It’s no secret that Zara is one of the most successful fashion retail brands in the world – if not the most successful one! With its dramatic introduction of the concept of ‘fast fashion’ retail since it was founded in 1975 in Spain – Zara aspires to create on-trend and stylish fashion pieces for a broad spectrum of consumers, spread across different cultures and age groups. The secret to Zara’s success has largely been driven by its ability to keep up with rapidly changing fashion trends straight off the catwalks from global fashion weeks and showcase them in its collections with very little delay. In turn, they found a significant gap in the market – offering clothing collections up-to-date with the latest fashion trends that are relatively high quality and affordable. Whilst other fashion brands take close to six months to get new designs and collections into stores and online, Zara creates newness in a week or two putting them into their stores and on their website.
So how do you get the most out of shopping at Zara, in the store and online? Those who know me know I’m an avid Zara shopper. It’s no lie that 90% of my wardrobe most probably comes from Zara. I love to browse in-store and online, see what’s new, try on a few styles and see if anything new has been added to the ‘Special Prices’ section online. I can now cleverly navigate around the Zara sale when it goes live online (I’ve had years of experience!) and I clearly know my sizes in different pieces (although as time goes on…my size seems to be moving upwards in the Zara world).
So without further ado, here are my top tips to get the most out of shopping at Zara.
The Zara Sizing Hack
The Zara sizing hack that went viral on TikTok last summer, explained the fact that each label on the brands garments has a symbol on it which indicates whether the item runs true to size or not. These symbols can be found on both the purchase tag (at the top) and the inner label. It’s believed a circle symbol means the item runs large, while a square means it’s true to size and a triangle indicates that it runs small. This has been a game changer for me, as I know whether or not to size up or down, if and when I don’t have time to try on in the fitting room.
Best Days to Shop Online At Zara
According to Zara employees, the best days to shop online on the Zara website are usually Monday and Thursday. This is because they are the main days for new product drops. While the majority of products are listed on a Monday or Thursday, there are odd new pieces that get listed on the site most other days too.
Best Time To Shop At Zara
In terms of shopping in the store, it’s pretty obvious that mornings are the best time of day to go. Fresh stock is put out and everything is pristine and merchandised to perfection. Afternoons can start to get busy as people go for a browse during lunch breaks and the malls start to fill up. Of course, in the UAE, we are fortunate, that the Zara stores usually remain pristine and in-order the whole day (with an exception of the first day of the sales!), which seems to be the opposite in many European and other global stores.
The Zara Sale
Zara doesn’t do discount codes, nor do they offer student discounts so, if you’re after a bargain, you have to wait for the sales. If you haven’t already, sign up to their newsletter which usually gives a days notice when the sale is starting. Before the sale commences, my top tip is to add the items you’re after or the ones you’ve saved/bookmarked into your basket. The website usually goes down for a couple of hours before the sale starts so once it’s up and running again, head straight to your basket to check your items have been reduced and check-out quickly. Items sell out fast, especially at the beginning of the sale, so being organised accelerates the process. It’s worth pointing out also that the Zara online sales usually start a day before they do in the stores. In relation to prices, they reduce them only by a little in the first few days – usually 20%-30%. The more an item is in demand, the less they take off the prices. The best value is usually during the third week of the sale where you can get a decent 50%-60% off items.
In addition, it’s well known that Zara employees are told to put the most expensive sale items at the front of the store, in the hope that these will go first. So, if you want to grab yourself a real bargain – head to the back of the store where you’ll probably find the dregs of the sale after it’s officially ended.
How To Get An Item Shipped Faster
I have noticed, that if I get an item shipped to my nearest Zara store, it’s usually available much quicker for pickup, than it would if I chose normal delivery. Plus, this way I don’t have to pay for shipping and by picking it up, it’s more of a sustainable option, as the item would most likely have been delivered with other stock.
The Special Prices Section
As mentioned earlier, I always like to check the ‘Special Prices’ section, as you never know what you will find there. Although its not advertised as a sale, it’s essentially a sale. It’s labelled in pink – so you can’t miss it. In there, you’ll find clothing from every category from dresses to coats and shoes – some of them reduced by as much as 60% off. Although it used to be Zara’s more basic pieces, now it seems to even include current collections.
Savvy Seasonal Shopping
One of my big Zara secret shopping tips is knowing what to buy and when to buy it, in order to grab a bargain. I always look to buy Zara knitwear and coats/winter-wear in the summer. As its not ‘in-season’, knitwear and coats are most likely to be marked way down. I once found a cute cashmere jumper marked down to 75% off which of course I snapped up and which I still wear to this day.
Same store…different country
It’s a well-known fact that Zara is relatively cheaper in Europe. I definitely take advantage if I’m back home in Ireland, in the UK or anywhere in Europe. In saying that, I also compare prices in the UAE stores to the ones in Europe and if I can get my desired item for a much lesser price elsewhere, I will usually use my Shop and Ship account to get it delivered to Dubai.
Sold Out Items
If that item you’ve had your eye on is out of stock and is on the verge of being re-stocked, it’ll have a ‘Coming Soon’ message with an envelope next to the sold out size. Click on it to add your email address – you’ll be alerted by email as soon as it gets re-stocked. Be quick though as you won’t be the only person signed up to these alerts.
If You Like It, Buy It
Items have a short life span in Zara and if you miss out on something you like, you won’t likely see it again.