Lately I’ve been simultaneously planning a trip to South Korea while lusting over the Givenchy medium Sugar Pandora bag.

Somewhere between budgeting my travel expenses and saving up for the bag I came to an unfortunate realization. At the all-inclusive price of $1,559, my journey to Seoul would cost less than my $2,535 Givenchy.

We all know shopping designer isn’t cheap. And the chances of finding a gently used luxury bag in Value Village for $29.99 are close to impossible. So what do we do when we want what we can’t afford?

Private sale websites
With sites like Haute Look, Rue La La and Beyond The Rack, shoppers can purchase past-season and surplus luxury goods for less. If you’re an email subscriber you’ll even recieve notifications about new releases, capsule collections and special offers.

Resale and consignment shops
Otherwise known as our holy grail. Where else can you make money offloading your old duds while finding amazing deals all at once? Online you can shop or sell by designer, size and price range on sites like Trend Junk, The Real Real and Fashionphile.

If shopping online isn’t your thing Celementine’s of Toronto makes a great alternative. Located on 1260 Yonge street, the boutique offers a high-end shopping experience without the #notsoexciting designer prices.

Canadian retailers
Shopping at Canadian retailers will save you a small fortune on duty and shipping charges. If you can’t make it to Holt Renfrew or Hudson’s Bay, offers an online curated collection of duty-free pieces with expedited free shipping on orders over $200.

READ MORE: ELLE Canada editors reveal their fashion firsts 

Outlet malls
Canadian outlet malls feature a variety of shopping destinations for half the price. Not only will you be saving money but you’ll get some cardio in too at the soon-to-be-opened McArthurGlen of Vancouver and the Toronto Premium Outlets

This one’s obvious but we don’t always do it right. When shopping vintage be patient, adventurous and attuned to detail. Unless vintage retailers specialize in luxury brands, staff may not be able to tell the difference between what’s real or a knockoff. Stay safe by researching before making any big investments. Sometimes a “deal” really is too good to be true!

Rent it
If you’re afraid of commitment rent a designer gown online from Canadian sites like Rent, Frock Repeat and Loue 1 Robe. With sizes ranging 0 to 24, there’s an option for everybody. Pretty cool, eh?

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