Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Fashion bites back - Recession-busting tips for clothing addicts

Yes, I know times are tough. As a student, I always find myself reaching for my beloved student discount card (the holy grail for girls between 16-22) but recently I've been thinking that a little piece of plastic can't really be the only option for the fashion obsessed.

I thought I'd start online and try to find some little gems so that my readers can actually use the info I supply and make some savings, whilst supporting fantastic sites. Basically, this means I'm avoiding golden oldies like Ebay because, frankly, everyone knows about it and understands that it's a great place to find fashionable bargains - all you have to do is search! So here are my favourite five websites for online shopping!

1. PRETAPORTOELLO.COM: This is one of my favourite online shopping sites. It's basically set up as a virtual version of Portobello market, so if you're not lucky enough to live in London you can still pick up some great items. The site has loads of "stalls" to visit which means you really wont be caught wearing the same things as friends, even if you all shop on the site. My little fave which is a recent add to the site is the "Haggle option." This basically means sellers can decide whether they're open to accept lower offers on items, meaning that you can be cheeky and offer less, letting you bag an even cheaper bargain!

2. REVIVAL VINTAGE: This is a great little site my friends and I browse regularly. Based in Huddersfield, this vintage shop sells loads of one-off pieces online. Unlike some vintage sites, items are relatively cheap and they also have a £5 vintage bargain area of the site where you can pick up some fantastic bits and bobs. I love a good vintage website which prices its stock fairly, so I definitely recommend you give it a visit.

3. THE THRIFT SHOP: Another really cool vintage site which is based in London. The site is fantastic because it's a no nonsense approach to vintage clothing. The site offers any address in the UK free delivery and free returns, so buying from them is totally easy. Clothing is reasonably priced and is really beautiful. A lovely vintage site to browse during your lunch break.

4. FASHION VOUCHERS: I normally hate voucher sites. From my experience, you do a quick Google search, find a link which promises you the world, then once clicked, you get plagued with adverts and chain mail etc. Fashion Vouchers is completely different and I have to admit, it's become a bit of a guilty secret for me. It's so simple to use, you search for a store or brand, find the voucher code you want, click on the 'reveal code' link and it directs you to the site and gives you the code. Allll for freeee! Quick, simple and saves you pounds. Be careful, you may find you buy even more because of this!
5. ETSY: A firm fave with me and my friends, Etsy is set up to work in the same way as Ebay, but attracts more permanent sellers with original designs and quirky items. You can shop for products from across the globe, but you're also able to limit purchases to within the UK if you're nervous of buying from further afield. The site is also linked to users' blogs, so you can learn more about sellers and their products before you buy. Everything is reasonably priced and you'll always find unique items to buy, it's another great site which really doesn't get promoted enough.

Do you know any great sites to visit when shopping online?

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