Tag Archives: online shopping

Black Friday Shopping Do’s And Don’ts

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Black Friday Shopping Do’s And Don’ts

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday! I can’t say that I’ve ever gone Black Friday shopping before and have no real desire to, either. BUT, after working retail for four years, I’ve grown savvy to some pro tips that will get you through the madness with some great deals and your personal safety/sanity still intact. Take a look:

DO:

Know your sales: Most stores do the same Black Friday sales every year. PacSun does, The Body Shop does, Claire’s does, Piercing Pagoda does (All stores that I’ve worked at.). Investigate the sales from year’s past and see if you notice a pattern. That way, you can determine if it’s even worth it to go out and hit the shops. Most stores won’t give you their Black Friday sales info before the day – but it doesn’t hurt to ask, either!

Know your sales Pt. 2: Normally, Black Friday sales don’t end on Black Friday. At PacSun and The Body Shop, their sales didn’t end for a solid month. If you don’t get to the stores on the actual day, I wouldn’t sweat it too much – especially because Cyber Monday is still a thing.

Cyber Monday Savvy: And speaking of Cyber Monday, get hip to it. In some cases, Cyber Monday sales are even better than Black Friday deals, especially if the stores you prefer to shop at have a stronger online presence. Do your research of sales from the past as mentioned in the above sections and make your decision on which day to shop. Or throw caution to the wind and shop on both!

Get there early: If there’s something that you really want, I’d recommend staking out at that specific store front at least an hour before opening. That way, you can get in, grab the item, and get out. It also doesn’t hurt to see if you can put items on hold prior to the Black Friday date so that you can purchase them with the sales and you don’t have to run into the store like a madwoman to get it.

Let it go: If you find yourself in a stand off for the last of something, just let it go. People are literally crazy and I’d rather leave the store in one piece than get the last of something that I’m sure you can buy at a later date.

DON’T:

Be that person: Black Friday is, by definition, a crazy time. Please have some respect. At the mall that I worked in, the store manager of Victoria’s Secret got punched in the face THREE YEARS IN A ROW. That’s pure insanity. You are all better than that. Don’t be that person.

Go in willy nilly: It’s essential to have a game plan during Black Friday. What items do you want? What stores are a must to go into? Can you and whomever you’re going shopping with divide and conquer to get everything on your lists? Devise a plan and stick to it so that you can make the most out of your Black Friday shopping extravaganza.

Buy in excess: Yes, it’s great to get a good deal. BUT do you really need everything that you’re buying? It’s nice to see all of the money that you saved, but don’t buy stuff just for the sake of buying it on Black Friday. As I mentioned before, check the deals. Some stores already have their sales going on now. Think of what is really necessary to purchase and try and do it beforehand, if you can. Being involved in all of the Black Friday hubbub can make you feel inclined to overspend so DON’T FALL FOR IT!!

Black Friday is not everyone’s cup of tea. It certainly isn’t mine! But that doesn’t mean that I don’t know a thing or two about how to shop during it. Use my pro tips and have the best Black Friday shopping experience yet! What are some of your Black Friday do’s and don’ts? What are some of the best Black Friday deals that you have scored? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

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Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

Howdy! I have been asked a lot recently for advice on holiday shopping, since I finished my present purchasing way ahead of the game last week. I take holiday shopping and birthday present buying very seriously, because I love to spoil my family and friends. Of course, random prezzies throughout the year are nice, but it’s fun to go hard on the major gift giving occasions. Now, I’m going to walk you through a step by step guide on my holiday shopping process to help you finish your purchasing with December to spare:

Make a list: I know that I say this all of the time, but it’s true. Type or write out all of the people that you need to shop for and then start narrowing down the best gift for him or her. What are their hobbies? What is their favorite food or type of music? What is something that they would like to have but would never buy for themselves? These are all excellent places to start.

