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7 Tips for Buying Expensive (or Expensive Looking Pieces) Without Breaking the Bank

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Ah, the finer things in life…many people secretly wish to have them. Those sleek, sparkly, and sophisticated pieces exquisitely displayed in glass cases in ritzy shopping districts are what splurge dreams are made of. From black quilted bags with gold chains (hello, Chanel) to red-soled stilettos with price tags bearing value with multiple zeroes, they are crafted in posh style and premium materials that many people aspire to have.

While usually celebrities can easily afford to buy these on any regular day, most of us have to work hard, earn, and save for them. Here are some ways you can outsmart luxury shopping to buy expensive (or expensive looking pieces) without breaking the bank or draining your life-long savings!

7 Tips for Buying Expensive (or Expensive Looking Pieces) Without Breaking the Bank

1. Nail the Garage Sale

Thanks to yard sales and garage sales, you can find unique items at deep discounts. Think of going to garage sales as going on a treasure hunt adventure! You don’t exactly know what to find, but something valuable could just be sitting somewhere waiting to be discovered, or rediscovered for that matter. 

From vintage pieces to limited-edition products, you can own something unique and expensive without draining your bank account. Some buyers even re-sell their finds to collectors and profit substantially from them, so you know there are some goodies out there worth finding.

You may not be the first owner, but rare luxurious items can even increase their value as they age, making it a double win for you. Even flaws add richness to a premium item’s character, making it a more precious piece.

Related: Chic On A Budget: Thrift Store Haul

2. Black Friday Binge

This yearly retail sale that kicks off the holiday shopping season is a can’t-miss event for shoppers. Even if the deals aren’t jaw dropping amazing, you’re at least going to save something! It’s the chance to own the dream item that you cannot normally afford to buy when sold at regular prices. Huge price drops and sweet deals make the hottest, expensive products like gadgets and other gift items available for bargain seekers. 

This, along with the Cyber Monday that follows, provides a practical way to own premium products at slashed prices. 

3. Look Expensive, Spend Less

When it comes to things like clothing, many do not necessarily come from high-end fashion houses but can look as expensive just the same. While designer clothes command distinction among high fashion lovers, you may opt for pieces that carry similar quality or flair but not as pricey. All you need are a keen eye and good taste! 

Nothing screams cheap than sloppy stitches and tacky designs. Expensive items are always on point and you can just tell by the details. No thread out of place, no uneven prints, no shoddy materials from the fabric to the buttons and zippers. 

Putting together a classy, elegant look that could pass for a designer ensemble can be achieved by knowing where to look and what to be critical about. Definitely no to creases and no to ill-fitting clothes. These are signs of mediocrity.

There are brands or skilled tailors and seamstresses that can create expensive-looking fashion pieces that do not cost you an arm and leg! The same goes for other textile products for your home. Curtains, linens, and rugs do not have to have a designer logo on them to look expensive. 

The quality of fabric and craftsmanship can give you that luxury look and feel sans the hefty price tag. Just keep searching for these suppliers and crafters, read reviews, and check their products. You’ll strike gold along the way for a fraction of the price of expensive brands!

Related: Where to Buy High-Quality Clothes (That Aren’t Crazy Expensive)

4. Get Well Acquainted With Secondhand Stores

In addition to garage sales and yard sales, don’t forget secondhand and consignment stores as well! There are always tons of unique and on a good day, high-end finds waiting for you there.

Nowadays, you can find tons of high-end, premium pieces online too. Thanks to stores like Fashionphile, The RealReal, thredUp, and Rebag, you can easily browse designer duds and purchase them at a steep discount.

Looking for things for your home? Try eBay or Poshmark. Personally, I love Italic for not just expensive looking pieces, but true quality as well.

5. Buy from Fundraising Events

Check out fundraising events and websites which are usually done to support charitable causes. These events feature premium items sold for less than their original price as an easy way to convert them to cash. The proceeds are used to finance projects that benefit the underprivileged like orphans and other marginalized groups.

The items sold may range from fine art to jewelry, home items, sports gears, and clothing donated by wealthy individuals and families, or even celebrities and sports personalities. Not only do you get a good deal, but you also get to help out a good cause! 

Related: 5 Combos That Will Always Look Like Expensive Outfits

6. Save, Scout, Shop

Keep saving money by cutting down on other expenses you may have. This way, you can eventually have enough funds to buy something luxurious for yourself as a reward for all your hard work! While saving, you can start scouting around for luxury brands that you like and really do your research to make sure you’re saving up to buy something you actually want.

There are many luxury brands and products out there. Looking at all of them might cause you to want them all, which let’s be real, may not exactly be possible. A practical way to reward yourself with something premium is by scouting and trimming down your wants into one or a few that you can save for and purchase. 

You have to know your priorities and focus on something that you want best and then direct your savings efforts to buy it. Never spend more than you can afford. Maxing out your credit card is never the way to go! Debt is not worth luxury, no matter how badly you wanted the latest designer bag.

7. Buy Local

Keep an eye out for locally made products when you travel. They sell cheaper in the home country than when they are sold in another country. Examples include premium cheeses in Italy, chocolates in Belgium, rattan furniture in the Philippines or Bali, or rugs in Morocco. 

Tariffs and taxes make these products more expensive when imported into another country. Make sure to take advantage of their local price when you’re visiting their country of origin!   

Why do we even want to purchase expensive pieces anyway? Yes, they do cost a lot, but usually for a good reason. Beyond the prestige of owning them, they also offer first-class and enduring quality that makes them worth spending on. Most of these pieces are actually investments that could last you a lifetime and can form part of your legacy. Something valuable that you can pass on to your children and even your children’s children!  

Wanting to celebrate a milestone or reward yourself with a luxurious item isn’t a bad thing! Just be practical and smart in shopping for expensive pieces. Follow these tips and get the most out of your shopping – wisely and stylishly!

Up Next: 8 Clothing Brands That Look Expensive (But Aren’t)

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Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.