Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bargain tips: Reader's suggestions

Hello!

Back when I posted my tips for how I find polish at bargain prices, I asked readers to add any tips they have, particularly for countries I don't know much about. Some posted them in the comments, some e-mailed me, so I'm going to compile them here for quick reference. :)

1) Discount/overstock stores: This is one I haven't tried, because I don't have one super convenient to where I am, but as soon as I get a chance, I'm going to try it. The particular stores I've had mentioned are Ross, TJ Maxx, Big Lots, and Marshall's. Apparently you can get a lot of brands at these stores, including Orly, SpaRitual (which I'm extremely excited about), Color Club, Revlon, and even some higher-end polishes. These stores also have no-name polishes which are of good quality. 

2) Dollar stores: I completely forgot to mention this one, thanks for reminding me! Not only can you find a variety of polishes here (depending on what they get in), but you can also get nail art supplies and manicure supplies. I tend to avoid no-name brands at these stores when it comes to some things, but if you're buying something like make-up sponges for nail art, who cares what the brand name is? The down-side to these stores is that they are hit-and-miss, depending on what stock other stores didn't want, and the selection can be very limited (and can vary widely from store-to-store). 

3) Sephora's clearance section: I got a tip on Sephora's clearance section and drove out to my nearest location to check it out (there's not one super close to me). I was really impressed by what I saw...The report I received featured $4 Illamasquas, and while I didn't get quite that lucky, I did get one for $8 (down from $17), and considered that absolutely amazing. They also had a ton of Nails Inc. polishes on clearance, in a wide variety of colors. I'd definitely advise checking these out, even if normally Sephora is out of your price range (it's normally out of mine!). If your location is like mine, they put the clearance sections on tricky little end-cap sections, so be sure to ask if you can't find them.

4) Group deal sites: Possibly the most brilliant tip I received was to check Groupon, Living Social, Google Offers, Amazon Local etc., not just for nail polish tips (although I did score crazy good on the Julie G offer a couple of months ago), but also for other types of beauty stores/sites. The specific deal that Aleksandra mentioned to me was a $40 for $20 deal to Fragrance Net; while you wouldn't think it from the name, they also carry polish, and she was able to combine this deal with a sale the site was having on Dior polishes to get them on an incredible site. I could smack myself, because I saw that deal, but didn't think to check the store for polish! So it's worth taking a moment just to double-check any offer like that for potential hidden polish values. :)

5) Ideas for Ireland and/or the U.K (and to some degree, other countries)
  • With respect to discount stores, try Dealz or Poundland for cheap polishes like Sally Hansen and Sinful Colors. 
  • Check out Essence and Catrice, which are budget brands there (MissGreenEyes, can you let us know where you find these?)--and don't forget that while they're budget brands there, they are not budget brands elsewhere, like the U.S. (we also can't get our hands on W7 or Top Shop here). I mention this because you may be able to swap colors from brands that we can't get in order to get access to other brands you want here. :)
  • Try eBay for items you can't find and for lower prices.
  • Try nailsupplies.us for bulk orders, as they ship abroad. 
  • Don't forget that stores like Ninja Polish and Llarowe ship worldwide. 
  • Some independent polish makers will make exceptions to US-only shipping rules if your order is large enough--especially if you have other friends IRL or in polish groups in your area that want to combine orders, it's worth asking. 
6) Ideas for Europe: 
  • Natalia in Switzerland blew my mind with the prices she has to pay for things like OPI and China Glaze. Her solution is to buy from US e-retailers to get around this. If they ship to Switzerland, I'd guess they ship to other countries in the EU as well...Natalia, if you see this, can you share which are your favorite sources?
  • Don't forget that stores like Ninja Polish and Llarowe ship worldwide. 
  • Some independent polish makers will make exceptions to US-only shipping rules if your order is large enough--especially if you have other friends IRL or in polish groups in your area that want to combine orders, it's worth asking. 
Okay, I think that's it! If I missed your tip, please let me know, and I'll update this list. Also, thanks to everyone who commented or sent me a tip. If I received it from more than one person I didn't say who it was from, just because I didn't want it to get into tons of names, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate your help!!! I absolutely do, and I would love to add any other tips you come up with. :)

Big hugs,
M.

14 comments:

  1. Great tips for bargain shopping! I'll have to check some of these out. Especially the Sephora one here in Canada.

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    1. I was really pleasantly surprised by their clearance section. I never went before because I didn't want to be tempted by things I couldn't afford, but turns out I was wroooongggg!

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  2. Who doesn't like a deal, it means we can buy more polish ;)

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    1. Say it louder, my sister from another mother!

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  3. I love going to TJ Maxx and Marshall's. I'm always finding stuff there.

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    1. I have to find one of these. I think I have a Ross or a Marshall's relatively close, but I have no idea where the nearest TJ Maxx might be...

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  4. Oh I love every store you listed to find brand name polishes and I love the clearance rack at Sephora! I got Sephora by OPI polishes for two bucks. I love OPI polishes and they always have them buy one get two free at the Salon in Walmart. Also you can get two for twelve of OPI in JC Penny's salon and that is for brand new collections.

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    1. I am a total convert. Absolutely worth the trip to get my first Illamascua, and I'll definitely be back. I just wish it was closer! ::pouts:: But I should just be glad I have one at all. :)

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  5. Blargh... I'd give up all my essence & Catrice polishes (lovely as they are) (they take up over a third of my stash) for a chance of getting OPIs & CG & the rest for a couple of bucks :S
    "If they ship to Switzerland, I'd guess they ship to other countries in the EU as well" - nope :(( I know, I know, "first world problems", but regarding all this (and the crap we do get on our market and the lovelies we don't--or, they're in the "NYJBS" category :)), I sometimes feel like I live in a 3rd world country..
    ..ah well, shouldn't complain too much, Italy is still only an hour's drive away :D :D

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    1. Err, I realise how silly/petty/spoilt/inconsiderate this all sounds, I just hope it's understood this [rant] is only about the lovely hobby of nail polish & stuff; I'm not such a brat IRL. It's just... there's sooo much lovely polish to be had & not enough easy/cheap ways of getting them :)))

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    2. I'm sorry that it's so hard for you to get your hands on polish, that must be very frustrating. I really, really wish I had tips for where you are, but I just know nothing about that area, and how to get polish there at all, let alone how to get it cheaply. I'll keep trying to do the best I can for you, I feel like I'm letting you down!

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    3. I'll cross my fingers that Natalia sees this and that some of the e-tailers she knows about do ship out to you.

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    4. Ah, no, don't you worry yourself about it :) you're already awesome enough :)
      I seem to be making a bit bigger deal out of this than it really is; sure, it's not as simple to build an impressive stash as it might be for US/CA/UK-based "polish-head", but still there's always eBay; quite some e-tailers that do ship here -- a pretty popular method is to put in an order with some other girls and so share the cost of shipping; swaps; etc...

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    5. Well, it never hurts for me to keep an ear to the ground! And I can definitely understand how frustrating it must be to see other people have so much access when you don't, and it reminds me to be grateful!! :)

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