Blog It To Me

Category — Best Things To Buy

The Month With The Steepest Discounts — Revealed

February may be a short, cold month, but its sales are as hot and sweet as a piping mug of Jacques Torres drinking chocolate.

Our experts scoured last year’s markdowns for more than half a million items from 150-plus online retailers so we can advise you on the best times to shop for the things you love.

They discovered that markdowns in February 2012 averaged 47% — compared with an average of 43% for the full year. For women, February 2012 markdowns averaged 49%. For men, markdowns were not quite as steep — averaging 43%, but were still the best of the year.


Presidents’ Day 2012 offered average markdowns of 48%, making it the top holiday for online sales. (In 2011, it came in second after Labor Day, with average discounts of 46%.)


But it’s not just that one weekend; you can find great discounts all month long: 15 of the 20 best sale days of the entire year fell in February 2012 (and the other five followed closely in early March).  On those 20 days, markdowns averaged 47% or higher!

While February markdowns are deep, there aren’t as many items on sale as at other times of year (you’ll see lots more items on sale during holiday season, for example).  So don’t delay if something you love is discounted. You won’t see better-than-average markdowns again until the end of summer sales in August-September.

What’s behind the sweetness of February sales? According to our founder and CEO Charlie Graham, “Retailers are eager to clear out winter merchandise so they can start selling spring items. That’s why there are so many clearance events during February and why Presidents’ Day ushers in a host of great sales.”

In 2012, the winter was particularly mild, so online retailers were aggressive with their markdowns. Nordstrom had a big shoe clearance, and several other retailers (Banana Republic, French Connection and Victoria’s Secret, among others) put “sale on sale” (take an additional percentage-off already reduced styles, for example). It’s perhaps why Presidents’ Day and Labor Day switched spots as the top sale holidays in terms of percentage off discounts.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you shop ‘til you drop…

While we can’t be certain that our stats mirror what happens at bricks and mortar stores, mass-discounters, or in other categories like housewares or electronics, we are confident you will find great clothing, shoes and accessories sales at hundreds of online retailers this month.

And with such great bargains coming up, the stuff you love may not last. Create Threads on Shop It To Me for all the clothing, shoes and accessories you care about or follow a few of our suggested ones Desk To Dinner, Night On The Town, Gifts Worth Stealing, On-a-Budget Picks Under $100 and The Perfect Black Bag. We’ll keep track of your individual preferences, and check 150 online stores each day — from Shopbop and Nordstrom to J. Crew and The Outnet — and make sure you get all the latest sale updates on the items you want.

For details on what to buy in February, check out the infographic below.


Methodology:  Shop It To Me, a free personal assistant for online shopping that updates you when things you love are on sale in your size, analyzed nearly 585,000 clothing, accessories, and shoe markdowns throughout 2012 available from over 150 online retailers.

January 31, 2013   No Comments

TODAY Show Cyber Monday Suggestions

If you were up early this AM, perhaps you spied online shopping fanatic Jenn Falik talking CyberMonday deals on TODAY. If you missed our favorite style scout’s advice, we’re rereunning it here, since there are still a few hours left to take advantage. And Jenn’s #1 tip for taming the madness? Signing up for Shop It To Me’s new service, Shop It To Me Threads–and getting us to do the legwork for you.

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November 26, 2012   No Comments

9 don’t-miss tips for shopping Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales

charlie-graham-founder-shopittomeThis coming weekend is notoriously one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. We asked our Founder/CEO, Charlie Graham for his advice/sale intel leading up to the big Black Friday/Cyber Monday mania. Here are his tips:

1) People are always asking us if Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are the best of the year. Thanksgiving week sales are great because there’s so much merchandise on sale, which makes it an exciting time to shop. It’s a time when many retailers put their whole stores on sale online, and offer free shipping to boot.


2) Although there’s a huge selection of merchandise on sale, you will actually not see the steepest discounts of the year (that’s generally in January/February and August/September).   For instance, during Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend last year, our 150+ retail partners offered sales on more than 56,000 items online. However, only 8,000 (or 15%) of those items were offered at deep discounts of 60% or more. This is less than some other holiday weekends where we have seen 15,000 items on sale for 60% or more.


3) Use 40% off as your barometer of what’s a good deal. It’s the average discount on clothing, shoes and accessories on sale online in November and December.  Of course your own judgment:  If it’s a brand that’s rarely on sale, 20% or 30% off is significant.  But in general, 40% is a good barometer when shopping for clothing, shoes and accessories online.


