+ Tips and Tricks

A Savvy Shopper Double Take

Over the holidays, my family and I were doing some shopping at a local boutique when I noticed something, odd: all the items in the store were marked up 15-percent above MSRP.  Mike & Chris jackets, Gorjana necklaces and James Jeans were all significantly more expensive than they should have been. 

At the time, I reasoned that they only way they were getting away with this blatant fraud was because they were a brick and mortar store in a city where they are the only outlet for these brands.  No competition for buyers means that they can charge whatever mark-ups they want.  So I was surprised when I came across this little web-shopping anomaly.


Coffee Shop Coat (Urban Minx, $132)

Polka Dot Coat (Delia’s, $88 marked down from $110)

Holy double take, Batman!  Are those the same coat?  They sure look like the same coat (collar, pulls, cuffs, buttons, etc.), but Urban Minx is selling the coat for $132 while Delia’s is selling it for $110.

Now, it’s possible that Delia’s was able to buy the coats at a higher volume in order to bring down cost.  But in my opinion, this is just another lesson in caveat emptor: buyer beware.  Before I travel to a brick and mortar store or make a purchase online, I always do two things: 1)Google and Shopstyle search the item to find the better price and 2) look for an online promo code. This may seem like a lot of work, but it saves money in the long-run. 

In an era when a lot of stores are buying the same merchandise, you need to be knowledgeable about what these items should cost.  Nothing feels quite as bad as seeing the dress you just bought yesterday for less somewhere else, so it’s always a good idea to do a little Internet research before you go shopping.  Just remember, the more you save, the better you’ll feel.


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  1. Fashionista? says:

    Cliche, but there’s an app for that called Save Benjis. You take a picture of the the barcode in the store, and it searches google for the product. Almost makes me want to buy an iPhone!

    January 14, 2010/Reply
  2. Sara says:

    Nordstom has the same one for $43.90 in the Juniors Dept.

    January 14, 2010/Reply
  3. Erica says:

    my step mom worked in a pants factory back in the day, and while I’m sure things have changed a little bit, she had three buckets of different brand labels that she sewed onto the exact same pants…and then they were sold at different prices depending on the brand. since then, she has been a bargain hunter who checks for the quality of the object, regardless of the price.

    January 14, 2010/Reply