Secrets to Making Nordstrom Affordable!


If you know me in real life you know that my absolute favorite store in the whole world is Nordstrom… no not Nordstrom Rack but its more high-end parent department store. People are always side-eyeing me when I say this especially since I started med school. As a student I don’t really have an income so I can see why you wouldn’t expect this high-end store to be #1 on my list of favorites. Now before you criticize me of being bougie let me explain… Nordstrom has the best customer service, return policy and price match guarantee that I have ever found. I’m going to break it down for you as to why Nordstrom is so great and also how you can make it affordable and find all the deals… bear with me though, this post may be a bit lengthier than usual (sorry!) but I promise it’s worth it!


Nordstrom secrets





  • You can return whatever you want whenever you want! Don’t take advantage of this please and ruin it for the rest of us, but there have a been a few times I’ve gotten items that just weren’t what I was expecting or they broke/ fell apart and I got replacements for free (*cough Tory Burch studs that are constantly falling apart*). Most brands have a fixed “retail value” on their items so they are the same price everywhere. For instance Ugg boots are typically the same price wherever you get them… so why would I pay the same price at another store that has a limited or conditional return policy when I know that if I got it at Nordstrom (at the same price) then I can take it back no matter what?  And if the other store has the item for less, then you can always price match (see below).



  • Before I buy clothes, bags, or shoes, I ALWAYS double-check if it’s at Nordstrom first. If it’s there then I scrounge the internet for the best deals in hopes that I can find it chepaer elsewhere and then price-match it at Nordstrom. SB from Southern Belle, MD taught me that trick. I mostly use google shopping since its quicker but I’m also not against getting my hands dirty in the depths of the internet to find the item I want. The goal is to find it at the cheapest site possible. I’ve never had an issue price matching other major stores and chains including Nordstrom Rack. I make sure Nordstrom has the color and size I need and I call the 1800 number and have them price match for me over the phone. I got Brooks running sneakers that retailed for $120 for less than $70 (plus I added a $20 Nordstrom Note on top of this discount) because there was an online sale on a random athletic site. Now you’re probably wondering why I would go through all that but if you go back to the first bullet point remember that Nordstrom has the BEST RETURN POLICY! So basically its like having insurance on your products. 



  • This is my favorite part! Below I’ll share with you how I snag my Nordie’s deals but the best part is that there are NO SHIPPING FEES at Nordstrom and they have free returns. This is awesome because you can order one clearance item for less than $10 and get it for exactly what you would have paid in the store, without any extra fees being tacked on. There’s nothing I hate more than adding sale items to my online cart on other sites and then realizing that when I add shipping, I’m basically negating any discounts or savings.



  • Notes are basically Nordstrom’s reward program. If you have a Nordstrom card then you get points with each purchase, which get converted to $20 Notes when you reach enough points. These Notes can be combined, used on sale items & you can use them at Nordstrom rack too, which is the outlet version of Nordstrom (I love using my Notes at Nordstrom rack so I can get  more bang for my buck)! And if you don’t want a credit card, you can get the Nordstrom Debit Card. It is not a line of credit and is simply a card linked to your bank account and functions like a typical debit card. You can only use the debit card at Nordstrom/ Nordstrom Rack/ Hautelook (their retail auction site), but its a great option for those who want to earn points towards Notes but don’t want a credit card. One plus to the credit card is that it gives you the option to earn points even on your non-Nordstrom purchases. It’s probably the first credit card I’ll get when I have a  real job (2 more years!). Plus card holders get perks like triple and double point days where you can earn double or triple points from your purchase that day.

Okay so now that I’ve basically convinced you how awesome Nordstrom is, I’m sure you’re like okay Trisha this is great but Nordstrom is expensive… and that’s where you’re WRONG!

Yes, Nordstrom has a ton of designer brands and expensive things but I save money by shopping online. I sometimes will browse the store in-person but the best sales and availability of sizes are online. I created a free account online and I am constantly adding things to my wishlist. And then I track them every few days or so until I catch the items I want on sale. Most things like clothes, fashion jewelry, designer bags, and shoes will go on sale.  The trick is catching the sale but also making sure they don’t run out of stock in your size. So by checking your wishlist often you can make sure to snag the deals. Also, I love to browse the sale section and sort by price. You’d be surprised at the markdowns on a lot of the designer/ brand name products. Also I learned that sometimes things in my wishlist will “no longer be available” or get “sold out” but then they come back again after a while. So there’s a chance that if you missed a deal you can find it later.

But honestly, you don’t need to only shop in the clearance section at Nordstrom to find good prices. Their BP brand and some other brands are relatively affordable. And sales happen more than you think. For instance I refuse to pay full price for anything from TopShop because I know if I watch it long enough it will go on sale. Or I wait until I can use a Note for some of the more luxury items that don’t go on sale as often.

And don’t forget the free shipping! So if you find a shirt on sale for $7 you can just add it to your cart. Depending on your state you may have regular sales tax but there are NO SHIPPING FEES! It’s like browsing the clearance rack without the hassle! Where else can you order 1 clearance/ sale item and walk away without paying anything extra for shipping?

Another option is to also check Nordstrom Rack which is their outlet version of their store. For example, Rack has a lot of the same brand designer jeans for fractions of the price in addition to a whole bunch of fashion and beauty items. I like to go there especially if I’m looking for a quality designer shoe including Tory Burch and Cole Haan or if I’m looking for perfume. I also sometimes use Hautelook, which is similar to GILT. Hautelook is a site that has flash deals on designer items but there are limited stock and you can only reserve items in your cart for about 12-15 minutes before it gets released to the public again. I try to avoid Hautelook since the timer counting down the items in my cart usually tempts me to make impulse purchases I don’t need. However, I have used it for great deals. For instance I was lusting after a Rebecca Minkoff bag, and Hautelook had a flash sale where I got one for a fraction of the $295 retail price. Also they’re all the same company so you can use your Nordstrom debit/ credit card there too.


I hope you were able to gain a few tips or two about the secrets of shopping at my favorite store and perhaps it will be your new favorite store too. I really suggest that you go check out some of the great deals especially the sale section. Let me know if you end up finding something you love!

-xo, Trisha



  1. February 27, 2016 / 10:09 am

    Ooh great tips! I may have to start shopping at Nordstrom more! I didn’t realize all of the perks 🙂

    • February 28, 2016 / 1:05 am

      Thanks Melinda! Yes, so many perks. Plus free alterations if you’re a card holder & early access to their annual sale in July. I could go on and on about Nordstrom lol! Let me know if you find a great deal on something! 🙂

  2. February 29, 2016 / 7:18 pm

    Leave it to you to encourage my habit haha. I didn’t know they price match over the phone though. MAJOR KEY!

    • February 29, 2016 / 11:38 pm

      Yes its the greatest thing ever! 1800 contacts also price matches and beats the lowest price by 2%. I haven’t paid for full price contacts in years!

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