Okay ladies it’s started.

In our book (December 29th!) we talk about the retail cycle and the best times for bargains.  It’s begun.  The high temples of fashion have begun their reductions.  But, a girl needs to be wise when shopping, and make certain that she is getting a ‘genuine’ bargain.  Be wary of buying merchandise that retailers have bought and put on the floor just to be marked down for sale-hungry bargain hunters.

How are you to tell?

Be suspicious if there is a lot of any one sale item on the selling floor in a full range of colors, available in a full run of sizes.  Be suspicious of any item that has been advertised in a pre-printed catalog at a sale price. C’mon, those books went to print a while ago, it’s not like it’s a surprise to the retailer that the item needs to be moved out to make room for next season’s goods. They bought that full run of v-neck cashmere sweaters in twenty fashion colors with the full intention of selling through them on sale.  Kind of sneaky, no?

Still, a smart girl can make out big time.

Now is the time that many stores are taking 40% -50% off their fall fashion merchandise and there are indeed wonderful bargains to be had.  Scour your mail for extra-discount certificates–we just received an additional 10% off certificate from one of our favorite at- full-price-out-of-reach emporiums (think purple dinosaur) and we can hardly wait to use it!

That said, a gamblin’ gal, could wait till closer to Christmas (or even after…) and see what additional markdowns and incentives the stores will throw her way.  We’re thinking, though, that this year won’t be quite the bargain buying bonanza as last season. Remember, the economic melt-down blindsided them last Christmas season, this year they bought  leaner and meaner.