The Frugal Guide To Buying Luxury

We all enjoy purchasing luxury items, but no one enjoys paying an arm and a leg for anything (even if it is totally worth it.) If you’ve been eyeing a Gucci bag that you can’t afford, these tips might help you.

Buy In The Right Countries

Traveling to shop might not be the first idea that comes to mind when you’re trying to save money, but there are millions of people who do it regularly. In China, it’s a common practice to travel to shop for luxury items, and some shoppers do it every year (or multiple times a year) because they are able to save so much money.


Some designer brands are automatically cheaper if you purchase them in Europe. In countries that are part of the European Union, a Value Added Tax (VAT) is tacked on to the purchase of many goods. To oversimplify things, this is basically a sales tax for Europe, but travelers who aren’t citizens of a European country get all VAT money they pay refunded.

When you purchase European brands in America, you don’t get any money back, and the price is marked up because the goods have to be imported from Europe. Another factor to consider when purchasing overseas is the cost of the Euro (or whatever currency the country you’re in uses). Currencies fluctuate drastically. If the value of the Euro and the dollar is ever very far apart, it could be more expensive (with or without VAT) to purchase goods in Europe.


According to Exane, the best European countries to purchase luxury goods are France and Italy because both of those countries have prices that are up to 22% cheaper than the rest of the world. This makes sense because many luxury good companies originated in both of those countries. The idea of traveling for luxury goods makes even more sense if you’re already planning on a European vacation or if you’re traveling for work.

Buy From Outlets

Major retailers for designer goods have overstock as well. When items go out of style, they can’t just go to waste. That’s why some high-end big box stores have secondary outlets. Neiman Marcus (Last Call) and Saks Fifth Avenue (Saks Off Fifth Ave) both have amazing websites full of discounts. No one will know that your clothes were purchased on discount. They’ll be too busy looking at how fabulous your outfit is.


Be Prepared To Buy At The Drop Of A Dime

Whether its clothing, furniture, or cars, luxury goods hold value far better than average goods. Manufacturers have very little incentive to sell these types of goods at a discount. When they do go on sale, be prepared to act quickly. Discounted luxury goods often come in short supply.

In addition to design and quality, exclusivity is a part of what makes designer goods so desirable. It would ruin the prestige of the brand if sales were widely advertised, but luxury brands and retailers still have excess goods to get rid of. How do they do it?

Flickr/ Emporium Retail

In this golden age of internet retail, many online stores have turned to flash sales. No one knows when they are coming. Once they start, they don’t last long. if you’re fortunate enough to find out about a flash sale, you can find great buys for incredible deals. How do you find out about these flash sales?

Some stores use their email lists or social media to make announcements, but others are more clandestine. How do you find out about secret deals?

Become A VIP

Some of the best flash sales happen on members-only websites. GILT is a members-only website that sells designer clothes. The store has amazing flash sales, and GILT is incredibly buyer friendly because it offers both a desktop app and a mobile app to alert buyers when a flash sale is starting.

Flickr/ vintspiration

PLNDR exclusively features flash sales for luxury streetwear. It features everything from shoes and accessories to outfits for men, women, and children. The sales on PLNDR usually last for three days at the most.

Luxury goods are (usually) worth the price tag. They are made with top quality products using the best methods and designed to last for a long time. When it comes to getting your money’s worth, it makes sense to buy luxury goods at full price, but oh how sweet it is when you can find a deal!

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