4) That said, there are some brands that you’ll want to scoop up, even if the discounts are less. For instance, the following brands had average discounts less than 30% during all of 2011. If you see any of these on sale for more than 30% off, you may want to act fast: Tod’s, Mountain Hardwear, Electric, Marmot, Prada, Ray-Ban, The Sak, Oakley, Christian Dior, Tumi, Vilbrequin, Ferragamo, Johnston & Murphy, Moncler, Patagonia, Reef, Fossil, Hurley.


5) If you see a sale that gets you excited, pull the trigger.  This week, people may be afraid to pull the trigger when shopping online on Thanksgiving because they think they’ll see a better deal on Black Friday, and then Black Friday comes and they aren’t sure if a sale will be better on Cyber Monday.  In the past, we have found a mixture of offerings between the three days.  Some retailers offer the same sale for the whole weekend.  Others do different sales on each of the days.  In general, the discounts are fairly equal between each of the days, so if you see something on sale on Thursday or Friday, chances are you won’t see it discounted any further on Monday.  And even if you do, you can always return/exchange it.


6) People also ask us if sales are better at brick & mortar stores or online. We can’t say for sure because we only track online sales–but what I can tell you is that when it comes to shopping online for clothing, shoes and accessories–the past two years during Thanksgiving weekend, the deals have been slightly better at online-only sites — think Zappos, Net-a-Porter, Shopbop, Piperlime, etc — followed by online department store sites and online specialty retailer sites.


7) If you can, shop early in the mornings. You’ll have a better chance of getting the inventory you want.  Online retailers typically do their markdowns in the wee hours.


8) A trend we saw last year and is already evident this year is toward sales that last the whole week, Thanksgiving Week sales.  These are already starting (the Tues or Wed before Thanksgiving), and will go through much of next week too.


9) To monitor styles tailored to your individual preferences, I hope you’ll try our new site, Shop It To Me Threads.  We just launched in public beta last week, in time to help navigate the holiday shopping madness. Please share any feedback with me. It’s just the beginning and we are continuing to roll out new features/functionality as we make this the most personalized shopping platform available!

For more tips, see our infographic on shopping smart this holiday season.

November 19, 2012   No Comments

Infographic: Shop Smart This Holiday Season

In anticipation of a flurry of upcoming November/December sales, at Shop It To Me we examined what happened last year during this busy holiday shopping season. See the stand-out stats we uncovered below:


For a downloadable PDF, click here


November 1, 2012   1 Comment

Why we’re so excited about Labor Day sales

By now it’s obvious that <a title=”Labor Day sales” href=”” target=”_blank”>we can’t wait</a> for this weekend’s Labor Day sales. We think you’d share our excitement if we shared a few more numbers with you. In this post we’ll focus on 10–the top 10 days of 2011 that, according to our data, offered the highest average percentage off discounts on men’s, women’s and kids’ clothing that was on sale online.

Let’s start with the top 5 days of last year, all of which fell on or around Labor Day: September 4 (Sunday), September 3 (Saturday), September 5 (Monday), September 2 (Friday) and September 6 (Tuesday). This doesn’t mean these days featured <em>the most</em> items on sale, but of what was on sale online, these days offered the highest percentage off discounts, 48% off or greater. The next best days were August 20 (48%-off), January 15, September 1, October 1 and August 23 (47.5%-off each).

You can compare that with 44% off, which is the average percentage off on clothing on sale online from our retail partners for the full year.

Maybe that doesn’t sound like a huge difference, but like grandma used to say, “it’s better in your pocket.”

<em>Methodology: <a title=”shop it to me” href=”” target=”_blank”>Shop It To Me</a>, the free online personal shopper, analyzed markdowns of nearly 700,000 items of clothing, accessories, and shoe throughout 2011, available from over 150+ online retailers.</em>

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August 29, 2012   No Comments

Labor Day or Black Friday? It Depends on What You Want!

Our August 10 post comparing online Labor Day sales with discounts on other well-known sale holidays has generated quite a bit of interest. We’ve received comments and questions from a variety of sources who just couldn’t believe that Labor Day trumped Black Friday for discount value of clothing, shoes, bags, and accessories.

Honestly, we were surprised when we first saw the data from 2011. But what we saw was pretty compelling:

· For the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend last year, our 150+ retail partners offered sales on more than 56,000 items online. However, only 8,000 (or 15%) of those items were offered at deep discounts of 60% or more.

