Okay, I’m not gonna lie to you. And please don’t hate me forever for saying this, but…I don’t like shopping. Phew!. I said it out
I seriously wish I loved shopping because I feel like most women love bargain hunting at some of the best places to shop in NYC on a budget.
It feels like cheap shopping in New York helps create these iconic sisterhoods that you see in shows like Sex and the City.
Some of the show’s BEST girl talk occurs while shopping for a pair of Manolo Blahnik (Yeah, I don’t think any of the discount stores near me are that fancy but their shoes are exquisite).
And while most of us probably can’t afford Manolo’s:
You get the idea that bargain shopping in New York is about as important to women as sporting events are to men,
That’s why it sometimes sucks that I hate shopping. Sure, I save money, but I also feel left out when all my girlfriends head out to various discount stores in NYC and leave me at home since I’d rather pull all out all my toenails out then go with them.
I’m being melodramatic. Cheap shopping in NYC isn’t THAT bad but you get the idea).
So if you’re a total shopaholic who is in search of the best shopping places in New York City
If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then this post about cheap shopping NYC is for you!
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***Not sure where to stay in NYC? Then check out 414 Hotel (Rooms at this chic, Hell’s Kitchen hotel start at $159 per night and include fridges, flat-screen TVs and iPod docks. There’s even a working fireplace in the lobby!), The James New York(Chic, modern rooms at this Soho hotel start at $177 per night and feature high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, glassed-off bathrooms, plush linens made from natural materials, and more), The Bowery Hotel, (Rooms at this 5-star, Nolita hotel start at $300 per night and are cozy, but stylish, with free Wifi, free bike rentals, exquisite city views, and more). and Pod 39 (Located in Murray Hill, this pod hotel sits inside a residential home from 1918. Rooms here start at $120 per night and are cozy and outfitted with queen-size beds or stainless-steel bunk beds with individual TVs and bedside shelves).***
8 of My Favorite Stores for Discount Shopping in New York City! Because who doesn’t want to do a little retail therapy and shop all their feelings away?
1. INA NYC
Located in Chelsea (and well all across the city really):
This NYC discount shopping hotspot has been around since the ye olde year of 1993 (Geez I feel old because that doesn’t seem that long to me.LoL) and has quickly become one of New York City’s most reputable consignment stores.
Why, you may wonder?
This store’s epic reputation for selling high quality at insane discount prices comes from the fact that this store accepts only the highest quality merchandise for resale and has a multitude of fashion-forward items, at discounted prices, from iconic designers like Chanel, Pucci, BALLY, etc.
There are a bunch of different locations all over the city so it’s super easy to find an INA discount store near you.
2. HOUSING WORKS THRIFT STORE
I come here for the bookstore next door but if I have time, I stop by the thrift store, which has some pretty epic deals that even appeal to this non-shopper right here.
I just LOVE Housing Works Thrift Store and their social consciousness.
Believe it or not:
All the proceeds from this thrift shop go towards aid for the homeless and those afflicted with the AIDS virus.
While shopping here, you can feel good because you’re actually doing something for the good of humanity.
And while you’re here:
You can even sell some of your own goods or just cruise the racks for vintage designs by Gucci, Givenchy, DVF, etc.
With locations all across the country:
Cash-poor, fashion-conscious New Yorkers can now rejoice since Primark Outlets, a UK-based
You can happily frolic through this spacious store and fill your cart to the tippy top since you’ll find an assortment of amazingly trendy clothes at dirt cheap prices.
Just think casual cool, only minus the high price tag.
And with 41 fitting rooms at your disposal, you can nab all the apparel, shoes, and accessories that your little heart could EVER desire.
You can even purchase some wicked awesome home goods and beauty products, but just because you’re already here.
All this, just minus the buyer’s remorse since items here can cost as little as $10 a piece.
In that case, I’ll take the entire store, wrapped please.
4. THINK CLOSET
This vintage style boutique in Williamsburg was started in 2007 by Wendy Chung and sells items that are predominantly imported from Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong.
All the items here are affordable, unique, fashion-forward, and something that you can’t really find anywhere else.
Just think fun, flirty, and feminine, but with a dash of Asian funk thrown in for good measure.
If you’re searching for a reasonably priced, one of a kind piece that has eccentric detailing, then Think Closet is the place for you.
5. FLIRT BROOKLYN
Nestled amidst the trendiness of hipster Brooklyn:
Flirt, is a budget-friendly, retro-style clothing store that is chock full of vintage dresses, blouses, and coats, that…wait for it… are all locally made!
Crazy right? I had no idea anything was made in the USA anymore.
