They say diamonds are a girl's best friends, but I'd argue that bargains are (at least they're mine). While I like a luxurious treat here and there, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't love it when people compliment me on what is, unbeknownst to them, a frugal find. Who knew you could find a Marc Jacobs (look-alike) dress at Forever 21?
Of course, Angelenos can score a great deal at the big box discount stores like Nordstrom Rack, Loehmann's, Marshalls, Target, and Forever 21 (I love the latter for basic t-shirts and on-trend items like sequined tops). But one can really do some serious bargain hunting at awesome vintage and consignment shops, such as Buffalo Exchange, Out of the Closet, Squaresville, and Wasteland. At places like these you can find unique accessories for very affordable prices or make out big with designer clothes at huge discounts (DVF, anyone?).
My dear friend Lauren Mason Carris, who has called LA home for many more years than I have, shared her secrets with me. Her fave bargain hunting spots are Francesca's on Montana (she says they have better goods in store than online) and Anat B (like Forever 21 but better). She also gave us the scoop on Rimo, Happy 6, and Giant Robot Store located on Sawtelle, which have one-of-a-kind Japanese-style finds. The stores' wallet-friendly clothing is trendy enough to make you feel good but not mass produced so you feel like everyone else has it.
Kids shouldn't be left out of the bargain hunting game either because we all know they grow in a nanosecond and that their interests are ever-changing, which can blow your budget. To protect your wallet and live more greenly (always a worthy goal), I suggest checking out the great sources previously recommended by friend Stephanie Stuart, Kid Stock on Pico (I found awesome Bla Bla dolls for $7 and unworn Ralph Lauren onesies for $5), Blue Bird Children's Resale Boutique on Larchmont (great clothes, but even better wooden toys), and the mecca of all consignment sales LA Kids Consignment Sale (I have yet to go to this, but I'm dying to get there to purchase big ticket items like a bike and Learning Tower).
And I wouldn't be a good bargain hunter or friend if I didn't share my secret favorite home décor resale store in LA. While there are many I love to scour, my go-to source for the best home finds at the best value is 45 Three Modern Vintage Home. Owner Staci Cain not only has an excellent eye for mid-century and Hollywood Regency items, but she's fair and friendly in her dealings. She has such great taste in rad lamps, that I wish I had more rooms in my home in need of illumination. Go there, you won't be disappointed. Promise.
With all the bargain shopping spots in LA, there's a deal to be had by all.
Surplus City. I win.
I'm sorry. Were you hoping for more specifics? Well, let me see. There are all manner of cute shops around Paducah. Most of these shops probably charge less for products sold at a much higher price in LA and NY. That would probably be enough for bargain hunting ease. But oh no. I've got more.
I've got Surplus City (technically Bargain Hunt now, but it will always be Surplus City to me)—the mecca of all discount stores. With a constantly rotating (and constantly discounted) collection of products, Surplus City is the place to find a great deal.
When I first moved to Paducah, Surplus City received the closed out merchandise from babycenter.com who had shut down its online store. I wish I could adequately describe the bounty to you. Ergo, Bugaboo, Boon, Skiphop, Zutano, Tea Collection, Serena & Lilly. You name it. They had it. Griffin is STILL wearing clothes I bought there at anywhere from 40-70% off the retail price. I would say on any given day I use at least two to three products purchased during that time. It was unbelievable.
Unfortuantely, that merchandise dried up and for a while Surplus City didn't have much to offer, particularly in the way of baby products.
Then, the store was sold to Bargain Hunt and the steady flow of discounted children's products returned. The best part is Bargain Hunt continues to discount the products the longer they sit on the shelf. After 30 days they mark off 10% and they continue to mark off 10% for every 10 days after that.
So, if you're in the mood for some SERIOUS bargain shopping and travel, come visit Paducah!