Living the Life at Half Price

Living the Life at Half Price

Friday, May 27, 2011

DVF Discount on Gilt City!

My love for Diane von Furstenberg's clothing is no secret.  I count down the days to her sample sales and stare wistfully at her clothes when I visit Bloomies.  I feel elation when I find something of hers that I love on sale.  So, you can imagine that I was pretty happy when I saw a great deal for DVF on Gilt City today.  Thanks to Gilt City, for $100, you can get a $200 credit to one of the DVF stores in Manhattan-- either in Soho or in the Meatpacking District.  This is a pretty impressive deal--not just because of the discount.  You can often find discounted DVF merchandise through sales and sample sales (the DVF one actually starts in about 2 weeks, details to come).  I bet you can score some great deals this weekend at the department stores thanks to the Memorial Day sales.

The benefit that Gilt City offers is that you can buy the latest merchandise, the newest styles, at a significant discount.  You don't have to limit yourself to last season's styles or pieces that simply weren't selling.  And that's pretty rare.  Another bonus is that you don't have to battle the crowds, or sift through disorganized racks of clothing as you would with a sample sale or department store sale rack.

The DVF boutique-- MUCH more pleasant than a sample sale, right?
Photo courtesy of Gilt City
The credit is good until August 28, 2011.  I'm sure mine will be gone much sooner--you know where I'll be this weekend!

Monday, May 23, 2011

To Shop or Not to Shop... At More Sample Sales!!

As exciting as Sample Sale Season is, sometimes I wish it were more spread out.  Because even though these sales provide awesome deals, a lot of awesome deals can still add up.  And they do.  So I have to start prioritizing my sample sales.  For instance, the Theory sale I wrote about last week was extended.  Today is its last day.  Not only was the sale extended, but now prices have been reduced an additional 25%.  So pretty great prices are even greater.  I wasn't able to go to the sale last week, but I was planning on going today after work.

Then I realized that the Tibi sample sale starts tomorrow.  And I LOVE Tibi.  So do I go to both?  Probably.  But I'll be extra careful not to succumb to the Sample Sale Compulsion Buy syndrome (I've discussed this before--the affliction where you feel pressured into buying something simply because you trekked out to a sample sale and the prices are so much lower than normal).  I'm resolving to only buy things that I love and can't live without.  I think that's a fair compromise, don't you?

How about both??
Both images courtesy of Shopbop.

See this post if you want details about the Theory sale.  The Tibi sale is 5/24-5/26 and located at Happy Monkey Studio, 348 W. 36th Street.  The hours are 12-7 on Tuesday, and 10-7 on Wed. and Thurs.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Small Shoe Event at Nordstrom Rack!

I realize that this post will not have a mass appeal, but those plagued with small feet (like me) will definitely be  thanking me.  Why?  Because Nordstrom Rack is having an event dedicated to my small-footed compatriots tomorrow (5/21).  I was very excited when I received the announcement in the mail.  Unfortunately, I don't think I'll get a chance to check it out, but if you share my affliction, you should!  Normal-sized ladies don't realize how difficult it is to find shoes in small sizes.  I'm a size 5 or 5.5, and I think maybe 80% of the time, stores will be out of my size.  For a number of companies, their smallest size is still too big for me.  For those of you who wear an even smaller size, I don't know how you do it!  I do reap minimal benefits in that my Chucks are a kids size, so they cost less (but since I couldn't locate those sneakers in any physical stores, it took two tries at Zappos to find the right size).  Anyway, enough with my rambling, here are the details for the Nordy's event:

Shop a spectacular selection of shoes in women's sizes 4-6. With many styles of shoes brought in specifically for this event, you'll find exactly what you're looking for at significant savings.
The following locations are participating in this event: Brea Union Plaza, Chino Spectrum Towne Centre, Colma, Downtown San Francisco, Downtown Seattle, East Palo Alto, Factoria Mall, Glendale Fashion Center, Hastings Village, Metro Pointe at South Coast, Mission Valley, Oakridge, Pacific Commons Shopping Center, San Leandro, Southcenter Square, Topanga, Union Square and Westgate Mall.

