Fashion blogger Holly Barry, from Chorleywood, of, is here to help with tips and advice on how to cut back on spending…

Watford Observer:

Where are we going wrong?

With ASOS Instant being introduced at the end of last year, which offers same-day delivery, it is safe to say that retailers are recognising a certain trend in online shoppers.

The prospect of bargain hunting and ‘shopping around’ seems to be outweighed by our impulse to purchase immediately. Retailers are also making use out of our urge to spend by making it easier and quicker to check out, leaving limited time to contemplate your buys.

So, to make your pennies go the extra mile here are some clever tactics for online shopping that will guarantee you more for your money.

eBay Stores

It is estimated that 25 million people use eBay to sell and 81 per cent of the items listed are new. So eBay is a great way to make a clothes purchase without feeling unnecessary guilt. In fact, there is a real sense of reward when you have knocked someone off the highest bid and when the item ends you are left with a new belonging.

However exploring the eBay stores is another story. With the likes of Very, Debenhams, Office, Laura Ashley and Boden using eBay to sell their end of line stock, you can bank on the fact your purchase will be genuine and authentic as it sent straight from the retailer, and you can save up to 80 per cent off the original retail price. Items are listed at a set price as opposed to being auctioned which means you’re guaranteed the item but at a much lower cost than visiting the online store.

Watford Observer:

Charity Shops

Online charity shops are as cheap as visiting the store, but they are nowhere near as popular as online chains.

They offer brands such as Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Reiss and Whistles. I would say Oxfam is definitely one of the best charity shops to visit. Their online offering is the biggest in the UK, stocking 130,000 unique items from vintage to designer.

Others sell their clothes via eBay stores, which also feature high end brands, such as Cancer Research UK Shop, Trinity Hospice Charity Shop, St Gemmas Hospice Shop, PDSA Charity Shop and All Aboard.

Often celebrities will donate their clothes to charity shops and it pays to know where these are. Fashion for Change are an online boutique who buy and donate luxury clothes for charity. They have an area on their website dedicated to celebrities such as Emma Thompson and Lorraine Kelly who have given up their belongings for charity.

Sample Sales

It depends how big your pockets are, but most of us wouldn’t just walk into Burberry and pick up one of their signature coats and a scarf to go. Instead, buying designer needs to be carefully planned. Think sample sales.

With up to 80 per cent off, sample sales are worth the visit - start with just joining the mailing list. The most popular websites who host samples sales are The Sample Sale Guide, LDN Fashion, The Music Room, Chicmi and Shopping Spy


Make sure to sign up to your favourite store’s newsletters and subscriptions so that you can be first to hear when they start their sale. That way when you have your eye on that special something, you can find out when the price has been reduced and buy it then at a discounted rate. Make sure your will power is up to the challenge as you’ll receive plenty of emails with tempting offers, but only buy what you really think you need. I can vouch that it is well worth the spam in the long run.

Or, if you download apps such as Mallzee, Grabble and Lyst you will be notified when your favourite pieces of clothing have dropped in price.

Price Match

If you have fallen head over heels for an item but you can’t justify the price tag then you should use price comparison websites such as Kelkoo, Price Runner and Style Lounge. These sites are designed to provide you with more affordable alternatives by comparing a variety of brands from major and local retailers. By making more informed shopping decisions you’ll never want to buy an item at full price again.


If you really want to explore more adventurous ways of online shopping then you should look into clothes swapping. Clothes swapping will enable you to trade the clothes that have been sat in your wardrobe untouched for months, for clothes you think you will get more wear out of. Websites worth the visit are Vinted, Swishing and Swap Style.

Help Chats

If the retailer you’re shopping from has an option to start a live web chat then my advice would be to do so. This way you can talk to a member of staff about any promotions on the website that you may have missed whilst browsing and you can ask if any of their full priced items are going to be discounted.