This showroom strikes an impeccable balance between too much and not enough choice. And for the money, you won’t find a better make. Most of the dozen-or-so off-the-rack options are priced at a practical $469, and though the brand is based in Amsterdam, the suits are constructed from quality Italian fabrics, with optional trimmings such as horn buttons, extra pocket stitching, and horsehair-enforced interiors. Tailoring takes only a couple days, and the store sells button-downs, ties, blazers, and sweaters, too.
453 Broome St., at Mercer St.; 212-828-7250
For women, boys’ name-brand sneakers are a significant cost saving, and there’s the added bonus of scoring different colors and styles. At Sprint Sports, boys’ gray-and-red Nike Air Force I mids cost as little as $40 (as opposed to $80 for women’s at regular price), and Nike Dunk lows in silver-and-red are only $44.99. Ask for a size and a half smaller than usual.
2511 Broadway, nr. 93rd St.; 212-866-8077
Basic 100 percent wrinkle-resistant cotton khakis are no cheaper here than anywhere else—in fact, they’re slightly more, at $59.50. But they hold a crisp pressed edge and keep cuffs intact twice as long as equivalents from J.Crew or the Gap family, so in the long run you save money. Wait for the January and July sales, when they’re offered at a twofer price.
346 Madison Ave., at 44th St. 212-682-8800
The store’s private-label Sutton Studio line has women’s turtlenecks ranging from $129 to $149 at full price (around $69 on sale). You’ll get the best selection in June and July when the new crop hits the floor, but the best prices are now, during the post-holiday price slash.
1000 Third Ave., at 59th St.; 212-705-2000
MEN’S DESIGNER JEANS
The ever-changing inventory at this new resaler benefits from Williamsburg hipsters’ exchanging clothes for cash or store credit. A pair of men’s Original Penguin jeans could be hidden in the racks for $75 instead of $140; perfectly worn True Religions and Evisus were in stock at $70 to $100 (as much as a 70 percent savings) when we called, but don’t expect them to last till you read this. You can find labels like Japanese-style G-Star Raw Denim, organic Loomstate, and the ubiquitous Diesel for $30 to $60 (if you don’t mind last year’s wash). Abercrombie & Fitch goes as low as $15.
504 Driggs Ave., at N. 9th St.,Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-384-6901
The classic 501 (no fancy fashion washes or distressed treatments) is as low as $29, $15 less than at Levi’s retail stores.
428 Broadway, nr. Canal St.; 212-925-5190
A basic mink at department-store furriers will run about $4,000. It’s a little pricier at Alexandros, but the coat is made on the premises, to your specs, from top-quality American-ranch-raised female mink—for around $5,000, and that’s a bargain.
5 E. 59th St., at Fifth Ave.; 212-868-1043
It might not be chic, but it does have the best retail prices: You can get a certified two-carat round diamond of IJ color and I2 clarity for $9,999.99. While there are still deals to be found on 47th Street, prices are not always transparent, since most vendors willingly negotiate. One reliable source is the Diamond Co. (62 W. 47th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-819-0336; by appointment), an upstairs wholesaler without the overhead of a storefront. It has two-carat round diamonds of VS2 and SI1 clarity for about $18,000; half-carat stones of similar quality start at $1,000.
142 W. 34th St., nr. Seventh Ave.; 646-473-0727
Ira Moskovitz Co.
Tucked away in the back of the building is one of New York’s best-kept secrets: Ira Moskovitz, a 40-year industry veteran with some of the prettiest and best-priced antique jewelry around. The bulk of his inventory sells from $1,000 to $6,000. One great bargain right now is an Edwardian diamond set in a white-gold filigree pendant for $1,100.
10 W. 47th St., at Fifth Ave., Ste. 16; 212-921-7759
This store fixes up vintage tickers in house and then sells them for less than anywhere else, whether you’re looking for a starter $450 pink-gold Elgin or a collection-crowning $125,000 platinum Patek Philippe minute-repeater. True watch fiends can’t overlook eBay, but Murreys woos in-the-flesh shoppers with expert wait staff and excellent guarantees.
