Nordstrom’s legendary Anniversary Sale begins Friday, which means the store is bringing in limited quantities of fall merchandise and marking down pieces before the season begins. The event began as a way for the billion-dollar retailer to boost sales during a slower time of the year and has evolved into an experience savvy shoppers strategize for. The sale, which ends August 4th, features brands like Kate Spade, Elizabeth and James and Diane Von Furstenberg. Here are a few tips to guide you and your wallet along the way.

Image courtesy of Nordstrom.

1. Shop Early

Technically the sale begins July 19, but early access began July 10 for Nordstrom cardholders. Customers hoping to avoid the credit card trap can opt for a Nordstrom debit card that deducts directly from your checking account. The Nordstrom card allows you to accrue points that convert into rewards.

2. Make an Appointment

Book a Personal Stylist to lead you through the chaos. Not only is this service free, but personal stylists are trained to work within your budget and advise you on fall fashion. As with any salesperson, they may well push you in the direction of something you don't really want, so this is an option best taken by the stubborn and strong-willed. Did I mention that they're free? Here's an idea: Show up in some beat up Sketchers and a skirt from Ross and see what they say. Tell 'em you found the outfit on the sales rack. Are they on their game?

3. Plan for Fall

It is hot as Hades right now, so stand by your freezer and imagine what you want to rock when the temperature drops this fall. Quality jackets and boots are always a great investment.  Now is the time to stock up on winter wear.

Image courtesy of Nordstrom.

4. Accessories, Cosmetics, and Fragrances

 There are tons of accessories, cosmetics, and fragrances that transition from season to season. Cat-eye sunglasses, Michael Kors watches, and collared necklaces are perfect pieces to wear now and later. Jo Malone London, Jimmy Choo, and Viktor&Rolf scents work all year round.

5. Remember: Browsing is Free

Maybe you don't want to fork over your paycheck at all? No harm there. Just see it as a chance to check out the fall trends Nordstrom's buyers are banking on.

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