In the merciless world of online commerce where the latest Gucci mules sell out quicker than you can say "Alessandro Michele", shopping by our books is definitely a sport. With Black Friday in full swing and the end of season sale right around the corner, it's high time to flex those fingers and ready the plastics. But first: What's your game plan?
Intending to browse the sale section in hopes of snagging those Miu Miu lace-up ballet flats at a more affordable price simply won't cut it. Just like how athletes formulate their strategy before the big day hits, here, discover and fine tune your personal approach to scoring all your wants and needs — courtesy of the buyers and retail directors behind Matches Fashion, Net-a-Porter and Farfetch who share their top tips and tricks. Godspeed.
NATALIE KINGHAM, BUYING DIRECTOR OF MATCHES FASHION
1. Start with your wishlist
"If I don't buy things instantly, I regularly add items I want to purchase to my online wishlist — it's a great tool to keep track of the pieces that I haven't bought yet. On Matchesfashion.com, you receive notifications if a sold out item you love has come back in stock, or when they go on sale. You never miss out."
2. Stock up on classics or a runway piece you've been desiring
"Investment pieces that never go out of fashion — such as a classic blazer from Blaze Milano or great essentials from The Row — are always a smart buy. However, this is also the opportunity to buy that item you have been lusting after all season, such as a fabulous embroidered gown straight off the runway from Erdem or an iconic bag from Valentino.
3. Purchase seasonal items strategically
"Look at what trends are emerging from the season ahead, and then identify pieces in the sale that will work within those trends. This ensures that what you purchase now will still get plenty of wear in the season ahead."
CANDICE FRAGIS, BUYING AND MERCHANDISING DIRECTOR OF FARFETCH
1. It's a great time to discover new labels
"Sales are also a good opportunity to take a chance on the less familiar brands, styles and shapes — I often discover new labels during sale season."
2. Make sure you love what you're buying
"To avoid post-sale regret, I make sure I love what I'm buying even when it's heavily discounted. Unless, it's a basic white T-shirt or shirt which I am constantly re-buying."
3. Subscribe to the site's newsletter
"I'd recommend that customers subscribe to the Farfetch newsletter as there are plenty of benefits to this. They'll receive email exclusives and access to private sales, as well as updates on new products and our latest editorial features."
LISA AIKEN, RETAIL FASHION DIRECTOR OF NET-A-PORTER
1. Invest in black tie attire that you actually love
"When it comes to sales, I always ask myself, "If you love it that much, why haven't you bought it already?" If the answer is that I didn't think I had the right accessories, or that I have something similar, or even because I didn't know when I would wear it — then, it is definitely best to walk away. The only exception to this is evening wear. Panic buying for an event is a big mistake, so if an amazing cocktail option has 70% off, buy it and enjoy it when the right invitation comes along."
2. Spend time to work out your sizing
"Sizing varies amongst designers, so to choose the best size, do check out the 'size conversion chart' on every product page. If you need more help, our Net-a-Porter customer care team — who are well-trained style advisors — can answer all your questions via telephone, 'live chat' and email. For the piece that I really don't want to miss out on, I will just purchase two sizes and return whichever one doesn't work — the return and exchange process is so easy and convenient!"
3. Gift the items you don't intend on wearing
"Although I rarely regret online purchases because I am able to try them on at home and style them with my wardrobe, I've had regrets with sample sale purchases. If something really doesn't work, I always give it to a girlfriend or someone who will appreciate the item more than me."
Black Friday feels — You're not alone