1395 Third Ave., nr. 79th St.; 212-879-3690
White Cat Vision
Gucci frames and Versace sunglasses start as low as $30—they’re last season or older, but for eyeglasses, who cares? Even Japanese titanium frames, normally $300 and higher, show up here for $79. Lenses start at $89 for single-vision wearers, a great deal compared with fran-chise stores like LensCrafters, for example, which charges $120 for similiar lenses.
1475 Second Ave., nr. 77th St.; 212-472-3030.
See our guide to a high-tech living room for less.
Chelsea Paper Co.
Monogrammed flat ecru cards start at $25.90 for a set of 50 notes and envelopes here, thanks to the company’s buying power (it owns more than 40 manufacturers). You need an appointment to browse the store, or order online for even deeper discounts at chelseapaper.com.
136 E. 57th St., at Lexington Ave., fourth fl.; 212-750-6880
Jacqueline’s Skincare Clinic
At $130, Jacqueline Gaussen’s facials aren’t especially cheap, but the draw is that there’s no time limit. Unlike other salons, which fit your treatment into an hour no matter what, Gaussen gives you her undivided attention and doesn’t stop until pimples are visibly smaller and blemishes are lighter. First-time customers also receive a free microdermabrasion (normally $150).
710 Park Ave., nr. 69th St.; 212-535-1630
Pure Spa & Salon
With 5,000 square feet over two sunny floors, Pure Spa & Salon feels midtown-glamorous, until you get the bill: brow wax, $8, bikini, $15.
40-15 Queens Blvd., nr. Lowery St., Sunnyside; 718-784-6400
The Natura Bissé counter in Bergdorf Goodman has two new treatment rooms where customers can get pampered with goodies like the Diamond Experience Facial ($210 at spas), Honey Satin Exfoliating Massage ($150), and Diamond Body-Lux Treatment ($180)—for free. Technicians use the brand’s pricey products (a 1.7-ounce jar of the Diamond Extreme crème is $300) in hopes that you’ll love the results enough to stock up. You need an appointment, and the wait time resembles that of a hot restaurant.
754 Fifth Ave., nr. 57th St.; 212-753-7300
Perfume Americana Wholesale Inc.
A 1.7-ounce bottle of Burberry Weekend is $22 at this wholesale fragrance shop; a 2.5-ounce bottle of Versace Red Jeans or Versace Blue Jeans is only $15. There are more than 50 name brands and hundreds of editions to choose from.
276 Fifth Ave., at 30th St.; 212-213-0872
For $12, you’ll get a dry haircut, maybe a spritz from a water bottle—although a shampoo is only $3 more. But owner Eric Uvaydov knows his way around a hipster head (he can do a mohawk, a Caesar, or a buzz cut), and John Bartlett, Narciso Rodriguez, and GQ’s Jim Nelson are regulars. If you really want to splurge, a hot shave is $8.
439 E. 9th St., nr. Ave. A; 212-777-0798
NYC Looking Good
Thick, wavy hair is a tricky proposition, but Zoila Burga knows how to cut simple styles that don’t look too heavy and fall just right (she’s also good with straight, curly, and frizzy). For $19.95, clients get a shampoo and a cut. Blow-dry is DIY; for another $20 you can have it done.
416 Third Ave., nr. 30th St.; 212-685-9475
Kidz Cut Zone
In a city where $30 has become the standard for a children’s cut, this Park Slope shop does them for a reasonable $19; bang trims are $7. Every tenth haircut is free, girls get free manicures, and twins pay for only one cut between them on Wednesdays. There’s plenty of TV, toys, balloons, and lollipops to keep kids distracted.
