Carlyn is a frugal shopper who loves sharing money-saving tips with other cost-minded consumers.
I'm sure, we can all nod our heads and agree that there is (almost) nothing better than getting a brand new pair of shoes. However, they really don’t need to cost as much as you think—there are plenty of places you can head to online where you can shop for cheap shoes without compromising on quality.
One of the best places online to do just that is Schuch's "Imperfects" section. I'm not really sure how many people know about this special section of the site, but it provides a golden opportunity to snag some cheap yet high-quality shoes.
What Makes Shoes Imperfect?
As you can probably tell from looking at this section of Schuh's site, this is where some of the shoes that didn’t just quite make the cut end up on sale.
You can see visibly exactly what’s wrong with them (it's often something barely noticeable) before you make the purchase, so you can rest assured that there will be no surprises. Plus, Schuh still has a fantastic returns policy, so if you're not satisfied, you can simply follow their simple instructions to make a return within 12 months of your purchase.
so, what sorts of imperfections do you run into on this section of Schuh's website? Below are some of the most common.
Scratches and Scuffs
These are often barely noticeable, and if you’re pretty handy DIY-wise at patching up other fashion pieces, you can probably restore the pair of shoes you buy yourself. As I mentioned, though, the issue is often too minor to even worry about.
Discolouration and Fading
Another issue that gets listed commonly is the colouration of the shoe not being even throughout, but again, this is usually not immediately obvious to the naked eye. In most cases, you have to really inspect the shoes to notice.
Irremovable Dirty Marks
This is the one that I tend to avoid. Make sure to inspect any shoes you're considering closely. If they don’t really have noticeable dirty marks, then you’re good to go. The site usually provides photos of the actual shoe you’re going to get with a specific picture of each imperfection, but it’s not always easy to see exactly what they are pointing out.
How Much Cheaper Are Imperfect Shoes?
Depending on the above factors, a pair of shoes can have a pretty sizable discount from the original price. Listings show both the discounted price and what the pair would cost in perfect condition, and discounts can often be more than 50%.
How to Shop Schuh's Imperfections Section
So, how do you approach the process when shopping this section? The best way is to basically make use of the different filter options they have available.
First, head to the department and select who you’re shopping for. Choose from women’s shoes, men's shoes, kids' shoes, etc. Use additional filters to narrow down by size, category, and style, material, and color. You can also filter results by how much you’re willing to pay.
You can even search for a specific brand (they don’t just list their own brand; they often stock big names such as Adidas, Converse, Dr. Martens, Fred Perry, Nike, Toms, Timberland, and much more).
There’s no point getting excited about a shoe until you know it's available in the size and style you're looking for, so don't get ahead of yourself. Once you filter, however, you'll likely be surprised just how many good offers there are. My friends and I often frequent this section and barely ever leave disappointed.
Comparing Sizes and Fits Across Brands Using a Fit Finder
As you’re probably aware, shoe sizing can differ between brands (e.g., size 9 Nike trainers might be different than size 9 Dr. Marten boots). What’s particularly handy about Schuh is that they offer a handy “Fit Finder” app that is specifically designed to help users match up sizes and fits across different brands.
You will be asked questions varying from the frequency of wear to what other brands of shoes you wear to what general type of shoes you typically wear (trainers, etc.). It also helps to provide the exact model you usually wear and how wide your feet are. After all this, the app can help you decide whether a particular pair you're considering is likely to be a good fit.
I’ve personally used this handy feature many times while shopping for discounted Doc Dr. Martens, and it works very well, so I definitely recommend giving it a try.
Discounts, Promo Codes, and Gift Cards
Now that you're getting a significant discount on slightly imperfect shoes, you can try to get further discounts by entering a promo code if Schuh has a specific offer available at the time of purchase. Note, however, that not all offers are able to be used in the imperects section.
You can also use a Schuh gift card at checkout if you happen to have one. Plus, if you’re a student, Schuh often has a specialised discount for that, too.
Potential Credit or Debit Card Rewards
Then if you are using a certain debit or credit card that offers kickback points, then you can get an even further discount or reward. Of course, make sure to carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of your card. This will be unique to each individual and should be carried out with caution.
If you follow all of the above, you should be able to find a good range of quality shoes at very discounted prices given their relatively minimal damage. This goes without saying, but this isn’t a route for you if you’re looking for brand-new shoes in perfect conditions. However, it certainly is if you’re looking for overall value for money. In all, this section of Schuh's website is a well-kept secret. Are you going to tell anyone?
Lastly, don't forget about shipping costs. You can work that out when you get to checkout, but when considering the price, don't forget to account for this.
It can be better to get a fair few pairs at once to help spread the cost out even further on this. Reach out to a friend or family member to see whether they are looking for a new pair, too. Chances are, at these prices, they very well might be—especially if they don't yet know about Schuh's imperfects section.
Please do reach out to us in the comments section below and let us know if you have any questions. Did you know about the Schuh imperfects section before reading this article? Do you have any additional advice on how to shop it effectively? Let us know about other stores that have similar imperfects sections—we would love to hear more about them!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Carlyn Hayes