Passionate For Popbacks

The majority of my closet is full of popbacks or sale finds.

You know.

The way a hoarder’s closet should be.

And is.

What’s a popback? If you are asking this question, then I need to explain my favorite store, Anthropologie. And their system. A popback is simply a term used to describe something that was sold out and then someone returns it or they find an extra one in a store or warehouse and it…pops back in stock. This can happen even if the item has been sold out for years.

On Anthropologie’s website, I created a wishlist. This wishlist holds around 725 items, some of them years old. I usually ignore the new items after I add the ones I want to my list. I watch them sell out. Then restock. Then hit first cuts and sell out again. And I just sit patiently. I am after the deep cuts. Usually I can get them. Sometimes I am out of luck. Actually, quite often I am out of luck. And that is just the nature of the game. But since I very, very rarely pay full price or even first cuts (half off) for an item, I know it is a risk I am usually willing to take.

I only add items to my wishlist that I really want.

If I feel something is unusually unique, then I will buy it right when it hits sale.

Some items never get deeply cut. I like to save a lot of Christmas decorations in case one day one pops back for $2 (fyi, this has never happened). Sometimes I just like the look of something but I know I will never buy it. Or I fantasize that the $600 leather bag or $500 boots will one day be 90% off (um, this has never happened for me either). My point being, no, I do not own 725 items. And I hope never to own that many items. But it is fun to look at. My list is 15 pages long and I own 1 and a 1/2 of those pages.

You don’t have to search your full list for popbacks. They will show up where your backordered items show up, usually right before all of the items that are sold out. For me, this is page three.

I don’t delete things I have scored, because, like a serial killer, I like to look at my victim’s all clumped together. And smile at my ingenious way that I was able to lure the victims into my closet. They never saw it coming.

Too far?

Okay. Sorry about that.

Most people I know have a budget. I am no exception. Why would I want to spend my monthly budget on two or three items full price when I could score ten or more for the same price? They are still things I really liked, I was just patient for them. They usually also retain either their full popback value or more than what I paid versus paying full price and immediately losing value on the item in case I want to resell it later.

Here are some of my popbacks from recently:

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My Corca Sweater that originally sold for $148. It popped back and I scored it for $20. The pants are my Pilcro Cords that I patiently waited to hit sale. Original price $98. I paid $37.50. The Zephyr Moto Boots were originally $180 and I scored them on a popback for $50. Those boots were ones I struggled about keeping. I was unsure about them. But I get more comments on those boots when I go out than on any item in my closet. And I have worn them a surprising amount of times.

I love the Echoing Necklace. It is actually an item I paid first cuts for after waiting impatiently for it to hit sale. It can still be found on the link provided as of this posting.

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This Lace Peplum Hoodie is adorable. I got it for $20. Its original price was $88. The jeans are my Mother Cruiser Jeans I also got on a popback for $40 instead of $220.

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This Ombra Shift Dress is so versatile! Its original price was $188. I scored it for $30. The rust tights were originally $58 (I still have not discerned why) and I got them for $6 last year.

I never, ever check the sale section on Anthropologie’s website. I do not want to make a rash decision. If it did not make it to my wishlist, I must not have wanted it. If I really want something, I will add it in all of the colors in hopes that one day one of the colors will be returned at an incredible price. This almost always works. I just have to be two things: patient and not picky.

Do you wait for sale? Are popbacks your favorite? Have you ever heard of popbacks? I had not until the awesome Roxy of Effortless Anthropologie tuned me into them. She does a weekly Popback post. It is so helpful, especially if you do not yet have a wishlist of your own. Members of her site will leave the link to an item that has popped back. I highly recommend visiting her site to learn more about shopping at Anthropologie. In addition to the weekly Friday Popback post, every Monday she does a sales post listing new items on sale and sometimes prices on older pieces as well.

P.S. If you want, I can leave links even for things sold out, but I just don’t put them if the item is no longer available. If you would prefer links, please let me know.

