Zarek Valentin: How to Shop Smarter

Zarek Valentin \\\ MLS Player

Disclaimer: This article isn’t intended to say never shop or buy things for yourself, it’s just about shopping smarter. I’ve made a lot of clothing purchases throughout my life, some great and some not so great. If you know me, than you would know I'm a big sneaker head specifically when it comes to Jordans. Here is a list of shopping rules I tell myself before making purchases.


Rule 1: Sales

Don’t be a fool, shop the sales! Women get all the credit for being savvy shoppers but men can be as well. Recently I took advantage of a 25% of T-shirts sale that was around for one weekend. I saved myself $20 on shirts I wanted to purchase eventually. Sales are everywhere and one can even find free shipping coupons all over the Internet. Money adds up over time and saving 7-13 dollars shipping on multiple purchases saves money.

Rule 2: Save big purchases for long life

T-shirts, socks or underwear: keep it cheaper since their lifespan is short.

Jeans, Jackets, or luggage: examples of items it’s okay to splurge a little bit since they can last years if taken care of well.

Rule 3: Need vs. Want

Do you really need it or do you really want it? This is probably the rule I struggle with most. I often times try to justify needing every purchase I make but nine times out of ten, I want the item as opposed to needing it. For example: Another pair of Jordan’s compared to a proper winter coat. I find most times the “need” purchases aren’t fun to make but need to be made. The next rule will help to clarify your intentions this as well.

Rule 4: Sleep on it

Impulse purchases are generally ones we don’t like. Leave the jacket at the store, think about if for a day or so and if you continue to want it, then act. Those purchases generally last longer than ones we make on a whim. I bought a ten-dollar wool men’s hat on a whim and have ended up donating it after wearing it maybe 3 or 4 times. Could’ve saved myself a little bit of money because we all know it adds up over time.

Rule 5: Caring touch

If you do invest in clothing, shoes or luggage, take care of them. I know I sound like your parents, but taking care of your items will instill good habits as well as validate the money you do spend on items. We take care of our thousand dollar cars or apartments so why not take that idea to clothing and other material items? I’ve had jeans and shoes for years because I take the time to clean and maintain them. 


Rule 6: Fashion

Fashion comes and goes. My personal thought process is pay less for fashionable stuff because things go “in” and “out”. Crocs, Ed Hardy, Puka shell necklaces, sagging jeans, oversized belt buckles are all examples of “in” fashion trends I hope people didn’t spend too much money on. On the contrary, timeless pieces like a leather jacket or nice pair of jeans are potentially worth spending a little bit more since they are timeless. Personally, I invested in a nice piece of travel luggage since I know I’ll have it for years to come.


Zarek Valentin

Zarek Valentin

is an American soccer player who plays for the Portland Timbers.