More on gift selecting: Still stuck? Let’s talk about some of my go to present selections:

  • Alcohol is always a good choice if you’re buying for one of your girlfriends or brothers. Who wouldn’t want a six pack of Christmas ale or a bottle of vino?
  • If you’re buying for a couple, how about treating them to a date night? Gift cards for restaurants and movie theaters are a great place to start.
  • Groupon vouchers can also be a nice surprise. I received two vouchers for a Paint Nite event at a bar one year and my guest and I had an absolute ball.
  • Lotions, candles, and other bath and body care treats are also a fool proof selection if you are buying for a sister, your mom, or a girlfriend. Customize a gift set for them filled with smell goods, fuzzy socks, and a sleeping mask for the ultimate pampering party.
  • Buying a subscription is another really good option. Popping for a few months of a Netflix, Hulu, Ipsy, or Birch Box subscription is the gift that keeps on giving and they are not overly expensive.

Purchasing time: After you’ve made your list and checked it twice, it is time to move on to the actual purchasing of the presents. I prefer to do every possible bit of my shopping online, and then buy the rest of my presents in store as needed. I am a faithful member of Amazon and a majority of my shopping was done on there this year. I then went to the shops on a week day afternoon to do the rest of my buying and eliminated all of my holiday purchasing in one huge swoop.

Online shopping tips: If, like me, you prefer to shop online, then there are some steps that you can take to ensure that you are always getting the best deal. Such as:

  1. Signing up for emails or rewards programs. Most websites will give you an extra incentive to sign up for their email updates, like ten percent off a purchase or free shipping. Every little bit helps!
  2. Using websites like Retail Me Not or Honey to find coupon codes for different websites. Note that some websites rarely have promotion codes like Amazon, TJMaxx, and Zara.
  3. Do your research. Read reviews of the products that you are going to buy and Google them, as well. You can’t physically touch and look at what you’re thinking of purchasing so this is the online equivalent.
  4. Check out multiple different websites to ensure that you are getting the best deal.

In store shopping tips: I avoid shopping in store during the holidays like the plague. However, it has to be done sometimes and this is how I avoid the hustle and bustle of hitting the shops:

  1. Go shopping during non peak traffic times. A week day afternoon is ideal, but if your schedule doesn’t allow for that, then try going late in the evening or early in the morning. The less people around while you’re shopping, the better.
  2. It’s also important to make a game plan while shopping in store. Know exactly who you’re shopping for and where each item that you need is located in the store. Wandering aimlessly can be stressful and ain’t nobody got time for that.
  3. Use coupons, in store sales, and apps. Plenty of stores now use apps and rewards programs to give their customers great deals. Find them, use them, and love them. Every little bit helps!

And finally, make sure that you double check all of your items that you purchased in store or online for any defects in the products. The sooner you find a problem and correct it, the less you have to stress about it – especially if you have to ship back the item and rebuy it.

So there you have it, Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips! Was this guide helpful to you? What are some of your tips to holiday shopping that I didn’t cover? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: ASOS Obsessed

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Monday Update: ASOS Obsessed

Hi everyone and happy Monday! I hope that all of you had a fantastic weekend. While I peruse all of the wonderful fashion blogs out there, I always see ASOS mentioned, but have never taken the plunge to going on their website. All of the clothes in the haul posts that I have seen look gorgeous, BUT I truly don’t need another store to shop at…Said no girl ever.

During a blah night in last week, I decided that I needed to see pretty things, and browsed through some of my preferred shopping headquarter’s websites. And, just for the HECK of it, I decided to check out ASOS, too.

BIG MISTAKE!!!!

Guys….guyyyyyyys. Why did no one tell me that that website is amazing?! I mean, seriously, thank you because ballin on a budget. BUT DAMNIT, I feel so ashamed of myself. As an avid lover of all things British fashion, you would think that I would have been all over this site a long time ago, but sadly:

WE ALL THOUGHT WRONG!!

Sweet Jesus! That site is the bomb. Pages and pages and pages and pages AND PAGES of such fantastic, edgy, sleek, chic, cool, clothing and accessories AND SHOES and I just can’t even. If I didn’t have a single ounce of self control, I could probably spend all night clicking through each page and ogling over the seemingly never ending supply of clothes that I want.

THIS IS NOT GOOD!!!