From clothing to handmade accessories, Flirt has it all, and even accepts custom orders!
If quirky printed tees and polka-dot bathing suits are totally your bag baby, then grab a sugar daddy and get your butt over here ASAP, especially since most pieces here are well under $100.
This store even offers individual sewing classes where children and adults can learn how to sew from expert teachers.
Not my thing since I almost sewed my thumb to my boxer shorts in home economics, but something that might appeal to any of the more creative souls in the audience.
6. CENTURY 21
No, not the real estate giant
And I’m being absolutely serious since the first time I heard about this NYC discount store, I really thought my friend wanted to buy a house.
But that’s another story.
And I have to say,
This store did not disappoint. They have amazing deals and offer up to 70% off designer prices, on everything from shoes to handbags to workout gear
But the best part?
This shopping outlet in New York City is actually spread out over something crazy like seven floors.
You actually have to room to shop and don’t have to fight the woman next to you for the last v-neck top in the rack.
Century 21 has multiple locations, so it’s easy to find a location near you; a store that is truly one of the best places for shopping in NYC.
7. NECESSARY CLOTHING
Going to Little Italy for a nice slice of pizza and an enormous cup of gelato?
If you are:
Then I’ll forgive your naivete since the Italian food along Arthur Avenue is infinitely cheaper and more delicious than the Italian food in Little Italy
That’s why no respectable New Yorker would eat Italian food in Little Italy.
Since you’re in the area, why not stop by this trendy shop, (preferably BEFORE you eat like a horse so that you don’t feel bloated) which is known for having in style fashions, at affordable prices.
Affordable garb is a plenty here, and the best part is that you get to avoid the department store hassle while nabbing great clothes for under $50.
What? Not gonna be in New York City any time soon?
No Problem! Necessary Clothing, once a humble Little Italy clothing boutique, is now an online megastore that can ship quality clothes, at discount prices, to women all across the US.
And by discount, I mean less than $20 for a cute dress,
I wish traveling around the globe was that inexpensive.
8. WOODBURY COMMON PREMIUM OUTLETS
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I love this outlet mall with my whole heart since it’s outdoors and makes a great place to walk around on a nice, sunny day.
It’s also huge.
Like you need a map so you won’t get lost huge since this mall literally has hundreds of stores
Seriously, there is an outlet for anything you can imagine, like Gucci, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ugg, Coach, Kate Spade, etc.
So grab a map and plan on making a day of it.
Wear a pair of uber comfortable sneakers since Woodbury Commons is quite large and requires a fair bit of walking; especially on the weekends when it’s crowded and the parking lots are all full.
And if you get hungry from all this walking:
They have an amazing food court with delicious restaurants like Shake Shack and Yo Sushi. So no need to brown bag it with your lunch.
The only down side?
This outlet paradise is located in Central Valley New York, which is about 40 minutes outside the city.
The discount prices make it totally worth the trip.
And if you don’t have a car, not to worry. because there are a ton of tour companies that offer excursions up here.
Just arrive early and stay late because this place isn’t exactly a secret. And I don’t know about you but crowds are just way too
9. Bloomingdale’s Outlet (Upper West Side)
We’ve all heard of Bloomingdales, AKA “Bloomies” for all the local New Yorkers out there.
This store is so hella iconic that their paper shopping bags have been transformed into uber trendy, reusable totes that have the words
The Bloomingdales brand s so serious that people actually want to buy their reusable shopping bags (Hey Bloomies! If you guys wanna market for me, give me a call!)
That kind of diehard, brand loyalty makes sense when you realize that this NYC merchandise mecca first started in 1872 when the Bloomingdale brothers first started their east side bazaar.
Rather than specializing in the sale of a single item (a practice that was common for retail stores at that time):
The Bloomie bros dared to be different and carried a variety of European-inspired fashions that shoppers could choose from.
Well, not surprisingly
Their store became SO popular that by the 1950s, Bloomingdales had actually secured a super snazzy location along 5th Avenue, a store that still stands today.
And this store?
Yeah, it’s kind of sort of amazing since it takes up a full city block and is basically NYC shopping divinity.
But the prices?
Yeah, not so great for anyone in NYC shopping on a budget.
And that’s where this super nifty, Bloomingdales Outlet comes in handy.
Located on the Upper West Side:
This outlet store is home to high-quality merchandise at incredibly low prices. And all right in Manhattan!
Seriously, what more could you ask for?
Sure, you’ll have to dig a little bit, but that’s pretty standard for most outlet stores.
If you do stop by, do NOT expect to find a pair of pants for $5.
Sorry, but that just ain’t gonna happen, not unless you do a little dumpster diving right outside of Bloomies.
