My Favorite Sale (Week 37)

July 20, 2014

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is my favorite sale of the year.  For 2 weeks, the latest fall merchandise is marked down.  However, I’ve often gotten into trouble with this sale.  In fact it took me 4 years to learn how to shop this sale successfully.

Here’s what happened over the years.

Year One

The first year, I shopped aimlessly.  I didn’t really understand the sale (it’s NEW fall merchandise and not last season merchandise).  I made a bunch of random purchases, selecting whatever caught my eye.  After all, this was NEW merchandise on sale!  A few pieces become well used in my wardrobe, but I was also left with many unworn or rarely worn items, overall the sale did not work well for me.

Year Two
The second year, I knew what the sale was, and tried to shop for ALL of my fall/winter needs during the sale.  This didn’t work well either.  I admire those who can shop only once or twice a year, but I am still not there yet.  And limiting my shopping to only this sale, meant I was limiting my selection to only this sale too.  I struggled to purchase pieces that would work well for my wardrobe and the bulk purchasing and returning left me with yet another fragmented wardrobe for the season.

Year Three

The third year, I felt I was a pro at the sale, and I went into it with a list of items based on what I knew was on sale.  While I purchased and returned less, my only plan was to ‘freshen up’ my wardrobe.  So everything that was outside of my usual style I purchased.  My wardrobe was more cohesive than in the past, but I once again was purchasing based on the ‘it’s on sale’ mentality and NOT the ‘I need to fulfill this wardrobe hole’ mentality.  I had come closer to shopping with a plan, but I was still letting the price tags drive my purchasing decisions.

Year Four

This year, I’m going to assess my fall/winter wardrobe first.  Then I will create a list of ‘needs’ and peruse the sale to see if any sale items fulfill these needs.  If not, then I’ll have to wait until the next wave of merchandise hits the stores in a few months.  Hopefully, by reviewing what I already have and determining ahead of time what I am looking for, I can stop shopping for items that ‘catch my eye’ and look like they are a ‘good deal’ simply because they are on sale.

Do you feel pressure to make a purchase during a sale?




  1. I’ve never shopped the sale but I can say that I will be skipping it. I know what I ‘need’ for winter but I don’t have one near and have zero experience with sizing so ordering online will be too tricky. You sound like you have a good plan and are much more aware this time around- good luck 🙂

    1. I know the phrase is ‘third times a charm’ but I’m hoping it will be ‘forth time’s a charm’ for me and I shop smarter at the sale this year. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I definitely feel pressure to buy things on sale, but I don’t feel pressure to keep them. If there’s at least a chance that an item will earn a spot in my wardrobe, I will buy it while the price is good (and often will wait for a sale if the price isn’t so good). Luckily I have a lot of dealbreakers that prevent so many items from ever entering my shopping cart, and for any given shopping episode I typically return 75-100% of my purchases.

    1. A great point, just because it was purchased doesn’t mean the item has to be kept. I used to never return items to the store, now I do so as often as I feel is necessary and it has really helped me when my purchasing decisions has gone crazy. Thanks for stopping by!

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