Deal or No Deal? How to Shop for a Clothing Bargain

Super-sales at major department stores can yield deep discounts especially if it’s end of season. You can also get creative about the places you buy things and think outside the big-name box — there are serious savings in shopping a bit off the beaten track, in the best possible way, such as vintage stores or designer overstock.


The racks at the front of the stores like T.J. Maxx have become less of bargains over the years, offering full-price merchandise from lesser labels. Move straight on back to the “Clearance” sections and start to sort.


Outlets used to be the first outpost of the bargain hunter, but as this business has become firmly entrenched, outlets sometimes sell their own brands, such as the Gap Outlet label, offering clothes that never make it into actual Gap stores. Full price at outlets is suspiciously like full price at the regular store! Consider carefully.


Here’s where you can get real bargains on designer labels. Type into a search engine (such as Google) the name of the item or designer that you want and the word “overstock.” You’ll find a range of sites selling brand-new stuff, usually with tags still on, at complete bargain-basement prices.


Like any store, these eclectic selections can be hit or miss. They’re not the types of places to find something highly specific, along the lines of, “I need a blue raincoat right now,” but they are the place to find a true bargain on some very distinctive pieces: a Gucci handbag, hardly used, for $15; a pair of Chanel shoes never worn, for $5; perhaps a velvety suede coat, tags on, for $20. Basics can be found for literally cents on the dollar, such as a skirt for 50 cents or a stretchy top for a quarter. These types of stores offer the thrill of the serious bargain and the hunt for the unexpected (and unexpectedly inexpensive) in exchange for giving up control — you never know what you might get on a given day, but it will likely be fabulous and cheap!


Sometimes a risky place to buy clothes because people are inclined to overprice something that means a lot to them. They know they paid $200 for that winter coat two years ago, so they put it in their front yard for $45, when to you it’s only worth $5 or $10. Bargain gently in these situations, and you might end up with a really good deal.

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Reader's Digest Survey

Click on the image above to take our survey