Quick Q&A with a master deal finder
The Luxe Hunt is a blog dedicated to finding and sharing great deals on luxury fashion both online and offline. From deep discounts and free shipping to “must see to believe” Hermès sample sales, Stacie has spent a lifetime honing her shopping savvy. Through careful research, comparison, and making quick, informed decisions at the right moment, she’s able to get some amazing deals. We’re just lucky that she’s willing to share her secrets.
She also happens to be a big fan of italist. We sat down with Stacie (virtually) to discuss her strategies and philosophies for smart luxury shopping…
Q: What drives you to find the best deal for luxury designer fashion? How did you start and what is your personal philosophy?
A: I have always been a deal hunter and fashion lover. I genuinely love to shop around for the best deals. I have been doing it my whole life. In high school, I would spend hours digging through Marshalls and TJ Maxx, looking for deals. That was before online shopping was a thing. I believe almost everything can be found for less if you know where to look.
Q: How has “luxe-hunting” changed over the last few years?
A: “Luxe-Hunting” hasn’t changed much in terms of how to hunt for deals, but more sites like italist are popping up, making it easier for consumers to find deals. Social media has connected deal hunters together and created a whole new community to learn from. I follow lots of great deal hunters that share finds too.
Q: Do you think it’s easier to find a deal online or offline? You seem to do both quite a bit.
A: I feel online deal hunting is easier. Shopping in store can be time consuming and deals can be hidden or overlooked. I do feel like in-store deals can be some of the best discounts though. Not as many shoppers in stores vs online. Online deals go very quickly.
Q: Do you have a process for vetting a particular website? How do you judge if it is a reliable place to shop? What are the top 3 things you check first?
A: I have a process when vetting new sites. I do a quick Google search. If it’s a reliable site there should be some articles and press about them, as well as customer reviews. Now, I take reviews with a grain of salt. I look for reviews on authenticity vs. customer service issues. No company is without mistakes or negative reviews. I then check to see if they have a social media presence and who follows them. I don’t always check to see how many followers, but that their social media and website are all connected. Lastly, I check if they have a physical store. If they do, you can search google images and maps. The address should match the one listed on their website.
Q: What brought you to italist (in 2017)? What do you like about the site? What would you like to see improved?
A: I don’t remember exactly how I found italist, but I do remember checking articles written before purchasing. I love the ease of using the site and that I can search a lot of items all in one place. I shop a lot, so having all designer items on one site makes it a breeze to shop. I also love that all duties and taxes are shown at the time of checkout. I seldom make returns, but returns can be costly. That is the only drawback.
Q: How do you determine if an item is authentic? What are the top 3 things you look for?
A: This is getting harder and harder as the fakes get better and better. I look first for overall quality. Designer items are made well. I look for correct stamping and date codes. Also, did the item come with all the proper cards and accessories.
Q: Are there places you go to reference authenticity details? (e.g. forums, designer websites, etc.) What are your top resources?
A: I am in no way an expert authenticator. If I am ever in doubt, I pay to have the item authenticated by two experts. I stay out of forums and pages where people share. For me, those forums are lots of opinions but not from trained experts. I leave more confused from all the opinions. I would rather go straight to an expert. There are lots of great online authenticators you can send specific pictures to.
Q: What are your favorite finds (from past or currently) on italist?
A: I am still in love with my Gucci Marmont bag from italist. I loved the purple velvet color and could not find it for less anywhere else. I was so happy when italist added kids items. I love my children to have a few designer items like classic Burberry kids shirts. I keep adding the Saint Laurent logo hair clips to my cart. I might need to grab them before they are gone.
Q: What do you say to people who are skeptical about italist and ask you for advice?
A: I get asked a lot about italist. I always explain the items are authentic and from real boutiques in Italy. The items come straight from the boutiques and italist acts as an intermediary between the boutiques and customers. I explain that the prices are lower, simply because retail prices are always lower in Italy. I would love to fly to Italy and shop but that’s not always an option.
Q: (fun question) Which luxury fashion trends do you see fading and which do you see ramping up?
A: This is a question that’s hard to answer. What I love about fashion is there is something for everyone. It’s a way to express outwards what’s inside. I don’t like saying what’s in or out. I feel people should wear what makes them feel good, even if it’s considered “out.” Trends in fashion are clearly a thing, but my motto is, if you feel good in it wear it, regardless of what anyone else says.
For more expert Q&As, check out Sabina Jacobs, expert luxury authenticator.
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