Saving on Fashion Online: Survival Guide
Alright, so this post is something that I see requested so heavily on Tumblr and other social media platforms, and before I had a job, every single penny was spent cautiously. Living in the U.S., I feel that thrift stores don’t have as many alternative-friendly findings as in Europe, and the prices can still be a bit high. And even though DIY is always a good (and very goth) option, some of us don’t have the steady hand for sewing. So I’ve decided to do my own version of saving money on fashion by shopping online – something I have a lot of experience and expertise in.
Search Search Search Search Seach: I do so much research on the best prices for something before I go ahead and buy it. I go through Ebay, Google Shopping, and basic google searches to try to find the lowest price on something. I don’t go to Amazon personally but it’s also another good source. My philosophy is that you should always look for the total cost of something, meaning the cost of the product + shipping to your home. This is often overlooked, but paying $10 + $5 shipping is going to cost $3 more than buying the same product for $12 with no shipping. Additionally if the product is $20 with $20 shipping, if you don’t think it’s worth $40, don’t buy it – because $40 is what it’s going to cost you.
Know the Sites to Go To: Ebay, Amazon, Google Shopping, and Etsy are all great places to do searches for something specific or generic. (There’s also a website called Velvet Garden, which is like an advertising centre for used gothic fashion; however, my experience with them has been less than perfect.) Since not all online stores are sent to Google, it’s also a great idea to do a Google search for the items to see what comes up.
I’ve saved so much money due to Ebay.
Know What to Search For: Knowing what to search for is probably more important than knowing where to search. Which you can look for specific brands and basic features (black, lace, velvet, long sleeves, etc.), it’s a good idea to see what words are used frequently for the item you’re trying to find. That way, you can learn what words describe your style and branch out from there. You’ll find your results will be much more expansive and accurate once you pinpoint the correct keywords to use. Don’t forget to use synonyms either – searching for a “bodycon skirt” often produces different results from a “pencil skirt,” even though the two are virtually the same. With the example below, I have one dress that’s way expensive and another similar one that’s so much cheaper – but they have similar search terms. I found them both with the keyword “victorian.” * please note Etsy is usually much more expensive than other sites like Ebay or Amazon – cross-site searching is often necessary.
Join Email Lists! I cannot stress this enough: join email lists so you can get special offer updates, coupon codes, and a lot of times, a discount off your first order. The more email lists you’re on, the more access you’ll have to discounts. Additionally there are a few sites (usually resellers) like Infectious Threads that offer points for every purchase you make, meaning you’ll get discounts the more you spend.
My #1 mistake for saving money: spending money on stuff I don’t really like in the end, or ending up with an item with which I know not what to do. It’s really tricky to tell online if something you like will be as you image it. But, there are some tricks to make sure that you don’t splurge on items you’re not that big a fan of.
Read Reviews: A lot of websites have incorporated product review sections onto their product pages, but you can also find other reviews by doing a general web search. You can find out if products are quality, not quality, and sometimes, you’ll even find out that the company you’re looking at is a complete ripoff. It’s an investment in time that’ll save you money.
Know Your Style: Sit down with some images and try to define what your style is. If you’re on a budget, you want to make sure that everything you buy will fit in with your aesthetic. Ask, will I wear this every day or on occasion? Additionally, you will know where you want to spend your money most – whether it be on clothes, beauty supplies, shoes, accessories, or something else. A lot of people have a specialty. Or, if you like a balance of the aforementioned, then you can sit down and say, I have a good lipstick already, so now let’s find some good shoes. In my personal experience, it’s more difficult to spend money on something you’re not sure about, so it’s easier to feel this one out.
My favourite: the Rule of Threes: Buying a separate? That means you’re going to wear it with something, right? In my own experience, I’ve bought a tonne of clothes that I liked, but then didn’t have anything to wear them with. Now I always use the rule of threes: if I’m buying a separate, I need to have at least three other separates with which to wear it. For example, if I’m buying a new blouse, I need to find at least three bottoms that would match said blouse. Otherwise, what’s the point of buying something I can’t wear?
I hope that these tips were a bit new to you, and if so, that they’ll help you in the future. Until next week <3
Gifts I’d Like to Get Next Week
Christmas is in eight days! And even though I suspect most Christmas shopping is already done, I wanted to share some things that I hope will be under the Christmas tree for me next week.
A Stuffed Animal
I’m a huge fan of stuffed animals, but it honestly means so much more when the animal and style is chosen specifically for me (i.e. it’s one of my favourite animals). So this cute Frederik bat by FlezArt would be so perfect since it’s a bat, it’s custom made, and it’s super cute.
Almost everyone loves perfume so this is a universally great gift. The thing to love about Black Phoenix Academy Lab is that they stay spooky but also diverse. It seems like there’s no end to the scents they come up with, so whether you’d like something inspired by vampires, faery tales, or classic movies, there’s something for you. (PS – I want all of these!)
I love writing materials (journals, pens, etc.), whether I use them or simply have them around intending to use them one day. And there are so many creative writing materials out there! Take this beautiful Spells Journal by The Witchery Crafts – it would make amazing home décor and with the old-style paper, it would probably make anyone writing in it feel magical.
A Small Decoration
Just like with writing material, there’s a plethora of creative and stunning decorations available in stores and around the web. Something like this Skulls & Flowers Glass Dome by Damn French Desserts would be a such a great gift since they can always be used and will always remind the receiver of the giver. (PS – I have the Butteries in a Bell Jar by the same company and I love it!)
So many people love makeup and even though personal preference can be difficult to pinpoint sometimes, it’s always a nice gesture to buy someone something you think they’ll like. So here’s a tip: go for a brand’s more popular product. Take, for example, Bonfire Dance by Necromancy Cosmetica – a vegan & cruelty-free brand. So many people love it so why wouldn’t anyone you gave it to?
So that’s what I’d like to see under the Christmas tree next week, and hopefully I’ve given you some gift ideas and stocking stuffers for that friend or family member who seems a bit different. Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!