I do a lot of my shopping based on having a hunch. If I find a pair of shoes that are beautiful, well-made, and reasonably priced, I usually pick them up, even if I don't recognize the brand. You don't need to see a price-tag or a label to tell the difference between a $100 bottle of wine and Franzia.
When I get home, I Google my new purchase. What's the designer's background? What year and season is the piece from? Did I get a good deal? Even when I do know the brand, I like to find out a little more.
In need of some retail therapy on Thursday, I headed down to Century 21 on my lunch break. I found these cute Jil Sander pumps for $99.99 (orig $520). I've never had velvet shoes before and hit the internet to find out how to care for them (no water!)