One of my biggest mantras when it comes to shopping is that there is ALWAYS a way to get what you want for less. Sometimes you might be willing to settle for similar-looking style that's a slightly lesser quality (as seen here & here). But, for those times when you can't find a duplicate design that fits within your budget or when you want to splurge a little for a well made classic that will last for years, there are still plenty of ways you can find what you're looking for without paying full price. It takes a little bit of digging & some diligent research, but it's definitely worth it to be able to make your dollars stretch as much as possible.
To provide specific examples, I'm comparing the same item at various retailers and showing you the range in price points. Though some of these photos appear slightly different, they are in fact the same style - when searching for something, I recommend locating the exact model number so you can verify before you purchase, as many retailers' images look quite different in color and shape. As you'll see, the lowest price isn't always at the same store & you want to pay close attention to any brand exclusions they may have for specific sales. Take a look at the options I found & then read on below for more of my tips on how to successfully shop around for the best price possible!
MY MONEY-SAVING TIPS
1) Search ShopStyle
Enter the name of the item you're looking for in the search bar & it will pull up all the retailers carrying that style & show you the different prices available. It will highlight any coupon codes & sites that are offering free shipping + you can set a sale alert for an item you're interested in & it will email you when the price drops.
2) Hunt for discount codes & coupons
Before I place any online order, I always double check for any current sales or coupon codes. I do my best to gather all of that information & daily update my Sales Alerts Page. If you don't see a retailer listed there, you can also check RetailMeNot, which has a fairly exhaustive list.
3) Check discount stores & online sites
Before you pull the trigger, be sure to look at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack, Saks OFF 5TH, Overstock, Gilt & HauteLook. These sites are known for carrying designer styles at a fraction of the retail cost, but it does take a little persistence & regular visits to find what you're looking for.
As a final resort, if you can't find any current discounts and aren't willing to wait for a sale, you can try looking on eBay or PoshMark. I've gotten lucky a few times and found great deals on Tory Burch, Michael Kors & a few other designer brands. I recommend creating an account, setting up a detailed search with your specific criteria & then saving it to your profile so you can check it quickly at a glance.