Luckily, the Union Square location will be participating.  I have to say, I think this was a pretty smart idea by Nordstrom Rack.  I really don't need shoes right now, but if I didn't have other plans, I totally would've checked out the event, just for the sheer novelty of knowing they will have shoes in my size.  But I imagine if it goes well, there will be more to come (and therefore more excuses for me to buy shoes)!

I'd say my feet are slightly larger than these... but not much!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dolce Vita Warehouse Sale Starts Today

Does a warehouse sale count as a sample sale?  I'd say it does, and so continues Sample Sale Week at DSD!  Today marks the start of the Dolce Vita sample sale.  I'm really a fan of this pretty moderately-priced brand, so I definitely plan on visiting the sample sale.  And since it's not that expensive to begin with, you can walk out of the DV sale with a few pairs of shoes, still not breaking the bank (compared to the Manolo or Louboutin sample sales where the shoes are still a few hundred dollars a pair).

The prices at the DV sale are as follows: sandals start at $19(!), flats and oxfords start at $29, and boots/booties start at $59.  The sale will also carry clothing from a number of designers, including Cynthia Vincent and Sass & Bide.

The sale runs until this Saturday, and is open from noon til 7 pm.  It's located in the Lower East Side, at 156 Ludlow Street, on the 4th floor, giving you some sample sale reprieve from the Garment District.

To give you an idea of what Dolce Vita shoes look like, check out some of the current season's styles below (can you tell I'm into wedges?).
$131 at Zappos
$78 at Zappos

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ali Ro Sample Sale Starts Today

Well it's official-- this week is Sample Sale Week at Dollar Saving Diva.  Hope you don't mind the plethora of bargains floating around this city!  So if the Kate Spade, Theory, and Nanette Lepore sample sales don't do it for you, how about Ali Ro's feminine but fun clothing?  Sound good?  Well you're in luck, because their sample sale starts today!  Like Theory and Nanette Lepore, this sale is also in the Garment District, at 530 Seventh Ave, near 38th Street, 14th Floor.  It runs until Friday.  Unfortunately, the hours leave something to be desired, as it is only open until 5:30 pm today and tomorrow, and only til 3 pm on Friday.  Since I value my job more than discounted Ali Ro clothing, I will not be in attendance (Crazy, right?  Where are my priorities??).  But if you're a student, unemployed, or off, this sale is for you!

Although these dresses are from the current season and unlikely to appear at the sale, here's a little Ali Ro eye candy (aka dresses I want in my closet!).

$319 at Neiman Marcus
$330 at Neiman Marcus

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More Sample Sales...Nanette Lepore and Kate Spade!

Today is a good day for sample sales!!  I told you yesterday about the Theory sample sale which starts today.  However, Theory is in good company!  Today also marks the Christian Louboutin sample sale.  I'm not going to discuss that much because it's invitation-only, and pretty impossible to get an invite.  If you did get one, I don't know why you're reading this blog.

If you want a sample sale that you can actually get into, you should check out the Nanette Lepore sale, which runs until this Thursday, May 19.  It's located at 225 W. 35th Street, and it's open from 9-7.  It's pretty close to the Theory sale, so you could hit up both in one trip for extra savings goodness.  In the past, I've found Nanette Lepore sample sales to be extremely organized and spread out--a much more pleasant experience than other sample sales.  Of course, I never went on the first day, so it may not hold true for today.  Either way, if you're a fan of NL, it's definitely worth checking out.

Last on today's list is Kate Spade's online sample sale (see below).  A pretty large selection of bags, clothing, and accessories are heavily discounted.  Plus, if you use Ebates, you'll get an additional 3.5% back.

everything up to 75% off - shop now

I hope you're not getting sick of all these sample sales, because there are more to come!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

I've Got a Theory (Sample Sale!)

Sorry for the cheesy title, but it gets the point across, right?  Anyway, I wanted to alert you to the sample sale for my go-to suit/work clothes designer (no one makes pants that are as flattering as Theory's).  I'm feeling lazy, so look  below for details.  I always do pretty well at the Theory sample sale--there's usually a pretty large inventory and prices are lower than you'll find anywhere else.  At past sales, suit jackets were usually about $150, pants $90, skirts $40 (I could be off a little, but you get the general idea).  Considering that a normal Theory suit jacket is about $375 and pants are $245, it's a pretty significant discount.  I've even seen current season styles at the sample sale, so if you're a fan of Theory, it's definitely worth a visit. Just keep in mind that it gets pretty crowded after work, so be prepared to wait on line for the (communal) dressing room.  And keep your eyes open for defects in the clothing (I was NOT happy last year when I bought a skirt and somehow missed the huge hole, which my client pointed out to me at work).

