Monday, March 30, 2009

Joeffer Caoc: Sample Sale

Joeffer Caoc is an amazing Canadian designer and he's extended his sample sale for another few days.

Up to 80% off clearance prices.

Nothing over $100.

If you're in Toronto, don't miss it!!!

All sizes available: 2-14
including suits, separates, dresses & evening wear.

Extended dates:
Tuesday March 31: 2-6:30 p.m.
Wednesday April 1: 2-6:30 p.m.

110 Spadina Avenue, Suite 828
Northwest corner of Adelaide & Spadina

check out for more info on this great designer!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Craigslist: The New Heaven

Although eBay was the obvious choice for my first post about Recessionista shopping, I have found another online site that I must admit I am turning to more and more often.
Craigslist! Yup, that’s right! I know it’s not a place you’d think you would find designer items, but have you looked lately?
And here’s the inside scoop. Canadian sites can often be a little bare, especially if you want to buy authentic items and not just stuff that was bought in China Town, BUT have you checked out the U.S. city sites? My favourites are New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
People in those cities are often looking to sell designer purses, shoes and clothing because they have access to the newer styles at discount prices. So where they went to eBay to sell their items in the past, they’re turning to Craigslist where they don’t have to pay a listing fee. That means they can afford to sell their items for better prices.
Although most Craigslist sellers (and buyers for that matter) like to handle transactions in person, there are many who are still willing to ship items, even to Canada.
I actually got a vintage LV 30 Speedy for under $200 CAD, including shipping. Considering a new one retails for $700 US plus tax, shipping, etc., I would say that my bag was a pretty good score.
There’s two ways I would suggest using the Craigslist US sites. If you are planning to travel to the US in the near future, you can check out the city site before you go and arrange meetings for when you arrive. Otherwise, you can email the buyer and ask if they’re willing to ship the item for a mutually agreed price (including tracking) and handle the transaction through PayPal.
Three things to remember:
  1. Always do your homework and make sure you are getting what was advertised by emailing the buyer and asking specific questions. Remember that photos can sometimes seem deceiving. A dress could be longer or shorter than it looks. Bags could be bigger or smaller or their straps could be shorter than you had hoped for. In any case, ask all the questions and you won’t be disappointed.
  2. Make sure shipping includes a tracking number so you can trace if an item was actually sent to you.
  3. Use PayPal as your method of payment, which comes with buyer’s insurance, incase you need to have your money refunded.

That being said, there may not be as wide a selection on Craigslist as there is on eBay, but I just did a check for LV Speedy bags on eBay and there’s nothing in the price range that I paid for my bag. So there you go.
Happy shopping!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Recessionista Heaven: eBay

Although there are many online sites that offer great bargains, I wanted the first one that I wrote about to be eBay. Let’s face it; it was one of the first and still definitely the best place for Canadians to buy luxury items at a discount.
There are some drawbacks to eBay, including the listing of counterfeit or fake items as well as shipping and customs charges but if you are a savvy shopper, you can definitely get a great deal.
I always start by narrowing my search to Canadian merchants first. This way I avoid duties and shipping charges are usually considerably less. If I can’t find what I want in Canada, I do a North America search next and then widen my search to the rest of the world. There are some exceptions. I stay away from buying from China and Japan because Chinese laws on counterfeiting are much more lax than they are in North America. Don’t get me wrong, there are good and bad sellers in China as there are anywhere else in the world, but I prefer not to risk it unless I can be absolutely certain the item I’m getting is authentic.
Make sure you ask questions when bidding on items, especially if they do not mention that the item is authentic. A purse made from “Gucci material” is not the same thing as an “authentic Gucci purse.” Send an email to the seller asking specifically if the item is authentic and where they purchased the item. When a seller responds that they bought the item in a specific store, it is a good sign. Getting the item as a gift or purchasing it from eBay on the other hand are excuses for the sellers to say they had no idea the item was counterfeit and that they “assumed” the item was real.
EBay has been sued by several luxury companies in the past few years and so they are much more diligent about removing fake items. Also, when you buy with PayPal, you can ask for your money back if you suspect the item you have been shipped is a fake.
I once purchased a D&G coat on eBay and realized when it arrived that it was fake. I emailed the seller and asked for my money back in exchange for not charging them with fraud. It’s funny how people are quick to send your money back when they know they could face prison time.
In any case, like everywhere else, eBay is really a place where the buyer must be aware. There are several guides on the site explaining how to spot a fake bag or fake outfit. Read the guides and make sure what you’re buying corresponds with the real item as far as materials, markings, etc. If you have done your homework and asked all the right questions, you should be able to find yourself a great deal. And in the off chance that you receive a fake, contact the seller through their resolution department and report them to eBay and PayPal so you can get your money back.
That being said, eBay will always have a special place in a Recessionista’s heart!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Welcome Shoppers!

Friends often refer to me as the “Queen of sales”. Some people might be offended with that title. Does it really mean “cheap”? I say “who cares!” I love beautiful things. Nothing gets me going like a gorgeous tailored dress or exquisite leather heels. But it kills me to have to pay regular price for stuff, especially when I know a little digging will usually pay off with huge savings to my wallet.

So no, it’s not an insult, and in this time of economic uncertainty, most people who know about my “sales savvy” also come to me asking about where they can get discounts of their own.

I know recessionista blogs exist on the web and this blog by no means is an attempt to dismiss what they do. I’ve subscribed to those blogs but since they’re American, I have found myself all too often chasing down the latest deal on their site only to find out that there is no shipping to Canada or the sale is only for US merchants.

I know I’m not the only one in this unfortunate position, (tragedy really), so this site will serve as a haven for Canadian recessionistas like me, who love beautiful things and love sales almost as much.

Keep reading in coming blogs about my favourite sales spots and inside information on when to shop, how to find out about upcoming sales, etc.

And by all means, even the Queen of Sales needs assistants, so if you know about a great sale that applies to Canadians, send it our way. We Canadian recessionistas have to stick together!

Happy Shopping!