Expect high-end, designer brands (like Theory, Marc Jacobs, Free People, etc.) to be discounted by about 30%.
If you’re Where’s Waldo level committed to bargain-hunting, then do a little digging and you may just find something that is discounted 50%-80% off the original price.
But wait, it gets better!
This epic Bloomies Outlet also comes with its very own frozen yogurt store, Forty Carrots!
Sitting at the tippity top of the building:
This chic little froyo shop is a fantastic place to stop, recharge your batteries, and indulge in a little bit of dessert deliciousness, just minus all the insanely cumbersome guilt and calories.
10. Sample 260 Final Sale
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Have you heard of a sample sale?
If not, they’re basically like these amazing, high fashion unicorns that can’t be chased, just found.
Or, as Google might say:
They’re when designer brands sell trial-run clothing (i.e. samples and prototypes) for a limited time and at a third of their original price.
Many sample sales today now include overstock/past season merchandise that has been marked-down to production costs (or lower if you’re SUPER lucky).
These unicorns of the fashion world are unannounced, pop up sales that usually sell out of merchandise within a few short hours.
No really, sample sales are no joke in NYC.
People will literally start fist fights and line up at the crack of dawn just for these things since they can include anything from Reformation dresses to Rebecca Minkoff purses to Caroline Constas Gowns to Spiritual Gangster tees.
Now, back in the day:
You needed to be Micheal Kors’ bestie just to get some advance info about these things. But the times, they are
All you need to do is stop by Fashion 260 Final Sale (one location is on the Upper West Side and the other is in Noho), and you’ll find sample sales as far as the eye can see, all day every
Think sample sale quality goods, at sample sale prices, but without the hassle of dashing around the city to different locations that are, SURPRISE, totally devoid of all fashion awesomeness.
You’ll find a wide variety of brands at Fashion 260 Final Sale, with prices that range anywhere between $30 and $300, depending on the item.
And since their stock is constantly changing, you can stop by whenever you want and always find something new.
Yeah, your wallet totally hates me right now.
But legit, this definitely is one of the BEST places to shop in NYC on a budget since it’s like a sample sale, only 10,000 times better than you ever imagined possible (Unless you imagined swan diving into a pool of chocolate and eating it all without gaining a pound. Then sorry but this place isn’t THAT amazing).
11. DSW at Union Square
Do your feet hurt after all this walking? If they do then obviously, you need to purchase yourself a new pair of shoes. I mean, it’s a medical imperative.
Or so I tell myself every time I’m in NYC.
But, to save yourself from the slings and arrows of potential buyer’s remorse, let’s make them discount shoes.
Well, then there’s no better place than DSW of course!
Okay, I know DSW isn’t exclusive to NYC, but trust me, their store at Union Square is kind of like a theme park for shoe lovers.
Everywhere you turn you’ll see rows upon rows of shoes…and all at discounted prices!
See, dreams really do come true!
Just stroll on in through the ground floor and you’l find floor after floor of shoes, with big, shiny escalators in the middle to help make shopping even easier.
This DSW is enormous and can be a bit overwhelming. Therefore, let me help you out and share the lay of the land.
Clearance shoes are all the way in the back, dressy heels are in the back right, stylish sneakers and athletic sneakers are in the middle right, and rain boots/men’s shoes are on the left.
You’re now ready to show DSW what you’ve got when it comes to purchasing power.
12. Buffalo Exchange
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With locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan:
Buffalo Exchange is the place to go if you want to look high fashion but only have the budget of a thrift store diva.
Which is basically 99.9% of NYC’s population since rent is THAT outrageous.
And while this spot is definitely one of the best places to shop in NYC on a budget, it’s also a thrift shop.
As a result:
All the clothes on sale here have had previous owners, so be prepared.
It’s not unusual to find items here that still have their original tags. So, at least it sort of feels like for real shopping (like at an actual store with new clothes).
You could always say that the clothes here are “pre-owned” if that makes you feel any better about thrift shoppin’ like a boss.
Unlike most thrift shoppin’ meccas, Buffalo Exchange actually specializes in fast
Expect to find a ton of current pieces from brands like Zara, H&M, and American Eagle, and more
The clothes here won’t make you look like you crawled out of some wonky time warp where white, pleather bell bottoms are the height of fashion.
Be prepared to sift through a ton of duds since most people don’t want these things for a reason. Trust me, they didn’t give their clothes away because they were AMAZING.
If you come armed with a bit of patience, and a splash of determination, you can walk away with some truly unique pieces that make you feel like a high roller, even if you can’t spend like one (That’s me! Fiscally irresponsible, party of one).