I won't lie; through our time blogging on Barkarama, Basil has been sent an impressive selection of petwear, doggy stuff and a small mountain of treats to review and chomp his way through, as well as being on the guest lists for some Very Important Pet events.
The above said I’m far from shy about putting my hand in my pocket when it comes to spoiling him or dealing with his everyday doggy needs. But in the same way I shop for myself, I prioritise going for the best I can afford but if there’s a way to save without compromising on quality or style I’m all over it. In this post, I share eight tips on how to get the best pet swag and tuck for less.
- TK Maxx and Homesense. Owned by the same company these places are a retail treasure trove. The majority of their stores have a pet department (it’s in the homeware section in TK Maxx) but the department varies in size from store to store. As with any kind of outlet store, the stock can be a bit hit and miss but on our last visit we spotted Animology and Precious Pets grooming products, Earth Rated poo bags (lavender scented, eco friendly, strong and simply the best), Beco Pets products including slow feeder bowls, rope toys and food scoops, Pet Munchies treats, as well as loads of cool pet bowls, beds and more - all with up to 60% off. Visit Tkmaxx.com and Homesense.com to locate your nearest store.
- Consumer shows. Enjoy a day out at events like Crufts, Discover Dogs and Spirit of Christmas, and you’ll find lots of brands doing special deals such as limited edition items, product bundles, buy one get one free or simply a % off their products. You can normally get the exhibitor list in advance so you can work out who will be there with swag you’re keen to buy.
- Newsletters and social media. Found a brand that you and your pup can't get enough of? Most have a customer newsletter and are on social media so if you are not already signed up, liking or following get busy, as it’s usually via these channels that you will get wind of flash sales and exclusive discounts.
- Ebay. You might think of the auction site being more akin to bulk buying puppy pads or poo bags. Wrong! We regularly spot never been used / hardly used products from some of our fave premium brands for great prices so add their name to your saved searches for notifications when new products are added.
- Designer outlet villages. Not one we’d recommend making a specific trip for but if you ever pay a visit to the likes of Cheshire Oaks or Bicester Village, be sure to pop into Mulberry as they do a pet line and we've spotted dog hoodies and coats in there on occasion. Also check out Gucci and Louis Vuitton – you never know and it's worth a look for the amazing discount!
- Be loyal. You might spot a product from one of your favourite independent pet brands cheaper on a bigger retail site but the experience won’t be as intimate and it’s not likely you will be remembered. Stay loyal, repeat your custom and you might find yourself getting rewarded from time to time with things like free shipping or a free bag of treats with your order.
- Family. Still at my age I’m asked to send a Christmas wish list to my parents, and at their insistence this now extends to include gifts for Basil. I’ve started trading down what I ask for so he can get something lovely and slightly pricier that I’ll have had my eye on, and after speaking to other doggy mamas I know I’m not alone in this technique!
- Invest. The motto ‘buy half price buy twice’ resonates well with me and by that I mean that you might see two products that look sort of similar but one costs a whole lot less. I tend to assess product on individual merit to see how well they are put together, the material, durability etc but from both personal and pet experience the cheaper option doesn't tend to last as long so you have replace quicker.
Go forth and shop wisely to score yourself the best pet swag for less.
Photo credit: @Nowservingboba on Instagram.