Bargain shopping techniques from students


A smile crosses her face as she hears the sweet chime of a cash register validating her long sought-after Lucky Brand Jean bargain at Nordstrom Rack. She has taken her financial circumstances as a student and spun gold out of straw.

Lindsay Schwendiman, a 19-year-old sophomore from Hurricane, W.Va., majoring in elementary education, is unique in her own way, but similar to her fellow BYU peers in her approach to hunting down deals.

“I have my stores that I go to regularly, but I always hit up the sales rack first,” Schwendiman said. Schwendiman’s regular shopping grounds include Marshalls, T.J. Maxx and Ross. Although Schwendiman loves a good clearance, she is not opposed to dropping a few dollars on an item of quality.

“If it is good quality and a classic item, I will splurge,” Schwendiman said. “You want good quality so it lasts a long time.”

Jason Mosley, a 22-year-old from Mission Viejo, Calif., majoring in physiological developmental biology, shares similar opinions on balancing bargains and splurges.

“You have to factor in how long you are going to wear what you buy,” Mosley said. “If you are planning on using the clothing for a long time, say a suit, then it is proabably worth buying an expensive, durable suit, rather than a cheap suit every year.”

Mosley said there are good places to seek out deals on high-quality apparel. He said Banana Republic’s 40 percent off clearance weekend is the time to find great clothing for great deals.

For Heather Richardson, a 19-year-old sophomore from Plano, Texas, it shouldn’t be about the brand.

“It shouldn’t matter where you shop, but to the world it does,” Richardson said. “People judge by first impressions.”

Richardson commends those who shop at Deseret Industries and Plato’s Closet. Richardson said she looks up to those who find attractive clothes for low prices.

Steven Hall, a 25-year-old graduate student from Austin, Texas, found his favorite pair of True Religion jeans at Deseret Industries. Aside from Deseret Industries, Hall said he believes department stores have bargains everywhere.

“If you keep your eyes open, you can find everything you need at department stores,” Hall said. “Just be smart about it.”

Hall said he believes it is important to be a smart consumer, especially with clothing necessities.

“We are all on a budget and should be focusing on going to school,” Hall said. “We should learn how to bargain shop now, so when difficult situations arise we will know how to save money. The less you spend on clothes, means the more money you have to invest and build yourself financially.”

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