36 thoughts on “Passionate For Popbacks

  1. I feel like I learned so much from this post! Somehow I never got into the pop back habit. I agree that shopping the sale page is dangerous and leads to poor decisions. Time to curate a wishlist …
    Do you try things on in store first so you know which size to list, or do you just guess based on past experience w the brand?

    • First, Congratulations! Cameron is just so precious and sweet. I am so happy for you! I hope you are getting rest.

      Thank you Sarah! I am glad I can help, especially since you can now shop for “real” clothes! As to sizing, I am usually between a medium and a small. I will add both to my wishlist and wait for reviews. Once I know how the item is fitting I will remove the piece running too small or too large. Otherwise, medium is a safe bet for me in my usual size. I hope that helps!

      I also check my wishlist several times a day, because items are always popping back sporadically. There is no set time to it. Of course, this is when I remember. There are days at a time that I forget. But that is okay.

      I hope you are able to snag some deals!

      Jenni

  2. I am one of the sizes that usually sells out fast(12)… so I don’t have a whole lot of luck with popbacks(although I keep a list just in case!) I also look forward to Roxy’s popback posts. I used to have awesome luck when Anthropologie would do 50% off sale items.. a memorable one was the week before Christmas a few years ago… I bought a pair of Chie Mihara shoes, a beautiful grey sweatercoat with copper beading at the waist, and a beaded shrug. I do have really good luck with finding low price returns in the sales rooms though! But I have 2 stores about 20-30 minutes away and two small children. So on my trips, I usually try to go solo if possible, and try on all the items on my list, so I can whittle it down, or add to it… And of course look for great deals in the sale areas. Many friends I have think it is the most expensive store, but you can get such awesome sales, on quality, beloved things you(or at least I) keep for years and years! Like you and your lists, I most like to wait for 2nd cuts, but usually if it is something I love, I get it right away, or when they have a promo(like free shipping). I have also had great luck in the trade groups : ) It is funny because last Christmas, I forgot to have a couple of my wishlists set to private, and my husband bought a few things off my “sale only” list… they ended up not working out.. but they were things I was not willing to have spent full price on, ever.. haha It is now set to private : )

    • That is funny about your husband. It would never even occur to my husband to look at my wishlist to purchase something. Not that he hasn’t asked for a list, but I tell him I can get it cheaper than he could.

      I agree it sucks that they do not stock more size 0, 12, 14, and 16. They seem to be the sizes that sell out so quickly. I remember the year you are talking about. It was the year dreams are made of. Oh, I scored so many awesome things. Of course, I have had to give them all away as none of the, fit any more. But it was so cool! I did get a handmade quilt that was originally $550 for $75. And a bunch of pillows for $40. And candles for $5!!!! Oh, yes, that was awesome!

      I am so disorganized, I could never have more than one list. I have tried, but I never check the second one. I think it has seven items and they were all home.

      I like to check sales rooms, but I rarely get to a store. I am deathly afraid of driving on the freeway. So, it takes a lot of courage for me to get to one. I haven’t gone since November! : (. I need to go this month to try on some things for my wishlist and do some reviews!

      Have a terrific week! Thank you for commenting. I appreciate it so much.

      Jenni

    • Oh my gosh! I would cry. I really would. I am so sorry that happened to you. I remember hearing that could happen but I always thought it was an urban legend.

      I hope you were able to rebuild! : )

      Thank you for commenting! Have a gorgeous week! : )

      Jenni

  3. ok, I had no idea you could do this. I am going to start a wish list right now! wow, you have some amazing deals, I can’t even believe the prices you posted for the items!! yeah!!

    • Thank you Melodee! Yes, it is fun. I just like my clothes I got for cheaper, better. It is a weird psychological thing. Like I can feel not guilty about wearing them. It will take about four to six months, sometimes even a year, for full price items to be a good deal. Lots of patience! : )

      Have fun! And have a lovely week!

