Buy Jeans at Full Price? Never!

by Guest Contributor · 6 comments

Jeans are as American as apple pie. Finding a good pair of jeans at a good price, however, seems kind of like hitting the lottery. There is no reason to pay full price for jeans, and unless you are a starlet, there is little reason to buy top-of-the-line, name brand pants.

Get What Fits But Only on Sale

A pair of jeans, no matter how cool, isn’t worth anything if they don’t fit well. Paying more for a pair of pants just because they have a specific label on them is a waste. Once you find a brand that fits your shape, keep your eyes open for sales.

Jeans are one of those items that change regularly. Different stitch patterns, small changes in color, and so forth cause jeans to go on sale regularly. If you are in your favorite jeans store and the pants you want are still offered at full price, ask the sales people if they know of an upcoming sale, and then make sure to turn up first thing on the day of the sale.

Look at Thrift Shops and Goodwill

A pair of name brand jeans at a thrift store or Goodwill will set you back about $6 if you are looking at adult clothes and about $3 for kid’s pants. I don’t care how good a sale you find, but you can’t beat these prices. Since kids outgrow their clothes faster then they wear through them, under most circumstances, getting kid’s jeans anywhere else is just plain foolish.

Many of the items that arrive at the thrift store are barely worn; some even have original tags. If it seems odd to wear something that was worn by someone else, let the savings soothe your worries. Drop those cheap, new jeans in the wash and enjoy.

Garage Sales

Clothes are one of the most common items at garage sales, and you can take advantage of someone else’s change in size. Jeans go for as little as $0.25 a piece. Chances are if you found one pair of jeans, there will be a whole set you can get for a couple of dollars.

For Kid’s Jeans Arrange Swaps

As I said before, kids grow fast, and since jeans are likely to outlast the kid, arrange clothing swaps a couple of times a year at your school. Set the rules; everything must be washed, in decent condition, and not smell of smoke, or whatever is important to you. On the day of the event, separate clothes by style – shirts on one table, pants on another, etc. You can even set aside specific subsections based upon sizes.

Anyone who brings items can take others home. At the end of the day, take anything left to Goodwill. You get clothes for nothing and you do a good deed too.

Auction Site Lots

Another good way to get a set of similar jeans for a great price is to check out the online auction sites, but only look for “lots” rather than single items. Lots are groups of clothes – usually the same size – and often the same manufacturer that someone is selling off. You save on shipping because it is a single lot, and you get clothes you want without running all over town checking different stores.

This is another piece from the How to Save Money on Everything ebook. Check out what you can get for free by signing up for the free frugal email newsletter.

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  • Dani says:

    Everyone should check out for kids clothes. It’s basically a huge US clothing swap. Everyone lists BOXES of kids clothes and all the boxes are ALWAYS $15.95. You can buy two boxes before you’re required to list boxes, too (it’s considered a SWAP, after all, so you can’t just take and not give back!) Boxes never change in price since you’re required to use USPS Flat Rate Boxes so it’s always $5.95 for the box itself and $10.95 for shipping. They have specials where you get boxes discounted for new moms, if you buy from a new user and some “clearance” and “overstock” boxes. If you happen to put on a box that’s in a “low supply” size (such as boys size 4T for example) ThredUp will give you a credit from $2-$5 when your box is chosen and reviewed. So basically, you get rid of all the stuff your kids outgrew and swap it for new-to-you stuff. I’ve received about $125-$250 worth of clothes in one box – for $15.95! And now that I’ve swapped a ton of my own boxes, I’ve got around $50 in credit so whenever my kids need new clothes I can just check on ThredUp and not have to pay a dime! It’s really fabulous, promotes recycling and you wind up with a ton of top quality items for less than the cost of one of them retail. Sometimes they’ll put women’s shoes on there or some teen/junior sized items, too. It’s great for adult shoes but wouldn’t work as well for adult sized clothing since the boxes can only hold so much (and you HAVE to use the specific boxes!) so you’d only wind up with maybe 2 or 3 items as opposed to 5-20 kids items. Oh! And you don’t have to mess with photos, fancy listings or even shipping like other auction sites. You just describe what’s in your box quickly and if someone chooses your box, you just click the little “print shipping label” icon and then tape it to your box. ThredUp even requests postal carrier pickup for you at the same time you print your label so you can just leave it on your doorstep and the mail carrier will take it. You literally can get your kids some high end items for next to nothing without driving anywhere, sitting on your computer in your pj’s.

  • Craig says:

    While not as cheap as a thrift store or eBay, I’ve bought my last couple of pairs of jeans at BJ’s Wholesole. MUCH cheaper than retail.

  • 20 and Engaged says:

    I was just telling my fiance I never pay full price for jeans. Sales/clearance/coupons are the way to go.

  • Ramona says:

    well, for me any shop in the US offers amazing prices. Let’s say a Guess jeans pair is 150 USD in my country and I bought them for 55 bucks in NYC. Don’t even know if they were discounted. Levi jeans cost over 120 in europe and we could buy them for 20-30 bucks in the US.

    Only when you’ve spent 3-4 times more on a pair of jeans, you can just enjoy even the full prices in your country 😀

    I don’t buy used clothing anymore, we’d buy when I was a kid, but keeping an eye on the sales is indeed the way to go.

  • Nate says:

    I always look on eBay for jeans. I have a specific style that are sold at Gap, but they cost between $45-55 in the store. I can find the same exact style, size, and color on eBay for about $6. With shipping it’s less than $10.

    However, I’ve never though about buying in bulk…that is a good idea. I’ll have to keep my eyes open the next time I’m in the market for new digs.

  • Little J says:

    Also, let’s say that you have only one pair of jeans that have lasted ten years with careful care (wash only in cold, air dry) and the fabric has finally worn through in just one area, take the jeans to a tailor and have them professionally patched. This will cost about the same as a pair from Goodwill, but saves the tome and effort in sorting through unsorted racks of jeans in search of your size (which takes a while to find as they are all mixed up, even men and women jeans mixed together) and then once you find your size, a pair that will look good on you.

    This post is timely, because I just brought my single pair of jeans to the tailor to have a small hole near the butt pocket patched.

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