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Deals at Lord & Taylor, and Layla Grace for Beautiful Jewelry and Homegoods

There were a few noteworthy deals that I wanted to share with you today:

The first is a $50 voucher to Lord & Taylor on Rue La La, available for $25.  After reading the fine print, it seems as though you are able to use this voucher with L&T discounts, which are amazingly frequent.  Between this voucher and the omnipresent L&T sales, you can really score a good deal there.  The voucher is only good until June 30, so you should only buy this if you think you'd go shopping before then!

The second deal today is from for a $100 certificate to Layla Grace.  The certificate costs $50.  Layla Grace is basically an online Anthropologie-esque homegoods store, but it also has a large selection of accessories, children's items, and jewelry.  I actually really like their jewelery and find their prices to be better than other places (for instance, their selection of Kendra Scott jewelry is cheaper than the Kendra Scott website!).  And since I'm looking for new throw pillows for my couch, this offer is right up my alley!

Drops of Jupiter Aqua Gold Earrings
These earrings on Layla Grace immediately caught my eye!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rebecca Minkoff Sample Sale Starts Today!

Today marks the start of the Rebecca Minkoff sample sale.  Though I still don't own a Rebecca Minkoff bag (we'll see how much longer that lasts), I have always been a fan of her classic, but still trendy leather bags.  I would say the average Rebecca Minkoff bag normally runs in the $400-$600 range, though the smaller styles are significantly cheaper.  Sample sale prices certainly aren't cheap, but you do get a pretty sizable discount.  For example, the "Covet" style normally starts at around $400 (and ranges close to $500 depending on material), but at the sample sale, it starts at about $215.

The Rebecca Minkoff sample sale usually has a very extensive selection, so if you are a RM fan, you're likely to come out with a shopping bag.  The sale runs until Sunday.  Hours are 10-7 on weekdays and Saturday, and from 11-5 on Sunday.  It's located at 155 Fifth Avenue (near 22nd street). 

Rebecca Minkoff Colorblock Covet Satchel
This "Covet" bag, currently $395 on Shopbop, is $217 at the sample sale!  Though, you will get 15% off through Shopbop's F&F sale.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shopbop & Rachel Roy Sales!

See?  I told you the Spring Sales were here!  The first sale I wanted to tell you about today is the Rachel Roy sample sale.  I generally find Rachel Roy to be a little too conservative for my tastes, but there are some cute pieces, especially for work.  The sample sale starts today and runs until Thursday, May 12.  Clothingline is hosting the sale at its space at 261 W. 36th Street, between 7th and 8th Ave.

I'm even more excited about Shopbop's Friends & Family Sale, which only runs today and tomorrow.  As you can see below, the discount is 15% off.  If you're unfamiliar with this online designer shopping mecca, I'd recommend familiarizing yourself ASAP.  It holds a huge inventory of clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry, etc, hosts frequent sales, and offers free shipping and free returns!

It's not by any means a discount outlet, but if you're looking for something specific, it's a good place to start.  And, as I said earlier, they do host sales.  Plus, they participate in Ebates, so if you order Shopbop items through Ebates, you'll get an additional 6% back.  (If you don't know what Ebates is, check out this post).  So take advantage of this F&F sale, and let Ebates pay you for it... you owe it to yourself!

Because you're one of our nearest and dearest, we're giving you 15% off your order for the next 2 days, just enter code INTHEFAMILY15 at checkout. Offer ends Wednesday, May 11, at 11:59pm PT. Code cannot be applied to gift certificates or shipping costs. Designer exclusions apply. Shop now and take 15% off >>

Monday, May 9, 2011

Get Ready for the Spring Sales!

Sorry I was kind of MIA last week, but I've got some exciting news today to make up for it! The Spring Sales are here!!!!  In the upcoming weeks, we're going to start seeing a lot of great sales and sample sales, both in-store and online.  I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty excited (though my credit card most definitely is not).