      Jenni

  4. You are so patient, Jenni. I have about 5 items on my wishlist that are old and will probably delete soon. It is so weird of me but I like a wishlist that is about 10 items long. I get impatient if the thing I want hasn’t popped back in a couple of months. I want it – it’s not there – so I figure – “delete” – out of sight out of mind.
    Can you believe I went to Anthropologie with the gift card I won from you – and one from my mom- and found nothing! Well, I did find a really cool t-shirt – for $52 – and a sweatshirt for $96. I wanted them but could not stomach the ridiculous price OR the fact that I was about to purchase a TSHIRT and a SWEATSHIRT from Anthro. I mean, what? So I am saving my gift cards to put towards a pretty and true Anthropologie find even if it means I have to wait a few months. That I can wait for! 🙂
    xo

    • Thanks Cynthia. I never ever used to be patient. I do not know if I am patient or just stubborn. I hate spending more than someone else. I don’t like the way it makes me feel.

      I hope you are able to score something really good with the gift card! There were just some really good cuts tonight! I got two p.a.s! Just twenty dollars, but wooh! Let me know what you do get! I can’t wait. Well, actually I can. ; )

      Have a marvelous Monday!

      Jenni

  5. Thanks, Jenni! That was so helpful. There are so many blogs that deal with fashions but only a few mentions shopping on a budget. I like the fact that you seems to be a smart shopper and a self controlled one, too. Thanks for the lovely blog where I get to be educated one day, then misty eyed/ laugh on other days. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you Sunny! With raising kids, I have to be responsible. I never used to know how popbacks worked. Now that I have figured it out, I am happy to share! : )

      I really appreciate your sweet comments, too. Very, very much. Thank you!

      I hope your week is beautiful!

      Jenni

  6. Hi – I’m new posting here, but I’ve been reading for a while. You have such a fun blog!

    Ohhh, the Ombra Shift Dress! I got it on poback too, only Lasership LOST my package. 🙁 Hopefully it pops back again. It looks great on you – l love the way you have it styled.

    I adore popbacks, but like others have said, I do better with the ones I find in-store. I’ve got 2 Anthros within 20-30 minutes, and another not too much further out than that, so I’m at the stores, um…frequently… when I’m searching for deals. Winter clearance sales are my favorite time of year! I’ve picked up some great stuff over the past few weeks. I got the Hearth Hoodie for $40, The Nonna Cashmere Cardigan in black, the Sadie Pencil skirt and the Paquerette Pullover for $30 each, a really nice Cartonnier blazer for $20, and the silk 20th anniversary dress (I can’t remember the name but it’s floral and sleeveless – the original version was strapless) for $50. I got other stuff too, but I’ll stop here. 🙂

    I know what you mean about not feeling comfortable wearing items you’ve paid too much for. I’ve bought things and then returned them because I’m terrified to wear them at the price I paid. My comfort level ceiling seems to be about $120 (less for tops). Right now I have about 5 items on my wishlist that I will probably pay full price for because they are within that comfort price level and I know I will wear them all the time. The rest have to wait for sale. I keep 2 wishlists – one for items I want, and the other for items I’ve bought. And I purge my lists often. I try not to let the want list get to more than 80 items. That way I’m not tempted to buy something that pops back up just because it’s cheap, if I don’t really want it any more. There’s always something new to love, isn’t there? 🙂

    • Hi Michelle!

      Great scores! I hope you are able to find the Ombra dress. That sucks that they lost your package! I would be so sad. I know which anniversary dress you are talking about. It was very pretty.

      I never really lose love for an item. So, I love to keep the items in my wishlist in hope that one day I will be able to claim them as my own. I have two stores within the same driving distance, but they, won’t do price adjustments over the phone. I find this ridiculous, so they very very very often lose my business. It is just so much easier for me to get a p.a. online. And although I have to pay shipping, I avoid gas charges driving. Plus, I always spend more when I see the physical items in store. I cannot resist pretties that I can physically touch!