447 Sixth Ave., nr. Ninth St., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-369-4700
Wholesale Flower Market
Ignore the signs saying wholesale only; we’ve never been turned away, especially when paying cash. You’ll find 25 roses anywhere from $15 to $25 and ten tulips for up to $9—and better quality than the supermarket, too. Just go as early as you can (most shops open at 4 a.m. and close by noon), know what you want, and be prepared to buy in bulk. Favorite shops include Empire Cut Flowers, Inc. (151 West 28th Street), Caribbean Cuts Corporation (120 West 28th Street), George Rallis, Inc. (803 Sixth Avenue), and Fischer & Page (134 West 28th Street).
28th St., bet. Sixth and Seventh Aves.
Do-All Travel Co. Inc.
This agency really performs in the killer category of midweek business travel to Europe (recently, London, Paris, and Brussels for $550, $599, and $485, respectively—less than half what’s on Orbitz or Expedia). The discounted fares are not available on the Internet or through the airlines, and are almost always flexible on restrictions such as advance purchase and weekend stays. If you can stay the weekend, they’ll go lower still.
620 18th Ave., nr. 47th St., Boerum Hill, Brooklyn; 718-972-6000
Comfort Inn Midtown
Basic but clean rooms start as low as $89.99 until March, when the lowest rate goes to $139.99 (travelers over 50 get an additional 10 percent off). Free wi-fi, free Continental breakfast, and free local calls round out the bargain.
129 W. 46th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-221-2600
USED LUXURY CARS
Kings Auto Show
This dealer buys repossessed cars from the bank, fixes them up, and turns them around for prices at or below Kelley Blue Book on many models. BMWs are particularly good. A 2003 745Li with 46,230 is $50,995. A 2002 Lexus IS300 with 38,000 miles is $21,995, compared with $22,385 in Blue Book.
5815 Church Ave., at Kings Hwy., East Flatbush, Brooklyn; 718-345-1600
200 Lexington Avenue
The official policy at this building full of high-end furniture and home vendors is “to the trade only,” but many showrooms will sell to regular consumers. You might not get the straight list price that designers do, but you’re not paying their markup, either, and you’ve got access to incredible brands like Dennis Miller, Stephanie Odegard, and Keilhauer. If you like a sofa but the showroom won’t play ball, go to Interior Options on the fourth floor and grab one of the in-house decorators to act as your middleman. They get a 10 to 15 percent trade discount; you pay them; everybody’s happy.
200 Lexington Ave., nr. 32nd St 212-726-9708
Room & Board
You can get a kiln-dried hardwood frame sofa for $899; $300 less than Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel’s opening price. And Room & Board delivers for just $69 in many parts of the tri-state area, whether it’s just one lamp or a houseful of furniture.
105 Wooster St., nr. Spring St.; 212-334-4343
Gothic Cabinet Craft
You can’t beat $199 for a 12-by-60-by-36 unfinished wood bookshelf ($75 extra for finish). The best selection is at gothiccabinetcraft.com.
195 Lexington Ave., nr. 32nd St.; 212-252-8478
LAMPS & LIGHT FIXTURES
You already know it’s cheap, but Ikea’s good-design-plus-low-price formula ascends to a new high in its lighting department. Designs that rival (or might be inspired by) expensive Italian companies like Flos or Artemide run $24.99 for a vintage-modern-style pendant, $19.99 for a 28-inch track light with three halogen spots, and $6.99 for a first-apartment basic Noguchi-esque lamp.
Elizabeth Center1000 Ikea Dr., Elizabeth, N.J.; 908-289-4488
Martha Stewart’s 5-Star sheets are the best low-end deal. Woven sateens are 100 percent combed cotton, and there is also a pima sateen; either will cover a bed for $50 to $80. For committed high-enders, regular visits to Century 21 can pay off in savings ranging from 20 to 50 percent off names like Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan; department stores generally clear out their stock in January and July.
250 W. 34th St., nr. Eighth Ave. 212-760-1188
Pearl Paint Home Design Center
At $20.75 a gallon for Benjamin Moore 2720, Pearl beats Janovic Paint House ($24.79), and while there isn’t a huge variety, penny-pinchers will be thrilled by Bruning paint at $12.63 a gallon. Bring your student, faculty, or contractor ID card for an extra 10 percent off, but the salespeople can also be persuaded to just give you the discount.