· On Labor Day weekend, there were fewer items on sale – about 41,000. But, we found that over 13,000 (or 30 percent) were offered at 60% off or more, many more than Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

So, the bottom line is that it depends what you want: Shop the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend if you want the largest selection of clothing, shoes and accessories on sale online and don’t mind if the discounts aren’t the best. Shop Labor Day weekend if you want the steepest discounts for the items you buy. Or, shop both weekends and reap the best of both worlds!

If you want a easy way to stay up to date on all the upcoming sales, keep an eye on our blog, facebook page and twitter feed for the latest news from all your favorite stores. And remember–the best way to outsource your sale searching and enjoy the last three-day weekend of the summer is by quickly checking your Salemail or logging onto your personalized search page at any time. Relax! We’ve got you covered.

August 28, 2012   No Comments

Back-to-school necessities on Kathie Lee & Hoda

If you were watching KLG & Hoda this AM (our favorite guilty pleasure, natch), you might have spied The North Face Kids Resolve Jacket lifestyle expert Amy Goodman featured in her adorable back to school fashion show. And aren’t you lucky if you want this piece for your little ones too, because she found it for 25% off via Shop It To Me.

The North Face Resolve Boys Jacket

You may know that The North Face rarely goes on sale for super-big discounts, so getting 25% off (plus free shipping!) is a really good deal. The Resolve Jacket is still available in four fun colors on Zappos. Here are a few more recent markdowns to snag for the school year:

Similar items

Boys: The North Face Conductor Jacket, NOW $37.50, orig. $50.00 | Adidas Ultimate Jacket, NOW $25.90, orig. $37.00

Girls: Hunter Original Kids Rainboots, NOW $59.99, orig. $75.00 | DC Summit Jacket, NOW $66.95, orig. $89.95

And, if you’re still in the midst of your back to school shop, log onto your Shop It To Me profile page and update your brand preferences and sizes to include items for your kids (from Crocs to The Children’s Place). That way, you can enjoy the last weeks of summer while having your sales come to you.

August 22, 2012   No Comments

Fit tips and trends from a savvy swimwear expert

Swimsuit shopping is an undertaking, to say the least. With swimwear deals flooding our Shop It To Me emails recently, it’s the perfect time to score big, and get late-summer use out of some new pieces.

Luckily one of our fabulous Trendsetters, Susan, Director of Social Media Marketing for and contributor to their blog Beauty and the Beach, was excited to answer some of our questions surrounding the must-knows of swimwear! See what this sun-loving gal spilled to us in a recent interview. and Beauty and the Beach

Shop It To Me:  Swimsuit shopping can be a bit daunting. What are some tips you can give to fit and flatter your body type?

Susan:  The first step to finding your perfect swimsuit is knowing your body and its overall shape.  For example, if you’re pear-shaped (narrow shoulders, smaller bust, fuller hips and bigger bottom), you want to choose swimsuits that help balance you out.  Choosing an embellished top (think fringe bandeau tops or tops with ruffle detail) paired with a dark solid-colored bottom will help emphasize your top half and minimize your bottom half.  Also don’t get too caught up on the size tag, as all brands and styles run differently.  You may be an extra-small in one brand or style and a medium in another.  Next time you’re shopping for a swimsuit, refer to this simple swimsuit style guide for every body shape.

SITM:  You were just in Miami for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim, what does the future hold for swimwear trends?

S:  For 2013, fringe is literally EVERYWHERE, so hopefully you’re not tired of seeing it already!  Also we noticed a ton of bustier-style tops with sweetheart necklines which will be perfect for the beach or paired with your favorite pair of denim cutoffs.  We also spotted a ton of nautical-inspired pieces; although the nautical look is a classic trend in swim and resortwear, we saw some pretty cool updated versions.  In terms of color, pastels were definitely having a major moment, especially soft shades of mint, yellow and peach. See some sneak peek photos from the week below:

2012 swimwear trends

SITM:  What are some classic swimwear styles to invest in that won’t go out of style?

S:  Every woman must have at least one LBB, a.k.a little black bikini, in her swimdrobe.  Like the LBD, a LBB is sleek, sexy and 100% timeless; furthermore, they come in a wide variety of styles and silhouettes!  You should also have at least one bikini that features a classic print, such as polka dots, stripes or animal prints.  You never have to worry about them going out of style and they’re perfect for mixing and matching throughout the years!  Finally, even the most diehard bikini-wearers should invest in a cute one-piece—trust me, you’ll thank me later!

