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Ask A Chicago Expert: Tips On Finding Deals Shopping Online

August 19, 2014 7:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

The days of pounding the pavement for deals on fashion and accessories collapsed along with dial-up Internet connections. No need to wait until Cyber Monday for fantastic online bargains, discounts and specials. Follow our expert’s easy tips and you’ll be saving green all year long.

Helen Berkun
Contributing Fashion Editor
Glossed & Found

Born in Mariupol, Ukraine, Helen Berkun is a Chicago-based fashion photographer, stylist, creative director, blogger and mother to son, Natan, and her baby girl, Kalista. Currently represented by the prestigious Ford Artists, she has over 15 years of fashion industry experience on her glowing resume from editorial and advertising photography to celebrity styling and commercial print. Others envy her killer shoe and accessories collection that are on display as she hosts many fashion events around Chicago, working with InStyle, Lucky, Teen VOGUE, Coach, Kate Spade, Furla, TopShop, Guess, Decades LA and many others. Here are five simple but effective tips on finding great deals from Chicagoan and Ford Models Artist and wardrobe stylist Helen Berkun.

Sign Up For Your Favorite Websites

Who wants even more email? You do when it’s stuffing your inbox with the inside scoop about your favorite stores’ and shops’ sales and promotions. Often, email “insiders” get a jump on sales before the general public, a sad group you belonged to before signing up.

Visit Websites Specializing In Designer Deals And Steals

Hit up an aggregator of designer fashion at a discount such as Theoutnet.com. Snag Calvin Klein, Armani or the perfect pair of Levis for prices up to 70-percent off. Recent deals include 60-percent off at TJ Maxx and links to MySale.com, offering designer brands at up to 80-percent off. Berkun says, “I just bought a pair of Brian Atwood python boots for $1,500 that were originally over $6K. I’ve also bought a Balmain jacket there once for $200 that was originally almost $8K. There is no way I would otherwise splurge on these pieces.  Theoutnet.com also often has flash sales where everything that already is marked down you can snag at even a bigger discount. I’m talking better than any sample sale out there. It’s amazing… my heart skips beats just thinking about it.”

Sign Up and Register On Flash Sale Sites

Flash sale sites like Gilt.comHautelook.com and Ruelala.com offer fashion at a discount generally for a couple of days or until the item is sold out. New e-tailers are emerging all of the time, beckoning with steep discounts; but don’t let the time element cause you to purchase items you really don’t want. The fashionista says, “Websites like Gilt and RueLaLa literally send you push notifications to your mobile. You can do all of the shopping from your computer or the palm of your hand. It’s fantastic!”

Related: Best Places For Handmade Accessories In Chicago

Use This Site When Searching For a Specific Item

ShopStyle.com is a great tool to use when you are searching for something specific such as a kimono-style wrap or a crocheted dress. You have an option to select “sale only,” or get notified via email when the particular item you are looking for goes on sale. True, the availability of your size can be an issue, but, like the lottery, you have to get in it to win it.

Shop End Of Season Sales

You know how your grandmother goes crazy for holiday wrapping paper and ornaments on December 26th? You need to get on the fashion end of season sales which typically happen in July (for sundresses and swimsuits you can take on your winter vacation to the Caribbean) and in January when you can finally afford that stunning winter coat. Berkun says, “You can find the best deals and steals that way!”

Related: Ask A Chicago Stylist: Three Easy Braided Hairstyles

Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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