56 Lispenard St., nr. Broadway; 212-431-7932
General Art Co.
You could get a premade $25 job from Pearl Paint Frame Shop, but you won’t get the same quality: This store uses only domestic maple wood that resists chipping and warping, four-ply or better matting, acid-free museum-quality board, and ultraviolet-protected glass. An eight-by-ten photo can be framed with three-inch four-ply matting, contemporary molding, and glass for approximately $75.
180 Varick St., nr. King St.; 212-255-1298
Stainmaster carpeting is about $35 a yard here ($37 at Home Depot), and, unlike other retailers, that includes padding, installation, delivery, and warranties, which range from five to twenty years depending on the brand.
815 Amsterdam Ave., nr. 100th St.; 212-663-3700
Drimmers Major Appliances
They’re cranky, and distinctly lacking in phone charm, but with deals like a stainless-steel KitchenAid from the Superba series for $863, including free delivery and service for a year (a $300 saving on the chains), who needs manners? Drimmers also caters to the top of the market, carrying esoteric fridges, like the Sub-Zero 611, that aren’t available at chains.
1608 Coney Island Ave., nr. Ave. M, Midwood, Brooklyn; 877-338-3500
National Wholesale Liquidators
Cooking connoisseurs flock to Broadway Panhandler’s annual June sale to save up to 70 percent on high-end cookware like Le Creuset and All-Clad. However, National Wholesale Liquidators is still the cheapest place to outfit an entire kitchen. Daily shipments ensure the availability of $9.99 Proctor-Silex toasters ($12.99 at Kmart) and $9.99 George Foreman grills ($14.99 at Amazon.com). Look to the left for cookware as low as $9.99 for a three-pan set, only $3 more than the price of the smallest pan in the Bowery’s cheapest kitchen-supply store.
632 Broadway, at Bleecker St.; 212-979-2400
Gringer and Sons
All the big-box stores match prices, but first you have to find that better deal. At Gringer, a top-of-the-line GE stainless-steel range goes for $1,875 ($2,299 at Sears), with delivery included.
29 First Ave., nr. 1st St.; 212-475-0600
Bowery Kitchen Supplies
This caterer to the restaurant trade offers good deals on mid-priced lines like Sanelli, an Italian brand with ergonomic handles, and Messermeister, a German line. Mixed-steel chef’s knives that sharpen easily run from $24 to $55. If you’re looking for the high end, get Masahiro knives from Japan (a seven-inch chef’s knife sells for $129).
88 Tenth Ave., at Chelsea Market; 212-376-4982
COFFEE BY THE POUND
Convenience aside, this is also the city’s best price per pound on whole beans; French roast is $5.49, about 50 cents less than at Zabar’s, Porto Rico Importing Co., and Fairway. Of course, it also requires a $40 minimum order for delivery. New Jersey–based Coffee Bean Direct (coffeebeandirect.com) is the real bargain, though; a five-pound bag of French roast is $17.65 ($3.53 per pound); even with the $7 delivery fee, that’s still only $4.93 per pound.
It’s not always the cheapest, although prices are competitive; $69.99 for a 2004 Maclaren Volo stroller beat the online store bestbuybaby.com by $20. And any price differential is incidental in light of Albee’s in-house warranty. The store will fix anything made by a manufacturer it carries (and it carries everything), even if it wasn’t purchased there. If it has the part, repair is free.
715 Amsterdam Ave., at 95th St.; 212-662-8902
PETS AND PET SUPPLIES
Best values on pet services.
Buy Buy Baby
Every imaginable piece of equipment, from disposable nipples (99 cents for a three-pack) to changing pads ($5.99), is present and affordable here. The house clothing line, BB Basics, is an especially good bargain: A five-pack of onesies goes for an unbeatable $7.99.
270 Seventh Ave., at 25th St.917-344-1555
Cheap, disposable clothing is a smart solution to gigantic growth spurts, and no other chain has as many sparkly racks of tween-pleasing designs for girls and boys; right now, there are racks of flouncy gypsy skirts, peasant tops, and cute accessories. Boys’ Army-green cargos with gold patches ($22.90) will look even sleeker with Oakley-style sunglasses in silver and green for $2.90.
