Some people think that shopping is expensive in NYC, but our local tour guides disagree!
If you know where to go, you can find clothing, home goods, jewelry, and just about anything you want, at great prices!
Below we share tips on how to shop to save money and list our favorite discount clothing stores.
For more advice, we include suggestions from some of the 230,000 members of our NYC Travel Tips Facebook group. At the end of this post, you can see what they had to say.
The group consists of locals, regular visitors to NYC, and those just getting to know the city.
There's no need to join to read the recommendations. So take a look at our group for more ideas or ask a question yourself!
For more shopping information and an explanation of how taxes work on clothing, check out our posts on the Best Shopping in NYC.
Arguably the most famous method for discount shopping in New York. There are many outlet malls outside of the city for all kinds of shopping.
The most popular is Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, NY.
Woodbury Common boasts more than 100 stores featuring luxury name brands with a variety of bus options departing from Manhattan.
CitySights NY has one of the best deals on the shuttle bus to and from Woodbury Common.
To see a store directory, hours and information on how to get there, read our in-depth post on Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.
Check out additional outlet malls in New York and New Jersey from our post, Best Shopping Outlets in NYC.
Discount Department Stores
This huge department store offers deep discounts on designer clothes and everyday brands, watches, jewelry, luggage, handbags, and much more.
The store is very crowded during prime hours, but fortunately, they stay open until at least 9 pm from Monday to Saturday, so the later you go, the quieter it will be.
Hours: Mon-Wed 7:45 am- 9 pm, Thurs-Friday 7:45 am - 9:30 pm, Saturday 10 am - 9 pm, Sun 11 am - 8 pm.
Location: 22 Cortlandt Street in Lower Manhattan. For exact directions from anywhere use this Google Maps link.
Other Discount Stores
New York City is the only city where a designer can create, select fabric, manufacture, watch over production and sell their product without leaving the island.
Sample sales are the way to go for deals, even when shopping for national brands that are produced overseas.
Design houses will rent different venues in Manhattan to liquidate their samples, over-runs and sometimes flawed pieces at a fraction of the retail price.
With a true sample sale expect to save 65% - 90% off retail with the greater price reductions closer to the end of the sale.
- No returns -- be sure that you want the item.
- Samples are generally smaller sizes and most venues don't allow try-ons.
- If you live in the area be sure to get on the venue's email list— you will be notified of the next designer sale in their venue.
Large retail shops have sales throughout the year.
The biggest of them all in NYC is Macy's at Herald Square. It has a sale just about every day of the year!
Travelers get a 10% discount by going to the visitor center and show your passport or ID with a foreign address.
If you are thinking of getting a money-saving tourist attraction pass, the Sightseeing Pass gets you 15% off sales and clearance items at Macy's. Read more about this and other passes here.
If you like to shop the quaint boutiques, expect them to have sales only twice a year. Small shops are more careful about purchases and production.
Some continually produce small runs throughout the year and others but only twice a year.
Boutique sales are generally held pre-holiday in December as well as in January/February and again in June/July.
Thrift Shops and Gently-Used Stores
If you don't care about designer labels, this is where you will find the lowest prices.
There are so many wonderful second-hand (called Gently-Used in NYC) thrift shops, from charity shops to independent second-hand stores.
Instead of hunting them down, check out our one-of-a-kind pay-what-you-wish NYC Second-Hand Shopping Tour. Let an expert shopper bring you to the best NYC charity shops, trade-in stores, and vintage boutiques.
Read more about the tour here.
For a longer, semi-private experience, lasting 3 hours to 3 hours 30 minutes and covering the above neighborhoods and several more, try this highly-rated vintage shopping tour!
Designer Resale and Consignment Stores
If you're looking for top designer labels and aren't bothered that a garment has been previously worn, designer resale and consignment shopping is for you.
You will generally save more than 50% off retail prices.
Some items you will find new with tags where the shop owners curate directly from showrooms overstock with prices immediately reduced by 65%.
With others, the clothing is freshly cleaned and ready to wear.
You will also find that many designer resale shops don't require the consignees to clean the items before consigning and leave the cleaning up to you.
- Know the value of the label before you buy.
- Some shops may mark items as little as 20% off retail and that isn't a deep enough discount when purchasing a previously worn item.
- Always check your garment for flaws and ask the store clerk about the return policy.
Tips From Locals and Travelers
Here are some thoughts on where to find the best deals on clothes from members of our New York Travel Tips group on Facebook.
For even more helpful advice, make sure to check our group and perhaps even ask some questions of your own!
Discount shops are all over New York City. These are the most popular with multiple locations around Manhattan and Brooklyn.
You can score big at Macy’s if you don't mind digging. Plus, there are benefits just for tourists.
Thrift shops are very popular with locals in NYC because one can find unique items and name-brand clothing in very good condition for quite cheap!
Here's where they go.
Our popular pay-what-you-wish NYC Second-Hand Shopping Tour takes you to the top shops. Check it out!