Whether you view shoes as just things to keep your feet dry and protected, have a bit a of a shoe obsession, or are a full blown shoe-a-holic, finding ways to save money on the shoes you buy can help you hold onto a bit more of your hard earned cash to spend on other things, or, if you prefer, to buy even more shoes. Here are just a few ways that you can save money on the shoes you buy:
Shoe Shop Out of Season
Walk into most shops that sell shoes at the end of the season and you are almost certain to land slap bang in the middle of a great sale. What use though is a pair of strappy summer sandals, even at 70% off, if the weather outside for the next few months will be better suited to boots and wellies?
The fact is that winter does not last forever, before you know it the sun will be back and you will be looking for a pair of super summer shoes just like the ones in the sale. Buying shoes out of season can save you a great deal of money and can be a way to score yourself far more expensive pairs than you might ever have been able to afford otherwise. Just remember that they are stored at the back of your closet when the weather improves (or deteriorates) enough for you to wear them.
Spend More to Save More
Buying the cheapest pair of new shoes you can find when money is a little tight might seem to be a sensible thing to do at the time, but in the long run it can cost you money. A very cheap pair of boots or shoes are often just that, cheap. Many of these kinds of shoes have a tendency to fall to pieces within months, even weeks, because they are simply not very well made.
Investing in a higher quality, more expensive pair of shoes that are a classic style and versatile enough to match a number of different outfits in your wardrobe is a much more sensible course of action to take. If taken care of properly, a well made pair of shoes can last for years, which will in the long run save you a lot more money than having to buy a new pair of cheap shoes every month.
In order to get the most out of your higher quality shoes, take the time to learn how to care for them properly. Leather shoes need to be buffed and polished on a regular basis, and treating suede shoes with a water resistant spray, which can be obtained for just a few dollars, will add years to their useful life.
Shoe Shop Online
With a little careful shopping, these days you can find some great deals on all kinds of shoes, boots and trainers from a number of different online retailers. The downside to shoe shopping online is that fact that you cannot actually try them before you buy them, but as long as the site you are shopping at has a reasonable return policy that should not be too much of a problem.
If you are hoping to save money on shoes, or get a great deal on a pair of expensive shoes that you cannot afford to buy at traditional shoe stores, some of the auctions on EBay might fit the bill. Shoe shopping on EBay can save you money, but you do need to be a little careful. Not everything being offered for sale on the auction site is actually cheaper than you can find elsewhere, so make sure you know how much the shoes you are considering normally retail for before you place a bid on anything.
Don’t Splurge on Silly Shoes
You see a pair of crystal encrusted, see-through 6 inch platform heels in the shoe shop window that absolutely take your breath away. Yes, they do cost quite a lot, but they are just like the ones that Kylie Minogue was wearing on the telly the other night. That’s great, but how often are you really going to wear them? Chances are you will put them on once, go to a party, fall off them five times, and then retire them to the back of your wardrobe, never to see the light of day again.
If your shoe shopping budget is not that of a platinum selling recording artist, stick to buying shoes that you are going to be able to wear in the real world. That does not mean you have to limit yourself to granny flats and sensible brogues, but take an honest look at both your lifestyle and your wardrobe before you waste your money on an outrageous pair of shoes.
Consider Going Second Hand
One of the ways you can really save a lot of money on shoes is by buying them second hand from your local thrift or charity shop. With a little careful shopping it is perfectly possible that you can find yourself the kind of footwear that you would not have ever been able to afford to buy brand new.
The thrift store is also a wonderful place to shop if you are a fan of vintage clothing and shoes. Fashion trends come and go, and eventually a great many styles from eras past become stylish once more. For example, why spend a fortune on trendy “retro” trainers when you can find the real deal at a thrift store for a fraction of the price?
Some people are a little wary about wearing second hand shoes, but most thrift stores have fairly strict standards and only offer items for sale that are clean and not too well worn. If the thought of wearing second hand shoes really bothers you, consider purchasing a pair of inexpensive insoles to give them a brand new, hygienic lease on life. After all, if you can find a pair of gently worn to-die-for Jimmy Choos for $20, as a savvy budget fashionista are you really going to pass them up?
Timothy Ng is a personal finance writer, and has a real passion for encouraging people to compare credit cards to ensure they get the best deal. Check out his comprehensive guide to low interest credit cards where he provides an in-depth overview and analysis, to help you find a better deal.