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Best strategy to shop the Neiman Marcus + Target collection (and snare our 5 favorite products)

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Derek Lam, Neiman Marcus Target holiday collection, house shoes, slippers, November 2012
Derek Lam leopard slippers, $49.99 Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus
Skaist-Taylor, Neiman Marcus Target holiday collection, November 2012, child's hat
Skaist-Taylor kid's faux fur hat, $39.99 Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus
Robert Rodriquez, Neiman Marcus Target holiday collection, November 2012, dress
Robert Rodriquez black lace dress, $99.99 Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus
Neiman Marcus, Target, holiday collection, Proenza Schouler, iPad sleeve, November 2012
Proenza Schouler iPad sleeve, $39.99 Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus
Thom Browne Neiman Marcus Target holiday collection, November 2012, jacket
Thom Browne men's blazer, $149.99 Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus
Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta pink dog collar and leash, $39.99 Photo courtesy of Target
Marchesa, Neiman Marcus Target holiday collection, pink dress
Marchesa girl's party dress, $79.99, is being advertised for $249.99 on eBay. Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus
Neiman Marcus Target holiday collection, black studded gloves, Brian Atwood, November 2012
Brian Atwood gloves, $49.99 Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus
Alice and Olivia bicycle
Alice + Olivia bike, $499.99 Photo courtesy of Target
Derek Lam, Neiman Marcus Target holiday collection, house shoes, slippers, November 2012
Skaist-Taylor, Neiman Marcus Target holiday collection, November 2012, child's hat
Robert Rodriquez, Neiman Marcus Target holiday collection, November 2012, dress
Neiman Marcus, Target, holiday collection, Proenza Schouler, iPad sleeve, November 2012
Thom Browne Neiman Marcus Target holiday collection, November 2012, jacket
Oscar de la Renta
Marchesa, Neiman Marcus Target holiday collection, pink dress
Neiman Marcus Target holiday collection, black studded gloves, Brian Atwood, November 2012
Alice and Olivia bicycle

After weeks of hype, the Neiman Marcus + Target collection will finally be available Saturday at both chains (the NM Galleria and Last Call Studio stores and all Houston Target stores) and online. The stores have been secretive about letting anyone inspect the limited-edition goods from 24 of America's top designers, which range from a pink pet leash and collar from Oscar de la Renta ($39.99) to a printed 3-speed bike designed by Alice + Olivia ($499.99). 

 Items purchased by a select audience at a New York preview party Wednesday night are already showing up on eBay at inflated prices.  

However, items purchased by a select audience of fashion designers and models at a New York preview party Wednesday night are already showing up on eBay at inflated prices.

The asking price for a pair of Brian Atwood leather gloves, which retail for $49.99, is $100 on eBay, while a frothy girl's party dress from Marchesa ($79.99) is $249.99. A nifty Derek Lam skateboard ($99.99) is going for $299.99 on the online shopping and auction website.

But for those dedicated shoppers who aren't looking to make a quick buck and, instead, crave a designer label at an affordable price, it's time to plot a winning strategy.

Know where to go

All Neiman Marcus and Target stores will open at 8 a.m. Saturday to offer the exclusive collection. That means the NM Galleria store will open two hours earlier than usual; shoppers must come in through the mall entrance. If there are long lines, everyone will get a wristband and escorted to the third floor, where the products will be featured, at groups of 50 at a time.

Hot apple cider and cookies will be offered to early risers and representatives from the SPCA be on hand to showcase adoptable pets. (During the holidays, the SPCA operates a pet adoption service, utilizing the Neiman Marcus windows.)

We're guessing the lines at suburban Target locations may be shorter, but officials admit they really have no idea what the size of the crowds will be.

Set your alarm

If you don't want to wait until the stores open, the full range of products will be available on the Neiman Marcus and Target websites at some point between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Saturday.

Devise a plan

While we love the web, there's no substitute for being able to feel the fabric of a jacket or try on a pair of slippers. We're betting some items will be an incredible value while others will look cheap.

With so much to choose from, it's good to scour the selection online beforehand and, once in the store, immediately head for the ones that you have deemed the coolest. (Customers are limited to five of the same item per transaction; our guess is only eBay hoarders would want more than that.)

Pick your favorites

On our lust list (from looking at photos): Derek Lam leopard-patterned slippers ($49.99), Proenza Schouler abstract iPad sleeve ($39.99), Skaist-Taylor kid's faux-fur hat ($39.99), Thom Browne navy blazer with white piping ($129.99 for women and $149.99 for men) and Robert Rodriguez black lace party dress ($99.99).

You can return it

All items from the collection can be returned — but all returns must be made to the retailer where the product was purchased by Jan. 5, 2013, and you must have a receipt. So if you bought it at Target, you can't return it to Neiman's.

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