You have no idea how badly I want to buy all the things right now, but I am showing restraint like a good girl who just burned a hole in her pocket with my holiday shopping haul. But, but, but – I can always consider a little shopping as an early Christmas gift to myself, right? #savemefrommyself #PLEASE

My questions for ASOS fans are as follows, BECAUSE I HAVE A FEW:

  1. How in Sam Hill do you pick what you’re going to purchase when there are So. Many. Options?
  2. What is your technique for shopping on a website with a million items to choose from when you want to look at all of it?
  3. What are your favorite ASOS pieces on their website right now? I want links, people!!!

I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: All Student Deals

All Done Holiday Shopping!!

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All Done Holiday Shopping!!

HURRAY HURRAY! As of this week, I am officially all done holiday shopping and I seriously could not be happier. Being finished with gift buying less than halfway through November might seem obscenely early to some but, for me, it is just right. For as long as I can remember, I have never been one that enjoys last minute shopping or even going to the shops as Christmas draws closer. Don’t get me wrong, I love holiday set ups in stores and magnificent window displays just as much as the next person but, my god, the stress can be unbearable.

What if I can’t find just the right present in store? What if the gift arrives broken or the shipment gets delayed? What if the present is out of stock by the time I get to buying it? What if, what if, what if. AHHH! Just typing this out gives me anxiety!! I am far from the home stretch, just because Amazon packages still have to arrive, but the fact that I’m ninety-nine percent done makes me breathe easier.

Not only the aforementioned, but I’m happy to get one big bill out of the way now, rather than have it broken up into December when I’ll be trying to save moolah again. Hello, holiday cash! This is the earliest that I’ve ever completed my holiday shopping before, and I find myself wondering why I haven’t done it like this every year. The major stress of the season is gone and now I can sit back, relax, and sip my hot chocolate while the rest of my family and friends do the December Dash to get all of their shopping done in time! But that’s none of my business. 😉 😉 😉

Who else is all done holiday shopping? Who is a last minute gift buyer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Early Holiday Shopping Edition

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Monday Update: Early Holiday Shopping Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! I hope that all of you had a fabulous weekend. One thing that Lil Red loves almost as much as shopping for herself, is shopping for other people. I live for birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas so that I can spoil my friends and family rotten with well thought out presents. I revel in making my holiday shopping list, mulling over the hobbies and favorite things of my loved ones, and coming up with the perfect presents under the tree for each of them.

Even though it is a bit early to start holiday shopping, I am pretty happy to have knocked out a solid chunk of gift buying this month. It was admittedly hard to spend the extra dough, especially because of my New York trip, BUT I was going to be buying the presents anyways so I figured that I would start getting it over with now. And since my preferred method for present shopping is doing it online, the earlier the better, in case any of the gifts are broken, take long to ship, etc.

Amazon has always been a godsend when it comes to gift giving occasions for me. What I usually do is buy a majority of my presents from there and then go to the mall (Yikes!), TJMaxx, or Target for the rest of the random odds and ends. Quite a few of my purchases have already arrived to chez moi, and I have to say that Amazon has really stepped up their shipping game. All of my packages arrived in about three days and all of the contents seemed to be handled and packed really well. When I opened the boxes and saw a solid amount of packing foam, I was confident that all of the items were going to be in one piece and ready to be given as a gift. And they were.

I’ve only had a handful of bad experiences while shopping on Amazon in the years that I’ve been a customer of theirs. But the success of my recent early bout of holiday shopping has made me feel safe in my decision to leave a majority of my purchasing in Amazon’s hands, once again. I’m glad to have gotten a head start on my Christmas shopping and am looking forward to checking off the rest of my list in November!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Early Holiday Shopping Edition! Who is done with their Christmas shopping already? Who is a last minute gift buyer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

It’s In The Bag: Cry Sanctuary Edition

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It’s In The Bag: Cry Sanctuary Edition

Hi everyone and happy Hump Day! As you all know, I’m a dedicated shopaholic, so it might be strange for you guys to hear that I’m not really a purse kind of girl. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lovely collection of totes and handbags in my collection, but I never actively seek out a new purse when I’m shopping. That’s what my shoe addiction is for!

Yearly, I can confidently say that I buy a maximum of two purses, which might seem staggeringly low for those who read my blog. I much prefer to switch out the bag that I’m using with another loved one in my clothing hoard with the change of the seasons or when I’m feeling frisky. Because I don’t swap out my bag very often, it leaves my purse collection feeling fresh and new and it’s fun to feel like I’m going shopping in my own closet!

