Last year we ran a story on how you can furnish your house by exchanging items with friends or scouring Gumtree for second-hand items.

You can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars doing so and the best part is you’ll have items that nobody else you know does, which is sure to earn you major points amongst your friends.

It’s not just furniture that you can score these bargains on. You can also score bargains if you know how and what to do. Here are some of our top tips:

Sell clothes online or exchange old clothes for vouchers

You can either sell your clothes online on Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, eBay or Gumtree. Other sites include Depop where you don’t have to be in the same area as the person.

The Closet is another website where you can buy a thrift bag which will then be sent to your address. You can then fill the big with the clothing you want to sell and sign the consignment agreement when it arrives. The Closet takes care of everything else for you so you don’t have to worry about taking photographs or dealing with the buyers.

The Re:Club comes with a membership fee of $49 per year and you will enjoy discounts on second-hand clothing. You do not need to be a member to offload your own old clothes.

Yordrobe is an app where you can sell, swap or donate your old clothes. You can also buy new clothes.

H&M has started a sustainability initiative where you will receive a 15 per cent discount voucher that you can use on your next purchase at the store.

Buy second-hand clothes

If you want to see the item physically before you commit to buying it then you can shop in second-hand stores. They often sell designer brands for a fraction of the cost. Aside from saving money on new clothes, you will also save the clothing from going into landfills.

Buy children’s shoes

It can often be cheaper to buy children’s shoes. Several brands such as Adidas, Converse, Dr Martens and Nike manufacture chidlren’s versions of their most popular styles.

Search for discount codes

When you join company loyalty programs you will often enjoy discounts. They can either vary according to the level you hold in the program or you can earn points which can later be used to save money.  Wittner’s loyalty program has four levels. On the white level, you do not get any discounts but on the black level, you save 10 per cent, silver offers a reduction of 15 per cent and when you are gold, which is the highest level you will save 20 per cent off the full retail price.

There are also several websites that publish discount codes so you can use them when you shop on the company’s website.

Weigh up quality over price

While it’s tempting to choose the cheapest option you often end up paying more in the long run as cheaper items need to be replaced more frequently than more expensive items. I can testify to this myself. I have had several expensive clothing items in my wardrobe for more than ten years, whereas lower-priced items tend to only last a year or two.

A good formula to use is to divide the total cost by the number of wears that you will get out of something. It can end up better, in the long run, to opt for the higher upfront cost than to constantly be replacing your clothing.

Rent clothes instead of buying them

Everyone has clothing items that they’ve only worn once or twice. Instead of buying new clothing, many people are turning to renting. There are many designer rental stores around Australia, including Dress Hire AU where you can browse the store online and then it will be delivered to your door. Rental prices start from $79 and there are labels such as Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent and Zimmerman listed.

Try swishing

Swishing is where you swap clothing or footwear with other people. Rather than buying clothes you swap them with your friends and family and everyone walks away with a selection of new clothes.

Follow the care instructions

We’ve all had a woollen jumper that we’ve accidentally shrunk when we’ve put it in the dryer. It’s really important to follow the care instructions on the label to prolong the life of your clothes. High quality clothing should last you a few years if you look after it. Shoes are the same. I personally have had a pair of Brooks shoes for the six years and I have prolonged their life by regluing the soles. All you need is supa glue which costs just $3-$5 (depending on the brand you buy) at the supermarket and you can add another few months or even a year to your shoes.

When it comes to jeans you do not need to wash them all the time. Once every ten years is more than enough and it will avoid them shrinking. You should also keep them out of sunlight when you dry them.

Shop the sales

Shop the sales. You can snap up bargains for significantly lower than the full retail price. It also pays to compare prices at different outlets. You may be able to find the same item for a better price. Before you commit to the purchase check the shipping price as sometimes the shipping price can outweigh the net benefit of buying clothes on sale.

Some stores like Zara also offer regular customers early access to their sales.

Alter your clothing

Rather than throwing out a pair of old jeans that’s faded buy some fabric dye from a store like Spotlight, which should cost you no more than $10-$20 depending on if you buy liquid or powdered dye.

If the jeans are too worn out you may be able to repurpose them into a pair of shorts or a skirt so that you can get much more wear out of them, or they could become your “at home” clothes.

Shop at the outlet stores

With the advent of online shopping, many retailers offer outlet or showroom deals. Designer Carla Zampatti holds a warehouse sale a couple of times a year in Sydney and Brisbane and you can snap up huge discounts. Other retailers permanently have out-of-season clothing on sale until they are sold out.

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