1328 Broadway, at 34th St.; 646-473-1165
Resale shops for never-worn or gently used toddler duds are increasingly hard to find. The inventory here changes daily, but a recent look through the racks offered pieces by Old Navy, Baby Gap, Petit Bateau, Zutano, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, and Baby Dior. A bright-orange-and-pink Oilily dress with flower-shaped buttons was $25; a cozy Bonpoint jumper and brand- new Phat Farm parka were both selling for $20.
96 N. 6th St., nr. White St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-218-7775
Bally Total Fitness
The rock-bottom price for a New York health-club membership is the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation’s $75 annual fee, which covers 28 facilities (see nycgovparks.org). They’re not the most luxurious, but they are clean (unlike the next cheapest, Dolphin Fitness Clubs) and they cover the basics. If you want a more spacious motivational environment, the best deal is Bally Total Fitness; right now, there’s a $0 down, $44 a month (approximately), three-year-membership deal; join with a friend, and he gets a $19.50 monthly deal.
45 E. 55th St., nr. Madison Ave. 212-688-6630
Emilio’s Ski Shop
Knowledgeable skiers find the best prices on the Internet, but this is the lowest bricks-and-mortar price in New York. Emilio’s offers basic brands like Volkl, Nordica, and Atomic, and its prices and packages can’t be beat: women’s K2 T:Nine One Luvs are $649 including bindings, and men’s Salomon Scrambler 6’s go for $399, $100 less than at the nearest competitor. Wait till the end of the season for 30 percent markdowns. For online deals, try geardirect.com.
112-32 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills; 718-544-0404
Modell’s serves up prices that will satisfy even the snootiest Wimbledon fanatic. Racquets start at $19.99 for the Wilson Sampras Impact Stretch ($5 less than at Sports Authority) and go up to $279.99 for the Wilson N1 Force Performance frame ($20 cheaper than suggested retail). And the online “outlet store,” modells.com, is even better: up to 75 percent off selected Prince and Head racquets as well as tennis accessories and apparel.
1293 Broadway, nr. 34th St.; 212-244-4544
Bikes by George
This East Village fixture offers the cheapest selection of used bikes in New York—just $65 for a fully reconditioned model, compared with upwards of $100 everywhere else. The deal extends beyond the initial purchase: There’s a three-month warranty on all reconditioned parts, too.
413 E. 12th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-533-0203
It’s not just for highlighters and bulk legal pads. You can’t beat Staples’ deal on $5.98 for a case of 24 half-liter bottles of Poland Spring, unless you have a taste for Kmart’s in-house discount brand, American Fare, which goes for $4.89—not much more than a single bottle of Voss. Occasionally, Staples offers a truly unbeatable special: two cases of Poland Spring for $9.
5-9 Union Square W., nr. 14th St.; 212-929-6323
Astor Place Wines & Spirits
Garnet Wines and Spirits and Warehouse Wine & Spirits have a following for bargain prices, but there are a lot of weeds among the flowers. Astor Place Wines & Spirits offers a different, more reliable deal: unadvertised in-store monthly specials. Some serious stuff is almost always offered, usually the staff’s favorite sleepers, up to a whopping 30 percent off retail. Recent scores included a Château D’oupia at $6.99 and Cousin-Leduc Le Breton for $11.99. Sign up for e-mail notifications, and look out for “Discount Tuesday”—15 percent off a region or grape of the store’s choice.
12 Astor Pl., at Lafayette St.; 212-674-7500
Four value wines
Everyone has their own preferred go-to bodega for cheap smokes. But if you happen to run dry in unfamiliar territory, take sanctuary at the nearest CVS, which has the lowest franchise prices and even manages to beat out many newsstands at $6.04 before taxes for regular Marlboros.
743 Amsterdam Ave., nr. 96th St., and other locations; 212-280-0582