Am I the number one fan of the purse? Not by a long shot. But do I know an amazing deal on a gorgeous piece when I see one? Absolutely. Take a look at my new Sanctuary brand bag and let’s discuss:

sanctuarysanctuary1sanctuary2

  • Original Price: $220
  • TJMaxx Price: $60

What instantly drew me to this beautiful purse was the piercing like gold hoops threaded into the crocheted design. Lil Red is a pierced up, punk rock princess so finding a bag that reflects that was really exciting. The craftsmanship that went into creating this Sanctuary sweetheart is so evident just by taking one glance at it. When this bag babe arrived in the mail, it also took me one glance whence it was outside of the box to decide that I loved it.

This purse was an unintentional buy. Seriously. The only reason I put it in my “shopping cart” online was to get myself to free shipping status. Then, I planned on taking it to the store to return it once it arrived. That plan was an obvious bust. *Eye roll* I should know myself better by now to realize that if an item is in the shopping cart, then there’s a 99.9999999% chance that I’m going to buy it. TBH, saying that this was an unintentional purchase makes me feel a lot better because I didn’t mean to like it as much as I did!!!

Regardless of the intentions of this purchase (Let’s be honest, it was intentional.), this bag is totally and completely perfect. It is edgy and chic with a heaping helping of glam and I am so happy to be able to add it to my purse collection. I suppose that I would buy this Sanctuary beauty again in a heartbeat. 😉

So there you have it, the latest issue of It’s In The Bag: Cry Sanctuary Edition! What is your favorite accessory? Are you a purse or shoes girl? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

If The Shoe Fits: Betsey Johnson Mules Edition

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If The Shoe Fits: Betsey Johnson Mules Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! I hope that all of you had a wonderful and relaxing weekend. So we all have those certain trends that we love to hate/hate to love/yada yada yada. For me, that trend is the mule. Don’t get me wrong, I love the first pair of Matisse mules that I bought and I think that some mules can be totally gorgeous. But, as a heel girl through and through, it’s a rarity that I can put my best feet forward in flats.

Obviously, a heeled mule would be ideal BUT THEY ALL LOOK LIKE CLOGS and I hate those. Lol, it’s not even a mule – it’s a straight up clog. I’ve thought a lot about this style of shoe and realized that what I need is the slipper shape of the top of the mule with a heel tacked onto the back for good measure. Preferably, a heel that’s not made of hard rubber, which makes the shoe look like a pair of clodhoppers if I’ve ever seen them.

I’ve clearly put a lot of energy into imagining the ideal shape for a heeled mule, but have had no luck in finding the pair that was “just right”. So, can you believe my surprise when I found the seemingly perfect pair of Betsey Johnson HEELED MULES while browsing on TJMaxx’s website?! Swoon. Take a look and let’s discuss:

mules1mules2

So, yeah. You can see that these babies above are exactly what I wanted. These shoes are literally a mule with a heel thrown on for funsies. These Betsey beauties are just darling. Mules definitely have the potential to look like shoes for the (very fashionable) elderly, but not these. The black and white striped heel in contrast with the vibrant yellow flowers screams whimsical tea party. These mules are youthful, sassy, and perfect for a twenty-something who considers a night on the town to consist of strutting down the aisles of Target and TJMaxx.

The best part of Betsey Johnson clothing and accessories are the adorable surprises that are in the details. The center of the flowers on my mules are actual metal, beaded, and jeweled brooches – not just some lame-o craft store find tacked smack dab in the middle. All of these hidden delights just show how much joy that Betsey has in creating her brand and why she will always be one of my favorite designers.

These shoes were made for everything from ambling through daily errands to a boozy bar crawl with the girls on a Saturday night. Somehow, Betsey Johnson knew that I was in desperate need of mules just like my new pair, so she snapped her fingers and put these on the market. Love, love, freaking LOVE.

So there you have it, the newest issue of If The Shoe Fits: Betsey Johnson Mules Edition! What is a trend that you love to hate? Do you prefer flats or heels? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah