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SHOE HAULING - My Favorite Places & Times To Shop

I have a lot of shoes. A LOT.

I did a TikTok video of me assembling my shoe storage units, and a lady commented on the video and said:


She may as well had asked me to give away one of my kids. (lol)

Honestly.....I just really like shoes.

If you read my first book, "Hi Insecurity. Bye Insecurity.", the story about my father taking us into the store and buying us some really, awful, velcro snap shoes is an indication as to why.

We did not have a whole lot of money growing up.

One pair had to last us for the year.

I'm making up for lost time now.

I'm buying as many shoes as I like without a concern for who likes it or not.

It's my hard-earned money. And that's all there is to it.

But there is a method to the madness.

I'm a steward.

I'm not wasteful or thoughtless.

I typically buy shoes year round. I won't lie about it.

But there are two times of year that I buy them in bulk.

And I have my favorite places to go.

Patience and awareness is key in how you spend you money when it comes to shoe purchases, and really, any purchase.

But here is my recipe for shoe shopping in a manner that allows you to get the best bang for your buck:

  1. TIME OF YEAR - I usually buy several pairs of boots during the winter clearance sales in March-April, and my summer shoes during the summer clearance sale in July-August. Though there are four seasons in a year, most retailers focus on the two that yield the biggest weather pattern change. Fall can be looped into Winter, and Spring into Summer. So retailers usually clear their shelves at the end of Winter and the end of Summer. These are the times that I usually find the best deals. Now, be mindful. Buying during this time carries the possibility that you won't be able to wear them right away. Buying at the end of a season means that the weather is already changing and so is our attire. You have to have enough discipline to be willing to store them somewhere for the next 4-6 months, and not feel like you've wasted your money on something that you can't wear, and also have enough discipline to not try to wear them anyway knowing that you have no business wearing a pair of UGG Boots in the middle of May.

  2. STALKING - I stalk shoes. I've done it for years. When I see a shoe that I like, I weigh the value of it in comparison to its current retail price. Because I've followed my way of purchasing for years, and have benefited from my methods, I rarely will buy a pair of shoes that is not discounted in some way. I have to really love them to do so. Most times I will override this rule to purchase gym shoes, or high value designer shoes. But all else, I wait. I add the shoe to my favorites on a main site while also Google searching other sites to see if it's cheaper elsewhere. I periodically check on the shoe to see if it's been discounted. And if it's a shoe that I really like or need, I am paying attention to know if my size is close to being out of stock due to other shoppers. This provides me the opportunity to weigh whether or not I like the shoe enough to pull the trigger on purchasing it before it goes on sale, or at the first markdown. Yes, I said first markdown. Most stores will continue to mark a shoe down even further to liquidate. Part of my watching is to also wait for other markdowns. And because I frequent the same retailers, I know their pattern of first, second, or third markdown possibilities. I usually will not purchase on the first markdown unless the item is close to being out of stock in my size. Also, adding a shoe to your favorites makes it easy for some retailers to notify you when the item goes on sale without you having to repeatedly check on it. The benefit of this method is that you usually end up with some really great shoes at a considerably less price. The downside of stalking is that there are times that other shoppers are willing to pay more for the item, and will buy out your size before you've had a chance to get the item at a good sale price. Stalking can be a big gamble sometimes. But you have to know the retailer, the value of the item, and how in demand it is.

  3. BEST RETAILERS - I will shop just about anywhere that has a deal. But there are places that are my favorite when it comes to my seasonal shoe hauls. There are certain designers that I like to wear more than others. And knowing which retailers carry them, and also discount them greatly during end of season sales is important if you're looking for great deals. Here are my personal top four places that I go to clean up on shoe deals: 1.) 2.) 3.) Nordstrom and 4.) Please notice that each one is a .COM. All four of these have actual brick and mortar stores. But the best deals are usually online because it consists of a much bigger inventory. These four places never really disappoint me. And most of them carry the same designers that I like. So I'm able to compare prices on items that I've watched all year. These are my favorite not because of the designers that they carry, but because of how deeply they discount their items to liquidate.

This year I purchased about 10-12 shoes during end of season sales. 5 of them were from Dillards. I'd watched 5 pairs of shoes by Gianni Binni for months and months. Each one had a retail price of $130-$150 each. After the second markdown, I only paid $28 - $35 for each pair. In essence, I got 5 pairs of shoes for the price of almost one of them. I was able to get a little wear out of one or two pair so far. But when Spring 2024 comes, I'm already ready with several pair of shoes to make my Spring/Summer wardrobe exciting and fun.

There is always a way to shop smarter and with more stewardship.

Start now adding your favorite fall and winter favorites to your list.

Check on them periodically. And if they make it through the season, check back on them in March or April. You'll be happy that you waited.

Having this method under your belt is a game changer for both your closet and your wallet.

- SB

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