5 Ways to Get Discounted Designer Shoes Without Using eBay

Photo: Danielle Liss

Which do you love more? Sliding your feet into a pair of new Manolos or saving money? Designer shoe prices can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the brand and the particular shoe. Typically, if you love designer shoes and you don't want to pay retail prices, you would head to eBay, but lately the selection and prices can be hit or miss. Here are my five secrets to finding designer shoes at a discount, without going to eBay.

1. Online Designer Sales

Sample sales are gold mines for getting discounted designer goods. These sales may feature excess merchandise from the current season or goods that didn't sell from last season. In ancient times, you had to find where sample sales were being held and travel by foot and compete with other shoppers; those days are no more. Now, there are several websites that host sample sales on a regular basis. Gilt, Rue La La, Ideeli, Beyond the Rack, and Haute Look are just a few.

Once you become a site member, you will receive emails on a daily basis about which sales are coming. Look for the shoe designers. Try to visit the site as soon as possible when the sale starts because the inventory may run out quickly. The discounts are deep.

2. Shoe Clubs

The best way to learn about shoe sales is from other shoe lovers. Other than your inner shoe circle, where can you find other shoe lovers? A shoe club. Check out Hello Stiletto. Since 2004, the club started with a handful of friends in Boston and has grown to over 10,000 members across the country. If Hello Stiletto doesn't have a chapter in your area, contact the club president, Melissa O'Shea, to learn about starting a chapter.

Hello Stiletto offers many social events, but there are also occasional retail events offered at boutiques and different retailers. In Las Vegas, we had a great retail event held at a designer outlet and there was an additional discount. This was a special treat for Hello Stiletto members and an unusual way to get a really good bargain.

3. Consignment Shops

Consignment shops are often full of designer treasures. In many big cities, certain shops deal only in designer goods, but do not be afraid! The prices are still reasonable. You may be able to pick up a pair of perfect designer bejeweled strappy sandals that have only been worn once for $100.

4. Thrift Stores

A thrift store maven taught me some important lessons about how to shop in thrift stores properly. First, excess inventory from local warehouse stores often goes to thrift stores, so you can purchase unworn brand names. I've often seen stray pairs of designer shoes in clearance, so it is likely that these may also end up at the thrift stores, all alone, waiting for you. The best approach is to befriend the staff and find out when the new shoe inventories arrive. Hit the store on that day and see if there are any designer treasures to find! Also, various thrift stores will have specials on different days of the week. Find out when those specials are and make use of those days to get additional discounts. For example, you might be able to get an extra 20% off on Wednesdays.

5. Retail Store Specials

Living in Las Vegas has a lot of special perks. There are designer shoes in retail stores all over the strip. However, we've got one of two Manolo Blahnik stores in North America in the Wynn Esplanade.

Twice a year, in May and November, there is a 50% off sale at the store. You simply need to call (702) 770-3477, talk to a sales person, provide your email address and be put on the mailing list. You'll be emailed images and prices. A similar sale happens at the New York store in January and July. The discounts, like the shoes, are incredible.

Do you have any other tips or secrets for getting great discounts on designer shoes?

This is a guest post by Danielle Liss. Danielle is a lawyer and shoe lover who lives in Las Vegas. Danielle is The Frugal Lawyer and one half of Danielle & Robin. Read more by Danielle:

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Guest's picture

nordstrom has a great shoe sale from time to time. i've gotten a few pairs of prada shoes for about $100 each. they're very comfortable and well made and definitely worth $100.

Guest's picture

This goes for clothes and shoes. I prefer this over the internet because you can try things on. It also cuts back on the circulation of 'stuff' from the factory to the garbage--what a shame.

I just wish we had more consignment options in France.

Guest's picture

The other great thing about consignment and thrift stores too is that you don't see your chosen fashions being worn by every Sarah, Nikki & Sally (my version of Tom, Dick & Harry) I like that you can be unique in your look by shopping off the beaten path.

Guest's picture

Buying off season is always great as well. Also, many of the online retailers such as Zappos & 6 p.m. carry a good selection of designer shoes and they are always having sales. Zappos even offers free shipping! I got a pair of DKNY from 6 p.m. normal retail $295 for just over $36 & a pair of Michael Kors for $20 that should have been $195. I am always stalking online sales. Great article, I had no idea that thrift stores got overstock. I'll have to check that out here in Tampa and I'm going to be calling Vegas to add my name to that Manolo list!

Guest's picture

Designer Discounted (www.designerdiscounted.com) is a discount aggregator site - they publish all discounted designer items from reputable stores like Net-a-Porter, Barney's, Nordstorm, and European stores like FarFetch, Stylebop, etc. I bought a couple of Pradas and some Marc Jacobs there. It's a good site to visit if you want to see all luxury items that are on sale without having to visit all the retailer sites. It's a free service, too, as far as I can tell.