      There definitely is usually something new to love! I am patiently waiting for a few! Months from now, I hope it pays off! : )

      Have a fun week!

      Jenni

  7. Popbacks is one of my very favorite words:) I believe that over half my closet is now Anthro and I probably got everything for 75% off or more. The joys of a good popback! 🙂
    I bought the zephyr boots during the black friday sale with some bday gift cards and I am so glad that I did! I love them and wear them quite a bit. I walked all over Boston in them and they were very comfy. Glad you got them. I paid a bit more, so good find! I love the thrill of the hunt and getting a great deal:)

    • Thank you Alicia! Yes, popbacks is a beautiful word (even if spellcheck refuses to acknowledge it)! ; ). Those boots are so comfy. I think that is one of the main reasons I chose to keep them. That and the fact that I think they are cool and unlike a lot of things in my closet.

      Maybe we’ll be twinsies one day and not even know it! : )

      Have a happy week! I hope you get some rest!

      Jenni

    • Hi Lisa! Items popback multiple times throughout the day. I check frequently. And by frequently, I mean obsessively. ; ). I hope one day you will score one. It is thrilling!

      Have a fantastic week!

      Jenni

  8. Whoa, pop back….I need this in my life. I have to check if Anthropoligie delivers to Italy and if they do this will be my new shopping strategy. I am ALL FOR the 70% off sale, and also have a hard time even paying 50% off. I’ve definitely never bought anything full-price and my closet is also filled with things that I’ve coveted. Your pop-back finds are incredible, not only are they good deals but they are all so nice and not ridiculously trendy that you’ll only wear them this year.

    Great post…pop back here I come.

    • Thanks Angie!

      Unfortunately, I do not think they ship to Italy. : (. You would definitely be able to find out more than me. But for some reason, I think that is the case. Sorry! That would be wonderful if they did. With international shipping being so prevalent, you think it would be a fairly common practice for all large companies. I just bought a special birthday candle from Amazon for $4. It came to me via China. I had to think it cost more than $4 to ship that package. I cannot figure out the cost incentive for the company.

      Anyway, fingers crossed for you! Either way, your fashion is amazing. I learn so much from your blog. I would have no idea what the heck is in season or for next season for that matter. Thank you for your insight!

      Have a great week! : )

      Jenni

  9. These are great popbacks! I think scoring a popback is the most thrilling of all shopping at Anthro! I wish I knew the process behind their markdowns….. seems like some things that sell out only get first cuts and then others, that look like they are sold out, keep getting cut so I always wonder where the inventory is (especially when it is an online only exclusive).

    The Faye boots shipped, I cannot wait to get them. And, they got another cut!?!?!

    I was successful making the spagetti carbonara – I am proud I didn’t scramble the eggs! Although, my hubby saw them and I think that tainted his appreciation for the dish (he doesn’t like eggs). The leftovers were even better! I added peas to mine.

    • Thank you Heather! I agree! They are the best. Sorry, I just saw that you mentioned the extra cut on the boots right here. I am so excited for you to get them! They need to get to you all ready (I think I am wanting them for you just as much as you want them)! They are such an awesome deal!

      Yay that you made it! Darn that your husband saw the eggs! I have never tried to reheat it. I am glad you told me that it is good. I will definitely save the leftovers now! Thank you for that info!

      Have a happy week!

