I hope those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving this weekend had a wonderful holiday, and I hope you caught some great deals on gifts for your loved ones! In the spirit of giving, I thought I’d share how I find bargain deals year round. I’ve seen a few “get the look for less” posts, and thought it’d be fun to try one. I found an awesome, yet terribly overpriced CZ necklace I thought would be an easy candidate:
Classic hollywood chic, this necklace was priced at $200, ON SALE! (Whew, mama may like the glam, but she ain’t paying that for glass.) So the first thing I did, aside from memorize what the necklace looked like, was settle on the budget I was willing to spend on a copycat piece. Since this was just a trial run, I wanted to keep it under $20….
90% price cut from the original, what could go wrong?
Well, naturally, everything. What was supposedly to be a fairly simple and quick example of my normal bargain hunting turned into a search and rescue nightmare on eBay that quickly consumed hours. Take this as a warning: sometimes, the bargains come easy; sometimes it’s a long, hard search. That’s the first lesson of frugal shopping, really. If you don’t like the price, wait. Retailers have sales and mail out coupons all the time. Chances are you can still get the item you want if you’re patient.
The second lesson is: shop around. Online shoppers know this lesson all too well. If you get an email with a bargain deal on say, a rice cooker. You’re first action should be to checkout your favorite retailer’s site, eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or wherever you feel you find the best deals, to price comparison. If you don’t know where to start, just input the item into google and check the shopping results.
Okay, so back to this necklace: after a couple hours of searching, I definitely would have applied the patience rule to this case, but since I really wanted to find a affordable, nay– cheap alternative, I pushed forward until I was just about to lose hope. Not that there weren’t contenders along the way, but the first look-alike I came across on ebay was still $45:
Aside from the metal color, this really is a close mimic of the original!
Okay, so from there, you think it’s be easy to find the goal. Reset search parameters to price low-high….. and there was nothing. Tweak the words in the search…. and nothing. I probably went through everything you could call this necklace until I hit on one that resembled the look-alike, and it was priced slightly better at $30.
YES!!! This necklace listing mentioned it was made by J.Crew, so cue the J. Crew necklace search…. and BINGO! Here’s something similar for under $10:
But, wait…. it’s a really more of a look-alike of a look-alike, and we’ve lost the nice clear-cut cz’s that add glamor to the piece. We’ve found our bargain, but I think we’ve lost too much of the look.
On the search goes! We can do better!
Or so I thought… but after a couple more hours of blurring rhinestone pieces, halo and tennis-style necklaces, and exhausting pages of “Statement bib” necklaces, the best I could come up with, under $50, was this:
Still at the $30 mark (with shipping) this is the most visually similar to the original I could uncover right now; and at that price point, I felt the necklace looked more chunky and fake than I was really hoping for. This hunt felt like a bust.
I decided to finish up the one search window I had opened before stumbling across this last rhinestone necklace, and a thought popped into my head. I had liked the j.crew necklace, even if it didn’t look identical to the original, it had that same kind of elegant appeal. Maybe I should retry looking for a cheaper version of that necklace…..
and Ba-Ba-Ba Dum!!!
I FOUND IT! *cue the omni spotlight and angels singing* For under $10, I found a mimic cz necklace that still had the feel of the original, even if the metal color is different. *WHEW!* It was a long ride, but my stubbornness prevailed! From $200 to less than $10, I have done it for you guys.
And as an added bonus for you lovely people out there, if you like the look of this necklace but think you’d want an even better deal, in my long search I also found one other piece for under $5 that I think would work:
Well, it was a long ride, but I hope that helps some of you bargain hunters out there with your holiday shopping. Remember, account for shipping times!
Good hunting to all!