Sample sales, both the term and the actual events, have reach an almost mythical status in the minds of most shoppers.
The mythical status of the sample sale led to a global rise in the usage of the term “sample sale”, when really the event is more like a designer showcase or warehouse sale. True sample sales take place where samples are created, like New York City and, to a lesser degree, Los Angeles. Yeah your local pr firm may have scored Overstock from your local Macy’s, created an event, and called it a “sample sale”, but really it’s nothing but false advertisement. Most sales have the stuff that didn’t sell in stores, in one size (example: I went to a sample sale where all the items were either size 00 or size 14), and in some horrendous color- which means you could have just headed to your nearest outlet mall. Sample sales are almost always hot and because of this heat can often smell.
Sample Sale Tips
Now, I’m not saying you should skip that Kate Spade Sample Sale or even avoid that local “sample sale”, however you do need to be sample sale savvy. Now sample sale pros will already be familiar with these tips, however for newbies the tips listed below will help guide you on sample sale path.
Sample Sale Shopping Tips Newbie
- Wear tight fitting clothing (tank tops and legging optimal) so you can change in public (most sample sales have either public fitting rooms or not fittings rooms at all) Also wear shoes like ballet slippers and flip-flops that you can easily pull on and off
- If permitted, bring a big bag with a shoulder strap to carry around the stuff you find ( a beach bag is good).
- Bring cash (unless otherwise noted)- you will check out faster and it will limit your spending
- Understand the return policy (which is usually no returns)
- In order to not feel overwhelmed by the sale, start at the far right corner and work counter clockwise around the sales floor
- Check prices of items that may be featured at the sample sale online at sites like Smartbargains, Bluefly, Overstock to make sure you are actually getting a good deal
- Call ahead to make sure the sample sale is carrying your size. If the sale only has sample size 4 and you wear a size 12, then avoid the sale.
- If you can, bring a friend to help you watch over your stuff and to block fellow shoppers.