

Again there’s no real customer service, so if you don’t like an item, it can make returns difficult.

The short of it is, Poshmark is the better place to buy and sell. I started using Mercari when they weren’t taking out a seller’s fee. Now I just have clothes there in case someone sees them there that isn’t on Poshmark. I enjoyed using earnings from Mercari to buy things like essential oils (you can’t find random stuff like that on Posh). Next on my list to try is EBay!

Have you done any online shopping? What’s your favorite place to go?

PS: if you’re going to try your hand in Mercari, you can use this code to get $2 off: ZDSRWG. If you want to check out Poshmark, use this code to get $5 off your first purchase: JXAXJ. (BTW, I get the same amount of credit as you do when you use these codes.)

PPS: I wish I knew how many hours it has taken me to get these earnings; I just know that it was A LOT of time!