Today I wanted to tell you about the sales at Bergdorf Goodman and at Neiman Marcus.  Unfortunately, there are no NMs in NYC (why is that... aren't we supposed to be the shopping capital of the world??), but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of their online items!  They actually seem to have a pretty large selection of sale items reduced up to 40% off.  I'm loving this Rebecca Taylor dress, reduced to $251 from $375.  And for those of you who abhor paying for shipping (like me), that's not an issue, because shipping is free with the promo code "NMFREE."

If you'd still rather go to a store to buy your clothes, then definitely hit up Bergdorf, where the discounts are both online and in store.  Like NM, the discounts may be as high as 40% off.  Unlike NM, the sale is only in the 5F section--which is all I shop in anyway--so those of you looking for discounts on shoes, bags, accessories, etc, are out of luck, as are those who prefer the more high end clothing (though they probably don't read my blog anyway).

So what are you waiting for?  Apologize in advance to your credit card and start shopping!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Designer Shoe Sample Tomorrow...Too Good to be True?

Earlier today I came across a listing for a designer shoe sample sale that I wanted to share with you.  The description is as follows:  
Manolo Blahnik, Prada, Miu Miu & more Sample Sale
It sounds pretty good, doesn't it?  According to one site, there will be an especially large selection of shoes in small sizes.  Guess what?  I have very small feet, and rarely find shoes in my size at sample sales!  This is right up my alley!!  I am skeptical though--nowhere does it say who is hosting this sale.  Where are these shoes coming from?  And even if it is legit, these shoes are still pretty expensive.  But, I think it's my duty to check it out and report back to you, right?  And if I manage to find a discounted pair of Pradas, it won't be such a tragedy...

The sale starts tomorrow and runs until 5/13, though it's closed on Saturday.  It's located at 605 Fifth Ave. between 49th and 50th.  I'll be keeping my fingers crossed!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Amazing Ebates

So I realize that I have this terrible habit of promising posts and never actually writing them (I promised a post about Rent the Runway, and even before that, a post on vacation-saving tips, both of which are forthcoming!).  I also promised a post on Ebates.  And I decided it's time to put an end to my empty promises.  Today, I'm going to tell you about the miracle that is Ebates.  A lot of this post will probably seem a little exaggerated but that's just because I really really really love this site.  And why shouldn't I?  They pay me for shopping!

I have mentioned Ebates a few times before, though only in passing.  To quote from Ebates' own site, it is "a great Web site that pays you cash back every time you shop online (up to 26% back!).  Ebates works with 1,200 stores... so you are sure to find your favorites."  Once I discovered Ebates, I was hooked.

The way it works is that you go on Ebates' site, and you click on the store or site you want, and Ebates redirects you to that site.  Anything you buy in that session is recorded by Ebates, and you'll see the cash back amount reflected in your account.  Every 2 months or so, Ebates will mail you a check with the total amount of cash back you've accumulated in that time period.  Actual money, not a credit that you have to use somewhere.

And so many stores participate, even high-end ones like Bloomies, Nordstrom, Saks, and Barneys.  In fact, I would say, most of the stores you would buy something from are Ebates participants, with a few exceptions.  Group buying sites like Groupon and BuyWithMe even participate.  I actually got 7.5% back on TurboTax, which I used to do my taxes this year.  The one thing for which I haven't used Ebates yet, but am very excited to, is travel!  Sites like Orbitz, Priceline, and Expedia participate, as well as hotel chains, airlines, and rental car companies.  Now that's where you can really get a substantial cash back amount.

The cash back you get varies by store.  I would say that the average amount is less than 5%, but that does add up!  Some stores are more., for instance, gives you 7.5% back.  I have no reason to use Zappos anymore with that incentive from Endless (plus better prices in general, I think).  You want to order flowers for Mother's Day?  Go through Ebates to Teleflora or FTD and get 20% back!

So the moral of the story is that the next time you want to buy something online, go to Ebates first to see if that site is a participant.  Because why shouldn't you get paid for shopping too?

P.S. sorry for the lame title.  Mondays drain the creativity out of me.