VIDEO: How To Shop Major Sales

Five rules for scoring big at sales.

How to shop a major sale? If you take this video (created by the fashion intelligentsia over at Joan Shepp for their BOP-winning annual basement sale) literally, you grab every single thing off the rack and go. It’s a take-no-prisoners approach to shopping, and while we’d hate to be shopping next to her, we can’t totally knock it. It’s selfish, inconsiderate and—if we’re being completely honest here—something we’ve all been tempted to do at least once in our lives (especially at the Shepp sale, which is always amazing). Before you go to one of the countless end-of-season sales going on right now, here are some non-bitchy ways to score big.

1. Grab multiple sizes of the pieces you love. Different designers and brands cut sizes differently, so while you might be a size 4 in Marc Jacobs, you could be a size 8 in DVF. You never know what size will fit you best unless you try them all on.

2. Be willing to get it tailored. Absolutely love an item but it’s a tad too big (or too long, etc)? If it’s priced really well, buy it and take it to a reliable seamstress to get it tailored so that it fits you perfectly. So that $25 Alexander Wang blazer with the too-long sleeves? For a few extra bucks, you can get the sleeves hemmed and you’ve still spent less than you would if you bought it at regular price. (Remember: It’s always easier to take things in than it is to let them out, so while giving a jacket a slimmer fit might be do-able and financially worth it, turning a size-2 dress into a size 6 isn’t gonna happen.)

3. Only bring the money you want to spend. Decide on a budget beforehand so you won’t walk out with an armful of things you don’t actually need and a credit card bill you can’t bear to look at.

4. Get there on the first day—and the last. On the first day, you’ll be able to shop the selection before it’s been picked over by the masses. And on the last day, you might score some stragglers that have since been marked down even further. Win-win!

5. Speak up if you see an imperfection. My mom has always done this and it used to humiliate me, but now I see it as savvy shopping. If you notice that an item you love is missing a button, has a small hole or some other (fixable) defect, bring it up (nicely!) to the salesperson and ask if they’ll give you any additional discounts on it. They might say no, but it’s worth a shot—and at the tail-end of a huge sale, chances are they want to clear out old merch, so you might get lucky.