‘Hello Stiletto’: 5 ways to save on designer shoes

I do not like wearing high heel shoes. And I do not like to spend a lot of money on shoes of any kind. I rarely pick up a pair that isn’t on the clearance rack.

Alas, I am virtually alone  in my circle of friends when it comes to this. Women love shoes. Designer, four-inch heels, sassy sandals and boots that will make your head spin. It is not all that rare these days to find men with more tennis shoes than they can wear. One thing even the most shoe savvy shoppers have in common: They prefer a good deal.

In 2006, designer Manolo Blahnik autographed shoes for customers at Neiman Marcus in Lenox Square. AJC file photo

In 2006, designer Manolo Blahnik autographed shoes for customers at Neiman Marcus in Lenox Square. AJC file photo

A friend of mine told me that he found a pair of very expensive shoes for his wife by using FreeCycle.org, where customers exchange all kinds of items they no longer want for things they do want or need. His wife is best left in the dark about the source of this deal, but when I learned about it, I applauded.

It’s difficult to find what I would inexpensive designer shoes, but there certainly means of getting them for far less than you’d pay at full-price. This post on WiseBread.com helps, offering shoe-shopping tips for the Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Vera Wang-wearing ladies who can’t get enough of designer shoes. Click here to get the full details on each suggestion, but here’s the abbreviated version:

1. Online Designer Sales

Sample sales are gold mines for getting discounted designer goods. These sales may feature excess merchandise from the current season or goods that didn’t sell from last season. In ancient times, you had to find where sample sales were being held and travel by foot and compete with other shoppers; those days are no more. Now, there are several websites that host sample sales on a regular basis. Gilt, Rue La La, Ideeli, Beyond the Rack, and Haute Look are just a few.

2. Shoe Clubs

Other than your inner shoe circle, where can you find other shoe lovers? A shoe club. Check out Hello Stiletto.

3. Consignment Shops

Consignment shops are often full of designer treasures. In many big cities, certain shops deal only in designer goods, but do not be afraid! The prices are still reasonable. You may be able to pick up a pair of perfect designer bejeweled strappy sandals that have only been worn once for $100.

4. Thrift Stores

The best approach is to befriend the staff and find out when the new shoe inventories arrive. Hit the store on that day and see if there are any designer treasures to find!

5. Retail Store Specials

Nothing like the semi-annual sales to save on your bottom line.

Want more? Check out this list of the best online sites for designer shoes. One I didn’t see here is a site I recently discovered, MyShoes.com.

Question: What tips do you have for finding great deals on designer shoes?

Follow me on Twitter @atlbargains and on Facebook at AJC Atlanta Bargain Hunter

10 comments Add your comment


May 25th, 2010
3:16 pm

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May 25th, 2010
5:48 pm

How about separating “wants” from “needs?” That’s a great way for shoe freaks to come back down to earth… I call it maturity.

Sherron Lankester

May 25th, 2010
6:20 pm

On Tuesdays of each(almost)month I go to Good Will, That is the day they put up the shoes that came in over the weekend(which is the time most people take the time to give away what they no longer need or want. The price is $4.89 a pair, I always carry a pair on kneehighs in my bag along with a can disf.spray.
I get the brands I like also I am giving back something to help others.

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May 29th, 2010
10:27 am

oh, please Ellen. Don’t be so stuffy. Even “mature” women with a lot of responsibilities like to splurge in some areas. Why don’t you grow up and quit being so judgemental?


May 29th, 2010
11:44 am

I think Ellen is right on. I cannot imagine a women would spend this kind of money on shoes! I have plenty of clients that would spends hundreds of dollars on shoes about 3 or 4 years ago. Now they are trying to just pay the mortgage on the Buckhead home and car payment. Welcome to the new economy since it will be around a looooong time. My shoe money is going towards my retirement fund thank you very much.


May 29th, 2010
2:03 pm

Kathleen- It ain’t trickin if you got it


June 1st, 2010
9:24 am

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June 1st, 2010
9:27 am

oops..sorry about that..

I’m with Sherron on this one..Goodwill has some really nice shoes for $4.89..I have bought several “almost” new shoes there..I guess if you can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on shoes, go for it, I just don’t see it..

Free Stylish Heels

July 19th, 2010
2:20 am

Women have needs and wants, it’s just a matter of how you take responsibility for it. Anyway, if you think everything you’ve worked for has paid off, why not treat yourself to some things that you never had? Never deprive yourself just because you have this problem and that problem and your neighbor’s problem. Sometimes, it’s nice to reward yourself with some designer things or go to the spa because in the future, you’ll be able to tell yourself, “I don’t have to be that rich just to buy these designer shoes or whatever.”

Come on, don’t be so defensive that you don’t need this and that. We’re women! Shopping may not be every woman’s life but we obviously shop once in a while.