Did you Know?

Did you know that most stores have at least a two-week grace period for price adjustments? If something goes on sale within two weeks of you purchasing it, you only need to take in your receipt (not the purchase) and get back the difference.

Did you know most of your favorite online retailers will take returns in their “brick and mortar” stores? Save on shipping those not-quite-right garments!

Did you know that nicer department stores like Nordstrom do free alterations? My 5’2” friend had her Citizen of Humanity jeans shortened about a foot and no one would be the wiser – they replace the original hem so you have that great finish and no one is the wiser.

Did you know that Nordstrom and many other higher-end stores will also reheel and resole shoes you bought there for free? The same petite friend of mine takes her beloved knee-high brown boots there every fall for a tune-up and has done this for about five years without a single problem.

Did you also know that if a garment or accessory doesn’t live up to its promises (shrinks in the wash, fades though you followed the care instructions, loses beading, seam busts with normal wear, broken zipper) you can return it, even if it has been several weeks or months? Read your receipt – it will often say it won’t take back worn clothes unless it is defective. The above lists things that deem an item defective. We recently return seasons-old shoes of my husband’s because the whole toebox separated from the sole. That isn’t normal wear and tear; even without the receipt we were able to exchange them for an equivalent pair.

Did you know that most items on a sale rack are returns? Find that perfect jacket and there is only one in your size? Very well could have been worn by someone else a few times before you took it to the fitting room. Same with full-priced merchandise. When I worked retail, we had solvents to remove spots, steamer closets to get rid of creases and wrinkles and sprays to banish perfume and body odor. I knew of a person who bought a new jacket, got it home to find in the pocket a matchbook, a condom and a ponytail elastic with hair still attached. Check your item carefully before purchase. If an item is damaged or stained beyond repair, it will be sent back to corporate or to an outlet store.

Did you know you can occasionally haggle price? If it is the last item in the store and it is missing a button, has a stain or a snag, you can ask a manager if they will give you a percentage off the price. Sometimes they do not have the ability to due to corporate rules and often this will make the garment a Final Sale, but it’s at least worth asking (of course with a smile!).

Did you know if you Google (or Goodsearch) your online retailer’s name and “promo” or something similar, you will find out of there are any deals going on for your purchase? This is a great way to find out about free shipping, 15% off $100 or more, and similar deals. Do this before every purchase… the minute or two will usually pay off.

Did you know you can buy off the mannequin? Retailers hate to do this because then they have to steam and pin and redress the form, but if you want a certain item and the only one left in your size is in the front window, you are more than welcome to ask a salesperson to remove it for you. The point of the display is to bring in customers and make sales. If it is creased and has pin holes from being on the mannequin, you can also ask them to steam it for you.

Did you know you can have the hanger? Many stores have fancy wood or lacquer hangers with their company name or logo on them, but most dresses and jackets are shipped on clear or black plastic hangers – just like the ones they sell in stores. Ask for the hanger, either by having your garments hung in a bag, or hung in a garment bag and then folded into a shopper, or just tossed in with your purchase! I am still using all the black plastic hangers I got from my years at Express – they have rubber grippers and nooks for straps and little holes at the neck so one can “monkey hang” easily in the closet. Far better for the clothes than the cheap plastic tubular ones at Target.

Did you know that with many stores, there really is more in the back? If it is a current item in the front of the store, there is a good chance they have more… though they may still be wrapped in plastic and in boxes. If you are a good customer and you are super nice to the salesperson, they very well may dig through unprocessed shipment to find your size. If they say that’s all they have, don’t push the issue for it very well may be true, but again it doesn’t hurt to ask!


  1. July 30, 2007 / 10:25 am

    It may vary from location to location; I know my friend who does it each season just comes in with her original box, receipt and the shoes and a couple days later has shoes ready for wear. When I have taken back shoes that had a problem they have offered to repair them or replace them free of charge. But every company, services seem to vary from location to location per management.

  2. Aisha
    July 29, 2007 / 11:57 pm

    Is the nordstrom policy on reheeling and resoling for all Nordstrom stores or just a specific one? I just talked to Nordstrom via Live Help and I guess the reheeling/resoling is done out of store and has a fee associated with the service?

  3. Anonymous
    July 15, 2007 / 1:29 am

    You are awesome!!! I never knew half these tips!

  4. anna
    July 14, 2007 / 3:39 pm

    thank you dilly dilly… you are a fabulous fashion icon in your own beautiful right…

  5. Christine
    July 14, 2007 / 2:24 pm

    Thanks for the great tips!

    I’ve been living by the Gap’s two-week price reduction policy for ages and have saved at least half the price of every purchase since mid last year. Same for pants that are missing a button or shrink too much after the wash. And I’ve taken my fair share of dresses from a mannequin (poor mannequins).

    The hanger, google search and resoling are all new, and I’ll be trying those soon!

    PS Buying the model merch also works at i’kea. They often run out of popular items, and staff won’t dismantle a display for you, but when they’re not looking….

  6. July 14, 2007 / 4:00 am

    I loooove all this advice! I’ve been asking to keep hangers for a while now, but the rest is news to me 🙂

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