SITM:  What’s the most expensive or crazy swimsuit you’ve ever seen?

S:  I’m pretty sure I once saw an itty bitty diamond bikini in an old Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.  I think it was worth $30 million or something… and I think Molly Sims was modeling it!

SITM:  What’s your favorite affordable swimwear brand?

S:  One of my favorite brands, Vitamin A by Amahlia Stevens, makes a really great younger, more affordable “Silver” line.  The styles still feature that amazing Vitamin A fit but they have a much lower price point.  Furthermore, many of the styles are reversible so you can get multiple bikini looks for the prices of one.  Check out the line here.

SITM:  What are some swim-worthy items you’ve come across recently in your Shop It To Me email?

S:  Here are some great items, clockwise from top-left: Marc by Marc Jacobs bikini, BCBGMAXAZRIA tank dress, Juicy Couture floppy hat, Steve Madden sandals, Tory Burch clutch

Swimwear items from Shop It To Me


SITM:  What are some of your favorite of-the-moment items from

S:  Here are some great products that we have available now: swimwear pieces

Ula La Ruffle by PilyQ (great LBB example) | Periwinkle by Vitamin A Silver (great example of classic polka dot print AND it’s by Vitamin A Silver—the brand I mentioned as my favorite affordable brand) |Trancoso by ViX (another great animal print example)

Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

August 15, 2012   1 Comment

This Labor Day, celebrate your inner sales buff

While it may have been founded as a day to celebrate work and workers, Labor Day is, in fact, the perfect day to celebrate shopping!

According to Shop It To Me’s data, Labor Day weekend 2011 offered discounts averaging more than 48% off on clothing, shoes and accessories on sale online.  That was significantly better than the average discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (for clothing, shoes and accessories on sale online), when we tracked discounts averaging 41-42% off.


And it’s not just Labor Day weekend!  The deals are expected to start Saturday, September 1 and continue through the following week. Last year, shoppers found great discounts for the first two weeks of September, and although those discounts tapered off slightly after the 10th, September 2011 was one of the best months of the entire year for shopping online sales.

Can’t wait for Labor Day because the kids are heading back to school this month? You’ll find deals almost as good during August. In 2011, discounts averaged 47%-off or better almost every day of August from the 19th through the end of the month.

What to buy? August and September are the right time to shop online for women’s jeans, bags, shoes, outerwear, sweaters, jewelry, accessories, swimwear and sunglasses.  They also are a great time to find discounts on boy’s, girl’s and men’s clothing.

No matter what you’re buying this month, keep in mind 46%-off as a barometer — that’s the average discount on men’s, women’s and kids’ clothing, shoes and accessories sales online in September. You can break the 46% rule if you’re buying items from Tod’s, Prada, Ray-Ban, Patagonia, Tumi and Oakley. If you see these brands offered at a discount of 30% or higher, snap them up because they rarely go on sale.

And don’t forget that, when it comes to shopping holiday weekends, the early bird gets the worm: shop early in the morning at the beginning of the weekend for the best assortment.  Those great deals will make your morning cup o’ Joe even more satisfying.

Methodology: Shop It To Me, the free online personal shopper, analyzed nearly 700,000 markdowns throughout 2011 available from over 150+ online retailers.

August 10, 2012   No Comments

Summer essentials from 3 sun-lovin’ bloggers

As fast as summer is flying by (August, really?), we’re attempting to slow things down a bit by making a summer essentials bucket list. We’ve asked some of our Trendsetters to help us out and share what items they simply cannot live without during the hottest months of the year.

Jaclyn of Sharing My Sole says, “Maxi Dresses!  I really can’t get enough of my airy, light and flowing maxi dresses for the summer months.  They are perfect for all occassions – Summer cookouts, outdoor concerts, the beach and bridal showers.”

Jaclyn of Sharing My Sole


Ria of says, “Most definitely jean shorts/cut offs. They’re the perfect thing to throw on. I’m currently loving a pair from Mink Pink but also have a Wildfox favorite as well. I’m trying to force myself to switch things up on my blog but shorts are just so easy to throw on when it’s over 90 degrees here in Miami on some days.”

Ria of


Meggy of Chasing Davies says, “A panama hat, cat-eye sunnies and sunscreen are a must these days. I’m all about staying protected from the sun, white skin and all. My 16-year old self would not approve of this. In addition, a flowy dress and Lime-a-Rita (over crushed ice for a slushy version to really cool me down) are staples.”

Meggy of Chasing Davies

August 6, 2012   No Comments