      Jenni

  10. I am so bad at keeping up with commenting! But I do read & enjoy all your posts!
    I remember you posted that you can’t buy things that aren’t on sale anymore, and I sooo 100% agreed with that! My mother-in-law gave me an Anthropologie card for Christmas and I had the hardest time spending it when I knew that I could buy say a t-shirt full-price for the gift card amount, or I could stalk the clearance section for months and buy several items on sale 🙂

    The other day I had a gap in my piano teaching schedule so I popped into Anthropologie to kill some time (great strategy for my wallet, right?) and almost died because ALL the winter stuff was on crazy sale… I scored a comfy cozy jersey dress and a pair of gray jodhpur style pants for $19.99 each marked down from $198 each. (While the full price is just full on crazy in my opinion, I think those sale prices were pretty darn perfect!). Then I came home and dramatically declared to my husband that I saved $350 just by shopping at Anthropologie 😉

    I’d never heard of popbacks before your blog, and now I’m going to have to try stalking them! While I can’t really ever afford Anthro clothes at full price, I’d much rather spend $40 on a sweater on sale there than at Target. I’m going to try your wishlist strategy for sure!

    • Thank you Brynne! No worries! I understand life outside the blog! : ). Right now I am laying in bed watching Duck Dynasty. I do not know why. But I think a lot of the men with the beards are sexy. Oy! I need sleep!

      Those deals sound so great! He! He! I love that you told your husband you saved $350 by shopping at Anthropologie. My husband does not quite believe that line anymore. ; ).

      I hope the popback strategy works for you! It always has served me well in the past! In fact, I have two dresses coming tomorrow and I am so excited!

      Have a delightful week!

      Jenni

  11. Okay – you’ve inspired me. I never quite understood what popbacks were and what all the rage was about, but now I get it. You see, I can hardly ever wait for things to hit sale. I see them, I want them, and if I can afford them, I buy them, right then and there. I just don’t have the patience to wait until they go on sale. But I’m going to try now. I started making a wishlist this morning, at the top of which is that new maxi skirt by Ranna Gill. I tried it on in-store, and good lord, it’s perfect. But I also just bought a dress from Catherine’s and raided Forever21’s plus section for the first time ever, so I can’t justify the skirt right now. So wishlisted it is…

    I will be amazed if I’m able to score something in my size on popback. Larges and extra-larges always sell out first, but I’m going to play along, lay in wait, and hope alongside the rest of you. When I read the sorts of bargains you’ve scored, I feel like my impulsivity is definitely doing me a disservice. Especially when most everything I buy is a want and not a need, it seems like a good practice to wishlist, wait for sale, and see if I can score some deals.

    I’m going for it, Jenni!

    <3 Liz
    http://www.withwonderandwhimsy.com

    • Thanks Liz! Oh, I hope you get it! It will be so pretty on you. If anything, it should definitely make it to sale. But I hope you don’t lose out on it. I will feel so bad. I lost out on the pink lace dress (I cannot remember its name. It never popped back for me). I can see you styling that skirt in so many fun ways. And I see stripes for some odd reason. I don’t know. I’m delirious tonight.

      I hate that larges and extra larges sell out first. I know that first hand, because that is the size I used to buy. It was so darn frustrating. The average girl is a 14/16. There needs to be more of those sizes stocked. Ugh! It makes me mad. Plus, they would definitely increase their customer base. And make more money. Win. Win. I wish I could be a buyer for that store.

      Anyway, I just think saving money on things is a good idea. My friends always come to me when they want to know if there is a deal going on for something. I hate paying full price for anything. Of course, that can sometimes backfire. Such as my refrigerator I purchased from an outlet for over 50% off. It broke four times the first year. Thankfully, it was under warranty. But now it is out of warranty. I just know it is going to break again. : (

      Fingers crossed for your skirt! I have high optimistic hope!

      Jenni

  12. I would rely on popbacks more often if it weren’t for Anthro’s shipping charges to Canada. I don’t want to pay $20 shipping on a $20 item, and it’s rare that multiple things pop back at the same time…

    • I so agree with you Liana! I often forget about the outrageous shipping to Canada. I would not buy them either. If it makes you feel better, I received a dress today and I opened the package in the car. It smelled so strongly of garlic, we all started gagging. I did end up washing the dress tonight and now it smells great. But sometimes popbacks can be scary!

      Have a lovely week!

      Jenni

      • I think vampire hunting. ; ). Actually, I washed it. And all is well. It might be one of my favorite dresses. Pretty stoked about it even if it was kind of gross at first!

