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My Favorite Cyber Monday Specials (So Far)

26 Nov

Sporto's The Wendy

One reason it’s stupid to go in-store to shop this week (or the next few weeks) is that you can actually get some better deals online. And two of my favorite online shopping sites, ASOS and Piperlime, are offering 20% off at checkout with special codes. At Piperlime, be sure to get everything you want in one order because you can only use the code TWENTY once! Also, it doesn’t apply to gift wrapping, gift cards or the following brands: Frye, Hunter, Rag & Bone, Fossil, Stuart Weitzman and The North Face. But that does mean you can get those Sorel Tofino™ or Joan of Arctic™ boots you’ve been pining for (like I have) at 20% off of $140. I’m actually going to order Sporto’s equally cool version of the Tofino™: The Wendy. (I need a good pair of snow boots because when you’re a TV reporter, you never know how many hours you’ll be reporting in a snowstorm for!) It’s priced at $89.95 at DSW, and you can get $15 off with the code CYBER and free shipping with the code SHIPR. (You do have to become a “Rewards Member,” but that’s free. And the more you shop, the closer you get to freebies.) There are fewer restrictions at ASOS: You can use the codes HAPPYBLACKFRIDAY or BLACKFRIDAY2011 multiple times–even on sale items; orders just cannot exceed $890. Both ASOS and Piperlime offer free shipping on orders and returns. So shop now and have second thoughts later, as all the deals expire at 11:59 p.m. Monday.

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Leave It to Sam

24 Nov

Not me. Sam’s Club, that is (I’ll get to that in a bit). I’m technically on vacation, but I had to put in my two cents on Black Friday.

Courtesy: Sam's Club

You are absolutely crazy if you wait in the cold at midnight, even at Target, for a deal. My advice: Don’t even wait for Cyber Monday; make this Friday “Cyber Friday.”

There are so many options out there (I mentioned Loehmanns.com last week). It seems most people wait for those doorbuster deals to buy deeply discounted electronics. Still not worth it to me. First of all, with eBay, you can find great deals on new products–not necessarily used. And many electronics vendors on eBay accept returns. You may just need to do your own wrapping (which I suggest doing to save money anyway).

Next, if you’re a member of Sam’s Club, snapping up deals on all-things tech is easy. The megastore has an iPad® app and mobile app you can use starting November 27. Grab big screen HDTVs and electronics to diamond jewelry and toys. For example: One deal is a Magnavox 32-inch LCD 720p HDTV for $248.88 (and includes free shipping). Of course you must be a member, but I think any of those warehouse clubs are worth it (if you have the room or can split your spoils among friends).

Between now and the holidays, I’ll have some more ideas to save money, so stay tuned and have a happy and a healthy Thanksgiving!

 

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The Back Room at Your Fingertips

18 Nov

I’ve been chomping at the bit to write this post, and I can finally give you the details on the new Loehmanns.com! First of all, it is one-of-a-kind, meaning no flash sales. Other designer discount stores don’t even let you buy online, and Century 21 holds flash sales on stuff you could find in an Annie Sez (no disrespect to them, but I’m just saying). But think Halston, Missoni and BCBG). And they are all now at your fingertips, every day! The fabulous Back Room is online at the new Loehmanns.com!

So, as easy as it is to shop in the stores, where everything is beautifully organized by designer (not like other stores where you have to dig and have a keen eye), you can get the same experience online.

Like the site’s editor-in-chief, Steve Cusumano, told me, “Like the stores, we hope to convey the fun in shopping and the thrill of finding the unexpected.”

What you can expect, however, is the merchandise to be replenished even more often than in the stores–and you will find, as I said, the same great looks online as in Loehmann’s stores.

But what’s also exciting is that it will be a source for all-things fashion: shoppers can share their stories about the great deals they find. And there will experts, style icons, journalists and bloggers to help you find the perfect pieces so you can put together an amazing, affordable, wardrobe.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaching, don’t wait in line at any store at midnight. I would hit Loehmanns.com from the comfort of your own home–it is open for business 24/7. Sign up for the site to see all the deals available (it’s a must to access the Back Room).

 

 

 

 

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Get Your Red Soles On

11 Nov

So, I know I’ve been delinquent with my posting this week because, contrary to popular belief, cops being shot, students being beaten up, possible utility rate hikes after an October snowstorm that took those utilities days to restore power and left many in the cold, are more important than fashion and bargains. Those are just some of the stories I covered in my day job this week.

With that being said, thanks to Mizhattan for the heads up that the Christian Louboutin sample sale starts Tuesday, but it’s invite-only. She says your best chance for getting in is trying on Friday, although it will not guaranty entry. And according to Madison Avenue Spy, it actually starts today for VIPs. I have to admire Madison Avenue spy for the following:

“Mizhattan writes, “Furthermore, for those expecting a full Mizhattan report, please note that out of respect for Louboutin’s privacy, I will not be covering this event.” Truth is that the Christian Louboutin PR reps offer bloggers invites only if they promise NOT to cover the sale. We say, keep your invite. We have readers to inform!”

