Secrets to Shopping at Zara
Who doesn’t love Zara? Zara is still one of the biggest fast fashion retailers on the market, always delivering the latest trends fresh from the runway. Even though Zara is known to copy designers, it’s cool to be able to snatch the latest trend after seeing it on the runway a month before.
Having worked for Zara myself, for almost 5 years, I have learned the ins and outs of the business and I’m here to share with you a “how to guide” when shopping at Zara!
One of the best things about the store is that you can walk into the same store every day and the store will look a little different day after day. The visual merchandisers are consistently refreshing the collections and moving product around to cater to the location’s consumer market. New product also gets dropped every Monday and Wednesday morning! So you’re always guaranteed to see something new. Usually the best sellers are what live on the shop floor the longest and low selling items get rotated into the stockroom. Depending on the shop floor size, only about 10,000 units are displayed on the sales floor; and about 30,000 units of styles NOT displayed on the shop floor are sitting in the stockroom. How crazy is that!?
So, what is the best way to shop at Zara?
First of all, if you haven’t downloaded the app on your phone, that’s the first thing that you should do after reading this post! The app will show you ALL the styles that Zara offers currently. It even lets you know what locations have the items in stock. Given that Zara doesn’t showcase all their styles on their shop floor, this is the best way to shop if you’re seeking something very specific, like black pants for work. In all honesty, if you actually have to go into the store to look for something specific… be sure to have reference numbers saved on your phone and arrive right when the store opens. This is the best time to shop in the store as the store is actually CLEAN. Forget about shopping there after 12pm. The shop floor does not get maintained and you are pretty much an animal shopping in a jungle. Guaranteed you will also be standing in long queues and won’t ever be able to find an associate to help you.
To further elaborate on my last point; don’t complain that the customer service sucks at Zara. Better yet- don’t even bother any associates, if you do, accept the fact that will get attitude. You can’t blame them though; the poor employees are overworked and poorly payed. So, just don’t bother anyone unless you have your references ready on your phone and you have already checked that the store has the items you’re looking for in stock. At the end of the day, you are shopping at Zara for inexpensive clothing and not to receive outstanding customer service.
Next: fabrics. Okay. This is a big one… always read the fabric content and washing instructions of the clothing before you buy! Zara isn’t “good quality”, its decent enough to last you through a year, basically. But if you shop smart, and look at the fabric content, you can purchase clothing that will last you a lot longer. One of the fabrics the company loves to use is called viscose. Heard of it? Well, it’s a man-made semi synthetic fibre; meaning it’s lighter in weight and weaker than cotton. This fabric, in my opinion, is the most horrible fabric you can buy. You will need to wash the fabric in cold wash only, air dry and will always have to steam the garment prior to wear. Now, I won’t completely shun the fibre. I, myself, even own some pieces in my closet made from viscose. But, I try to avoid it. It’s annoying to wash and your garment is ruined if you accidentally wash it in warm water or even worse put it in the dryer. The fabric deforms in shape, shrinks and wrinkles terribly. So before you decide to drop $80 on that super trendy blouse at Zara, make sure that it’s not made out of viscose or rayon, as rayon is almost the same as viscose.
What are some other fabrics used by Zara that I would avoid? Lyocel, tencel and ramie are also fabrics that can be easily damaged with wear and poor care. Good fabrics that last include polyester, cotton, a poly cotton blend, leather, polyurethane (faux leather), silk, cashmere, nylon, wool, acrylic and linen. If you’re shopping for cotton, look out for an “organic cotton” label attached to the garment, or their “Join life” conscious collection label. These items cost a few dollars more but better quality than the $7.90 t-shirts.
Sale, what everyone waits for! Zara has two sale periods: winter sale (launched December 26th) and summer sale (usually launched the 2nd week in June). The best way to shop sale is midnight the day of sale launch. This guarantees you first pick in the best items and sizes. Depending on where you live, you can even shop as early as 9pm the day before; as long as one part of the country has hit midnight! The only downside is that you will to wait almost 2 weeks for your package and there is no in-store package pick up during sale launches.
The best deals at the start of sale are the expensive products. I’m talking about leather items or anything priced $300 and over. Zara categorizes their sale by grouping price points together and the large ticketed items fall into the last grouping meaning your get the most discounts on it!
If you’re looking for cheaper deals, you’ll want to shop about a month after the start of sale on Wednesday mornings as Wednesday’s are the markdown days. Check the night prior on your app to even see if the items you want are included in the markdown. If a type of clothing (such as shirts) is selling well at its current price point they will continue the current price for another week or two.
Even better time to shop the sale is a couple of months later when the sale has been through multiple markdowns. If you take the time to dig through the sale section, you’ll find some online returns from customers who have changed their mind. I know I can tell if something was returned from online because the price tag sometimes looks different than the ones you see in store. Also these items almost always are in perfect condition as they haven’t been sitting on the shop floor throughout the whole sale period. You can find some great pieces that isn’t damaged (like makeup stains or rips) and at cheap prices!
Hope these tips help you shop smart at Zara! Have any other tips? Let me know in the comments.