It’s that time of the year again! Back to work, back to school, and of course, back to pole! I’m pretty sure you didn’t stop practicing during holidays, but with the start of the new school year comes the oh-so-familiar feeling of wanting to start fresh.
Pole is no exception (and admit it, you’re way more excited about your subscription to a new term at your pole studio than going back to uni or the office!), and here you are, itching to get new polewear, new shoes, and lots more!
But… money! It still doesn’t grow on trees, pole is expensive, and every poler is after a good deal.
It can quickly be a hassle to define what you really need or want, where to get it, and you can even end up being scammed if you’re not careful enough.
So check these 10 tips to save money, find good deals, and avoid scams while feeding your pole addiction!
TIPS FOR POLE PRACTICE
1 – Free classes
While you can’t negotiate lessons’ prices – they’re set for a reason (teachers/studio owners need to pay for the material, the place, the taxes, the insurances…) and that would be an obnoxious thing to do – once you start searching for the studio that will be your pole heaven for the months to come, keep in mind that different studios have different approaches for pole dance. You might not find the one that’s suitable for you right from the beginning, and you don’t want to commit with a full subscription right away.
Good news: a lot of studios offer the first lesson. Take advantage of that to try several in your area (if you’re lucky enough to have the choice) and make up your mind!
2 – Buy your own pole
That’s an obvious one. If you have a space at home where you can put it up, and can afford a pole, consider it as a good investment: lessons are expensive, and you are rarely able to pay for as many as you’d like to take weekly. Soon, having your own pole will be worth it once you realize you can:
– train as much as you want, when you want,
– save on lessons because you can practice more and progress a lot faster
– do things you don’t have time to do in the studio, like try a variation of a move you know, or build your own choreos.
Just make sure you get a real pole that you can climb on (X Pole, Lupit, Fit Pole, to name a few), not those cheap fake poles you can find all over the internet!
TIPS FOR POLEWEAR/POLE ACCESSORIES
3 – Sales
Unfortunately, good pole accessories, quality pole outfits and heels are on the costly side.
While you should never neglect said quality (for your own comfort and safety) to opt for the cheap options (remember the saying: buy cheap, buy twice), you don’t want to purchase your pole items blindly.
One word: patience. Sales are common, but they never fall at the right time, aka right now! Because we always want it right now! But impatience has a price: the full price.
Wait a bit, visit several online shops, subscribe to their newsletter to get informed of good deals, and you’ll be happy you waited when you get those 8 inches for half the price!
Also keep an eye open for free shipping, that’s always good to take!
4 – Image search
Seen a gorgeous outfit that you’re ready to order? Again, wait!
If you really can’t deal with the thought of not wearing it for your next pole lesson, at least find the best price for it.
Apart from simply searching the item’s name with a search engine, which is already a good idea, there’s a little tool that can do wonders to your budget: Google Image Search.
Save the item’s image on your computer, upload it in the search, and here you go! Usually, photos of an item are provided by the supplier, and all the webstores that are selling the item use it, so you’ll find all the stores by clicking the images, and will be able to compare the prices.
Be careful: Chinese websites (like Ali Express) sell very good looking (on pics only!) items for cheap, and vendors don’t hesitate to resell them on their online store for ten times the initial price. Not only do you get crap, but you paid a lot for it! Always check that the item you’re looking for on Image Search doesn’t appear also on a Chinese factory website, if you found it in a regular store.
5 – Group orders
You know what is magic with the internet? You can connect with people that share the same interests, pole included! And you can bet that they’re after deals just like you! So why not organize a group order?
You can usually get a better price, the more you order. Contact the brands, some only sell to retailers, but some sell directly to the public, and will be happy to help you.
It’s a bit of work if you are the one hosting the group order, because you will have to:
– contact the supplier back and forth,
– promote the group order on Facebook groups, among your pole friends, everywhere you can reach people that will be interested in it (remember, the more you order, the lower the price),
– get all the orders from the participants,
– negotiate the final price with the supplier,
– add to it all taxes, shipping and eventually payment commissions (don’t forget customs if you’re ordering in another country! And consider adding the price of the shipping from you to the participants, if you won’t be able to give them in person.) to calculate the cost per item/person,
– and finally, gather payments, and believe me, that’s the hardest part, because you don’t want anyone to drop out, rendering all your calculations wrong and eventually threatening to annihilate the whole group order.
But once you get there, it’s all worth it! You can sometimes save up to 35% of the retail price!
6 – Second hand
You can easily find people on a forum, a Facebook group, or even pole friends that want to get rid of items that you would gladly own. Make sure to make a safe transaction (paying with Paypal for example), and don’t hesitate to ask for extra pictures if needed, if the item is being sent to you and not sold from hand to hand.
Also look on Ebay and your local free ads.
7 – Don’t focus on items specific to pole dance.
An item might not have been specifically designed for pole dance, it can still be of good use.
Think lingerie stores and sport retailers for outfits, chalk, and probably a lot more!
TIPS TO AVOID BEING SCAMMED
8 – Counterfeit items
They are never worth it. Aside from being illegal, they can be dangerous. They didn’t go through the adequate safety tests, they’re poor quality (do you really think you will get a top notch Agent Provocateur romper worth 450€ for 15€?), and most of the time, they’re made in chain factories that employ children, which is unacceptable.
9 – Websites specialized in deals
You know what I’m talking about: Groupon and alikes.
I’m not saying I’ve never had good deals on that kind of sites, but more often than not, they were just crap. First, because as soon as your interlocutor takes note of where you got your reservation, the service drops down in quality, second, because you often end up paying the same amount, if not more, than the real price of what you bought.
I’ve seen pole dance lessons presented on Groupon with a 75% discount, when the original price had actually been pumped up, and the deal costing actually the same as if you’d present yourself directly at the studio.
Always verify the real price of the service or item you’re interested in, don’t trust the discount.
10 – If it’s too good to be true, it certainly is!
Unless you’re ready to lose money and give a try to a really crazy deal even if you’re not really sure about it, just remember that if it’s too good to be true, it certainly is!
I hope these tips will be useful to you! Of course, share your own tips, there’s never enough!
And let’s be honest, all that money you saved isn’t going to sit quietly in your purse… you’re already ordering new Pleasers, aren’t you?