I don’t know if I would be so noble! And I must add, the rich and famous always get free and can afford full price, so why not let your average fashionista enjoy for a change, right? Anyway, still I had to share this information even though it came second-hand (nothing wrong with that!). Thank you to both (they have great blogs!)

Christian Louboutin Sample Sale, 306 West 38th Street, November 11 through November 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Goodbye Syms and Filene’s Basement

3 Nov

Courtesy: Yusuf C

I must thank my friend and Sarah Palin expert and author Shushannah Walshe for tweeting this info via The Washington Post. RIP Filene’s Basement and Syms. Filene’s Basement is one discount store I don’t like, and haven’t liked since I visited the original basement in Downtown Boston. Syms, which I do like, bought it out of bankruptcy but apparently could not revive it. So, while “An Educated Consumer Is Our Best Customer” was the tagline of Sy Syms’ long-running ad campaign, apparently the Syms family wasn’t educated enough to know that the chain they bought was beneath them (in my opinion). Now I don’t know the details– whether it was Filene’s sales that brought the company down or the two combined–but I’ve found Missoni and Krizia pieces at Syms, while Filene’s was selling crap. By crap, I mean brands you could buy in discount department stores like Sears, Kohl’s and jcpenney (which, as I’ve mentioned before, sell some great lower-priced lines from great designers, although I never mentioned the $14.99 I ♥ Ronson blazer I got at jcpenney–that’s how they are spelling it these days). It was basically akin to Burlington Coat Factory. (Blah!)

The one positive: It means there will be a liquidation sale. And that information comes straight from a message Marcy Syms posted on the company’s Web site. Yes, Syms suits were irregular, but they were from many of the best designers–and they did alterations! What discount store does alterations?! (If anyone knows, let me know.) So while I don’t mourn Filene’s passing, Syms–the commercials that ran throughout my childhood, the hours spent combing the racks for just a few gems–I do mourn. To see Marcy Syms’ statememt, click here.

I wonder if another store could hold a “Running of the Brides” for wedding dresses like Filene’s Basement did. If you’ve ever seen that on the news, those were crazy. I wasn’t planning on getting mine that way, though (although I will try to find a deal in a more civilized fashion).

Now I wonder what will take its place on that prime Upper West Side corner of 79th Street and Broadway, its location in Union Square or even its space in the Bergen Town Center (home to so many fabulous department store outlets).

On a side note, I have taken my day job as a television reporter up again, so, I apologize in advance for posting less frequently, but I will keep trying to help you live life fully without paying full price. However, in the name of shameless self-promotion, if you live in New Jersey and have FiOS, be sure to watch me every weeknight on FiOS 1.

 

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Locate a Sale…. From Anywhere!

27 Oct

Courtesy: SaleLocator.com

When the Valhalla, New York-based father-and-son team of Michael and Udi Falkson came up with the idea for their amazing site, SaleLocator.com, they felt there simply wasn’t one place to find the type of sales you would have to wait to see in a Sunday paper circular. Thus, SaleLocator.com was born.

“Instead of visiting hundreds of retailer sites or scouring newspaper ads, circulars, direct mail,” says Michael Falkson, “shoppers can visit one resource, SaleLocator, online or via a mobile app, that brings this information together in one location.”

The site lists more than 275,000 retail and online sales per day for about 1,000 stores, many big-box and chain retailers. It’s extremely simple: The site detects where you are geographically (or you can search in other locations). Then users can shop by category or even search for something specific. You never know what will be on sale.

You’re probably wondering how they are able to get all this information. An Internet veteran, Udi Falkson helped develop Yahoo! Answers, so the Falkson’s site use a special computer program that communicates with retailers. But Michael Falkson also says some dedicated human research is involved.

As more big-box stores open in New York City (whether you are for or against it), SaleLocator.com can help you find deals at all of them. But, according to Falkson, they also show sales at smaller stores (Godiva, for one), even supermarkets and drugstores. And you can organize your shopping by saving searches, setting up alerts and making lists either through the app or on the site.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just in case you plan on getting out to shop later, today (for example) SaleLocator.com lists the specific items of men’s outerwear on sale—along with their prices—at the H&M on East 86th Street. You’ll also find details on specifc drapes, rugs and furniture on sale at the Pottery Barn on Second Avenue between East 75th and 76th Streets.
                                                                                                                                                                                                       For more information, visit SaleLocator.com.      
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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Preview Versace for H&M (And Shop Loehmann’s Online!)