        Have sweet dreams!

        Jenni

  13. Most of my Anthropologie is purchased on sale and I tend to buy the items when they are first marked down. It seems like items on my wishlist sell out fast, so I usually have to pounce right away. The Monday morning sales are a challenge since I am scrambling to get the kid off to school and getting back into the grind. Luckily this last Monday when I checked out the sale after 10:00, two items from my wishlist were still available. The one, Archival Pencil skirt, seemed to be selling out, so I quickly placed an order, cringing at the shipping price.
    You have the right idea for putting many items on your wishlist, but do you end up with a lot of cancellations when you wait for the second and third markdowns?
    This was a fun topic,
    Stacey

    • Good for you for getting that Archival Pencil Skirt on sale! That is an awesome score! I cannot wait to see how you style it! That was one I forgot to add to my wishlist. : (. I did love it! I always stay up late for the sales, but I am a night owl. I stay up until at least 1:30 every morning. Most of the time 2:00.

      That is a good question about cancellations. I have ordered probably 30 popbacks in the last three months and have had two cancellations. And they were on little things (toadstool measuring spoons and a necklace). I have been really lucky. Of course, sometimes the items are not in good condition (like tonight when I got the Torsade dress on a popback for $30 and it smelled like garlic. But I washed it and it is great now).

      Thank you for sharing your shopping tips! And for commenting! I appreciate it!

      Have a lovely week!

      Jenni

  14. I LOVE this article – and I concur popbacks are the best! I am a huge fan of Anthropologie (can you tell? (: ) but I think the price point is pretty high. In the past, I would get the pieces I wanted as soon as they hit sale but I have a new method now (it may also have to do with the fact that I simply have too many clothes, and as such I can control myself when it comes to shopping). I keep track of the number of weeks between the first/second/third cuts. Once an item is on further sale, I call up Anthro’s customer service and ask them to locate it in my size (shout out to Florida and Seattle for always having my size in stock!). I try and call once it has been a week or so after the second cut. After I get the item in the mail, it is usually time for a third cut and I get a price adjustment! My mom thinks that this is an extremely contrived method and I agree – but at the same time think about how much money I save! In the last year, the most I paid for a single item at Anthro was in the $50 range (yes I am talking dresses!). So I don’t mind going a little crazy (:

    • Thank you Deniz! I love your style. You always look so pulled together. It makes me feel even happier that you got the items on sale. Your blog is the perfect example of putting together pieces and just looking perfect!

      I love your strategy. I will admit to doing that, too. I just received a cardigan for $10 (after a p.a.) and a dress for $20 (after another p.a.). I find it almost impossible to get a p.a. over the phone. It stresses me out, so I rarely purchase any item in store. I need to be more like you and call. I just have not been brave enough!

      Thank you for commenting. And for sharing! It is so helpful! I appreciate it!

      Have a great week! : )

      Jenni

  15. This is a little late, but I found this post when googling ‘Anthropologie popbacks,’ wondering if there’s a special site dedicated to them. I loved reading this because I stalk them also and could totally relate to the whole post! One can definitely find great Anthro pieces on a budget these days. I wanted to start a blog about great Anthropologie finds on eBay, but I had a baby and that fell by the wayside. Maybe one day. Your vampire hunting comment above was hilarious! I loved reading about your finds almost as much as I love finding them myself!

    • Thank you so much. I love finding deals and I equally love reading about other people’s scores, too! I like when someone else gets something for cheaper. It just makes me feel better. I enjoy shopping more for things I can hunt for a better price. It makes the item and the experience more fun. That blog idea is great. I hope one day you get to implement it. Congratulations on your baby! Kids take up so much beautiful time. My kids are now ten and a half and fourteen and a half. They do not need me as much and I now have more free time. But I would give up all that free time to do it all over again. Enjoy your little one. I miss that time!

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I really appreciate it!

      Jenni

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