Tina Jordan
October 04, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

1. Is there a way to score primo merchandise — like Chanel bags — at outlets?
Think proximity. The best Neiman Marcus outlets, for example, ”will always be near a major NM,” explains Ellwood.

2. How can you outwit the mobs at sample sales?
Sales always have VIP previews, but they’re rarely policed — ”so the enthusiastic bargain hunter who turns up an hour early” will likely be allowed to shop.

3. What’s the best way to negotiate a discount on a full-price item?
Pay cash. According to Ellwood, even high-end stores will routinely take off 20 percent to 50 percent if you start peeling bills from your wallet.

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