9. If you bought too soon, ask if the store will honor the new discount. Many times a store will honor a new markdown if you purchased something (on sale or not) within a certain timeframe before the sale (typically within 10 to 14 days). You will have to bring the item and receipt back to the store, but it can be worth the savings.
10. Dress comfortably. Shopping during end-of-year sale time can be stressful. Dressing in comfortable shoes and in clothes that aren’t too heavy or tricky means you won’t be distracted by feet that hurt or by taking off all those accessories and putting them back on each time you try something on.
At the end of the year, you’re not just contending with other people in search of a sale-score, you’re dealing with hordes of shoppers looking for other holiday gifts, so this season is particularly challenging. Here’s one instance when “dressing for success” really counts.
11. Try it before you buy it. Don’t ever buy anything without trying it on first, especially during sales. Try on garments in a store beforehand if you can, so that if you plan on purchasing something online, you’ll know your size. Also be prepared by wearing the right undergarments underneath your clothes so whatever you’re trying on will look good too. Don’t wear those frilly (however pretty) bra and panties when you go shopping — they’ll show under everything and you won’t get a clear perspective. And don’t buy anything that doesn’t fit you. If it isn’t your size today, most likely it won’t be your size next week either.
12. Make sure you can make returns. You just never know. When I buy something, even if I’m sure I won’t return it, I always ask about the store’s return policy. Some small boutiques won’t take returns on sale items at all, and some stores will only accept returns on sale items within a shortened timeframe.
13. Consider alterations. If you’ve found something you love, but it doesn’t fit exactly the way you want it to, consider alterations. But make sure they’re realistic and not going to end up being outrageously expensive and complicated. Check with the store’s alterations department to see if they can tailor the garment there and what the cost will be.