20 Oct

Slideshow

Long-awaited pictures are out for the latest designer-discount store collaboration: Versace for H&M.  Though it doesn’t go on sale until November 19 in about 300 stores worldwide, you can catch your first peek at some of the colorful looks for both men and women below. Prices range from $299 for the dress Donatella Versace is wearing (left) to $19.95 rings and earrings. There are three shoe designs for both men and women, from $129 to $149 each (and leather, not pleather). There are also home items, pillows priced from $29.99 to $39.99 and a beadspread, $149. Priced well, considering what Versace usually sells for!

 

 

 

Also, still awaiting details, but we hear that Loehmann’s will offer online shopping beginning November 7. And H&M is following suit in fall 2012. We hope other retailers like T.J.Maxx in the United States follow suit! Right now, you can shop online at Century 21, which always has amazing things, but you always do better in-store. We’ll see what Loehmann’s is offering up soon.

 

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An Emphatically Awesome Sample Sale

20 Oct

There’s nothing better than someone who’s hosting a sample sale being so excited about it, they actually are sad to part with some of the merchandise. It also shows how great the deals and items are. That describes the folks at EmphaticNYC.com–a designer resale Web site. They are offering an amazing selection of items in their Garment District showroom that would normally only be available online. EmphaticNYC’s first sample sale takes place Thursday, October 20, through Saturday, October 22. You could say they are emphatically enthusiastic. And it’s easy to see why. First of all, look at the savings: up to 85% off (a few items are discounted even more). The designers: Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel, Moschino, Manolo Blahnik, Diane von Furstenberg, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent and more! If you can’t make it to the sale, there are still plenty of deals online. So, what are some of the pieces owner Adrianne Hayon is sad to see go?

Escada oatmeal tweed coat with fur collar, $894.95 (68% off)

Alberta Ferretti silk embroidered dress, $84.95 (almost 93% off!)

Coach limited-edition tote with snakeskin trim, $824.95 (45% off)

 

But if you want the best, always good to get there early. Doors open at 8 a.m. And if you don’t get a chance to visit EmphaticNYC’s showroom, stay tuned: Bloggains will take you on a tour and show you the racks of wonderful clothes and accessories. EmphaticNYC, 262 West 38th Street, Suite 201, Manhattan, (212) 239-6762; October 20-October 22, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

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Boycott the Balvenie Rare Craft Roadshow

19 Oct

Let me start this post by saying that the following in no way diminishes the value of sites like Myopenbar.com. But hopefully some of you did not receive the e-mail I did today, after RSVPing last week. It said the following:

Good afternoon, dear friend -
Thank you for your overwhelming interest in The Balvenie Rare Craft Experience Event in New York on Wednesday, October the 19th.
We are fully aware that you may have received confirmation on your RSVP prior to this email, but due to unforeseen capacity issues we will not be able to honor your original confirmation at this time, nor include you on our guestlist for the evening.
We extend our greatest apology for any inconvenience this may have caused and are extremely disappointed you will not be able to join us for this particular event. On that note, we ask that you please sign up for Warehouse 24 at www.thebalvenie.com to gain advance notice of all future events, in depth information and access to the craftsmen of The Balvenie.
-BV
 

Well, this is not how you treat the press nor bloggers, and I consider myself a member of both groups. And it’s certainly not how you treat potential customers: simply encouraging them to sign up for a Web site promoting the product without any incentive. I would like to call out the apparently inexperienced PR firm of Maloney & Fox for sending out automatic RSVP confirmations. It’s almost as bad as the Target-Missoni mishandling. I’ve dealt with many publicists and this is not how it’s done. So, it’s your prerogative to attend this event if your RSVP confirmation was not de-confirmed. But I would encourage you to send Balvenie and the amateurs at Maloney & Fox a message by not attending. But please do sign up for Myopenbar.com, because the listings there are pretty solid. I also don’t want to disparage Sons of Essex because, as I said in the previous post, I’ve only heard good things about it. There are other free and inexpensive events Wednesday; to see some of them, check out MyFreeConcert.com.

Thanks to Myopenbar.com

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Out of Beacon’s Closet…. And into Yours

15 Oct

Please excuse my first foray into amateur video blogging (I’m used to working with the best equipment, but I used my old home DV camera and iMovie to make this one). But alas, an inside peek into Beacon’s Closet’s newest location–and its first in Manhattan. It’s one of the best “buy-sell-trade” stores in the city, in my opinion. The new outpost opened September 2 at 10 West 13th Street, and just happens to be surrounded by the best clientele for the store–students from Parsons, SVA, Pratt and NYU. Take a look…. and even find out the story behind the store, how the buyers decide what to buy and even a bit about the logo!


Beacon’s Closet, 10 West 13th Street, Manhattan, (917) 261-4863, beaconscloset.com

 

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