Suzanne O’Connor’s Bargains LA

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend Shopping

By Suzanne O'Connor

As a mother of a teenager, I don’t shop for costumes anymore. If my daughter wants to dress up for Halloween, it’s on her. That said, I have used the ‘cover” of Halloween shopping to turn my daughter on to vintage, resale and thrift store shopping the last few years. It has paid off with her having learned that shopping “used” may take a bit more work, but you can really score some treasures. She has also been cultivating a taste for vintage.

We popped into Pattye’s Closeton Friday afternoon (2422 Honolulu Ave., Montrose) and was able to find an good deal on some vintage fur wraps ($65-$99), costume jewelry ($5-$200), shoes and boots, clothing, handbags, home décor, linens tabletop items and more. I pulled a 1940’s beaded sweater for $45 and a pair of kid leather pumps by Cinderella at $33. One girl was in there with her grandmother searching for the perfect Home Coming dress. She settled on a beaded 1950’s cocktail dress. There was tons of Halloween stuff from scarves to masks here along with all the vintage items. .

My daughter found a great pair of 1980s red leather ankle boots for $28. She’s using them as her inspiration of going as a 1980 girl for Halloween. The beauty of this purchase is that she will wear these boots a lot, not just for Halloween, so it isn’t money wasted.


On Sunday, we all went to visit family friends in Santa Monica for dinner. My girlfriend wanted us to check out a place she absolutely loved on Topanga and PCH. So before dinner we all jumped in the car and drove over to what looked to be Malibu Feed…. But now they’re also selling lot of outdoor/ indoor furniture and home décor now. My girlfriend spotted a rustic Indonesian coffee table she adored priced at $999.  I told her that was way too much money and then turned to the sales man and asked what was the best price they could give her. He said 40% off…. Hmmm, I asked if they’d go 50% off. A few minutes later he said okay. I told her that was a fair price, knowing that as a busy mom with 2 jobs, she didn’t have the time to drive to all my sources to find an even better price.
It often pays to ask for a discount. My girlfriend was rather surprised how low they’d go and how I wasn’t embarrassed to ask. I gave her a quick lesson in retail mark up and import /export biz….so she understood that all I did was narrow their profit margin. As direct importers their cost per unit was probably around $300-$350 including taxes, shipping and surcharges. She got a much better price and they made a sale with some profit left in tact.

 

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