So if you all haven’t notice I have a Nordstrom Rack Addiction. But to be real who doesn’t love the rack? A “Rack attack” is one of my favorite weekend hobbies. I can routinely be seen in my local rack spending wayyyyy to much money and saving a bundle . But even with all the savings, you still have to be smart about what your buying at the rack. Some items are created exclusively for the rack while other items come straight from Nordstrom. Below are my tips for navigating the Rack.
Being Aware of All the Great Brands Nordstrom Rack Carries
When most people think of discount stores like the Nordstrom Rack, Off 5th, and T.J. Maxx the often think of outdated merchandise that didn’t sell last season and no one wants. But if you are a fellow discount shopper you know this to be completely untrue. The Nordstrom Rack carries in-season clothing, designer merchandise and deals! For example I love brands that Revolve or ShopBop sells such as Mother Denim, Tularosa, and Flynn Skye. Luckily for me Nordstrom Rack carries all three and at discounted prices. For example, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mother denim (I love them so much I am even willing to pay full price for them). I just recently purchase a pair of black “Looker” jeans at the rack for $24 dollars.
It is almost important to take note that not all of the brands the Rack carries are brands that were originally carried in Nordstrom. The Nordstrom Rack has exclusive brands such as Melrose and Market, Abound and Harlowe and Graham. This brands can often be a good way to get on trend pieces for cheaper but it means when they go on sale the savings are not so great.
Knowing What a Red Tag Means
Red tags are my holy grail. These tags indicate that these items are on clearance and have been discounted even further from their retail price. These are also the items that go on sale for 25% off during clear the rack time. (Or even further like now till May 14th all red tagged boots and coats are 50% off). The one thing that you have to remember with red tags if you see something you like buy it and do not wait for the next clear the Rack. Red tagged items have a tendency to disappear quickly so snatch up that item you were eyeing.
One of my best red tag finds was a pair of Rag & Bone jeans. Retail on the specific pair was $218. I paid literally just a penny. To this day it goes down as my best find ever.
Deciphering the Savings
Almost all of the tags at the Nordstrom Rack will have the retail price listed on them. Most of the tags even have the % savings from retail to the marked down price. But do not always take that at face value. I found a leather jacket at the rack on clearance during clear the rack that said it retailed for $238 and it was now on sale for $80. While this is still a good deal I did a quick google search and found out the jacket retailed for $750 when it was at Nordstrom. Moral of the story is if you really like an item but are worried it is not discounted enough do a quick google search to confirm that retail price listed is actually the retail price.
Location, Location, Location
Each Rack receives different merchandise on different days of the week and at different times. Racks that are in more affluent areas (such as mine in Palo Alto) have a tendency to get higher end merchandise. I have especially noticed this when it comes to the shoes that a store carries. I have bought numerous pairs of Chloe flats, Rag & Bone Booties, Jimmy Choo heels and VINCE sneakers at my rack.
90 Day Return Policy
While the Nordstrom Rack doesn’t have the Nordstrom return policy, it does have a pretty good one. You have 90 days from the day of purchase to return the item if it is not worn. You can even return it without a receipt as they can look it up by your credit card number. This is especially crucial if you see an item you are on the fence about. As I said before if you see something at the rack buy it because if you go back even an hour later it is likely to not be there and knowing you have the ability to return it makes the decision to purchase easier.
The Power of Hautelook
Hautelook is basically the Nordstrom Rack online with timed events. (Also note that the Rack has a website but I often find better deals in store.) Hautelook has different events each day that are either centered around a brand or theme. They have events for women, men and children and for a variety of brands. Some of my favorite past events have been Levi, Sam Edelman, and Equipment. The key with Hautelook is to add the items you like to your cart immediately as it saves them for 15 minutes. Plus my tip is to always spend over $100 to get free shipping since it is easy to return the items via mail or to your local Nordstrom Rack. This is especially helpful for people who do not want to comb through the Rack or the Rack’s website for specific brands.