Saturday, December 18, 2010

Top 10 Random Tips from a Personal Shopper

I'll be honest, it's been quite some time since I have had an influx of new clients. While I get e-mails frequently asking about my services, there are very few who hire me to help them shop and stylize their wardrobe. The number one reason: their budget. Although my services are affordable -- really affordable -- I definitely understand that hiring a personal shopper is extra. It's a luxury service. But I won't stop providing solid information to you, my readers (and potential clients), because I am passionate about helping people find what they are looking for at a reasonable amount in a reasonable amount of time, with a healthy mindset.

So here are my top 10 random shopping tips, in no particular order. I hope these come in useful! (I have explored some of these areas in previous blog posts, so you're not trippin' if you feel you've heard some of these before! I am just reitterating some of the important factors to consider regarding shopping and your wardrobe.)

(1) Do your research before you shop: If you are looking for the perfect winter coat, you may not want to simply walk in a store and just buy one for, say, 50 bucks. Yes, a good price for a coat, but what if there is a place that sells one nearly identical for 30 bucks! I suggest that you browse online, check out different shops at the mall, take notice of radio and television commercials advertising sales at your favorite stores, and/or ask a friend where she finds good deals. Not only will doing your research save you time; it will help to preserve the funds in your bank account.

(2) Out with the old, in with the new: If you find your closet cluttered with items that haven't been worn for years, don't fit correctly, and should just never have been purchased in the first place...donate them, give them to a loved one, and/or sell on ebay! De-cluttering your closet will not only give you a peace of mind -- you will now have more room in your closet for new. fabulous digs!

(3) Have a piggy bank just for your shopping trips: The last thing you want to do is accidentally (or consciously) spend your cable bill money or car payment on a fabulous pair of heels. Sometimes it's easy to get carried away when you have cash stashed in your wallet and not properly accounting for it. So get a cute piggy bank or make one out of an old coffee can, and start dropping them coins or dolla bills in. Before you know it, you will have enough to go shopping and feel quite proud of yourself for saving a little away at a time.

(4) Make shopping lists: You make a shopping list when you go grocery shopping right? Well, if you do the same for fashion, then you will be right on track with your purchases. Here and there, venturing away from the list to purchase extras, well that's your perogative. But I guarantee, you will feel more satisfied knowing that you went on a structured shopping trip. Random buys of what you don't need can get you in big trouble, in more ways than one.

(5) Make friends with sales associates: Those who greet you when you walk in a store aren't your enemies! Even if you find annoyance in someone asking how you are doing, this person can help you out in the long run. If a store is out of a certain item that you desire, a sales rep can call another store to see if they have it in stock. If you have a coupon that expired the day before, he or she may feel for you and honor it. Remember, being nice and responsive can take you a long way...and work in your favor!

(6) Get your shopping on early in the day: Especially during the holiday season, it is best that you arrive when the store first opens. Not only will you avoid the craziest of lines and have more of a chance finding what you need, everything is so much neater and organized. Doesn't it feel good to shop when everything is where it should be? Plus, there is a magical feeling in the air when the store opens. It's as if it opened just for you, with open arms.

(7) Wear comfy shoes:  I know this might seem like a "duh" point to make, but it's amazing how the wrong shoes can make that much of a difference in your shopping experience. 'Cause you've probably been there: You're miles away from home, ready to take on the day with cash to put down, and the back of your heels are killing you because you decided to wear tight, buckled sandals or heels instead of flip flops or your UGG boots. Then you have to either drive all the way back home to change or buy something comfy to wear (which will never be comfortable the first day you wear them anyway), and your day is pretty much ruined.

(8) Only bring what you want to spend: If your budget is 100 bucks, then have only 100 bucks in your wallet. If you plan to only use one credit card, don't bring your five other ones. Sticking to a budget is always an important part of shopping -- it saves you from having regret. And the last thing you want is to leave a shop feeling horrible about the purchase, and too embarassed to admit that you made a mistake and return the item. You should always walk out the door with a smile on your face because you are proud of your purchase and your smarts.

(9) Go through your wardrobe before your shop: I have 36 scarves. Recently, however, I added a 37th scarf to my collection. This is because I didn't go through them before I went shopping for a black one. Now I have two black scarves. Because they have different textures, I decided to keep the new one. But, had I taken my own advice, I would have saved money and a shopping trip. We all have pieces that we forget we have. So go through your wardrobe and take stock of what's there. It's fun to find gems that you already own!

(10) Take pics of your items and send to a friend: I get a lot of photos sent to my phone, showing items that my friends are thinking about purchasing. They are literally in the store, and took a quick pic of a pair of shoes or a dress or a pair of jeans to show me. I am honest with my opinion, and give my advice on whether they should buy or not. I, in turn, have sent pics to my friends as well. (Yes, I tend to need assistance as well.) Take advantage of technology these days and use it as a tool to help make your shopping experience worthwhile. I don't believe that you are technically allowed to take pics in a store without the company's be quick about it!

Hope these tips helped! I'd love to know your thoughts. Please provide feedback in your comment. If you have your own tips, please share with everyone! Contact me with any of your questions or concerns. I am available for commentary, interviews, and/or personal shopping services.


Anonymous said...

Great gift ideas Elana!


Steph @ Thoughts From Cali said...

Thanks for the great tips!

loveandpeaceF said...

Great advice! I will definitely use this next time I go shopping! :)


Good Girl Gone Shopping said...

Glad you all enjoyed my tips. Have fun shopping...and be smart! :-)