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Secrets from Inside the Sample Sale

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You might imagine it takes a certain type of girl to spend her morning queuing up in some of the oddest or sketchiest parts of the city — all for a few bucks knocked off last season’s items. But the long-heralded sample sale isn’t what it used to be.

Sure, you might still see a few crazies amongst the crowd or some sideways glances, but even brands themselves have figured out ways to help avoid a great battle royale.

Read on for a few tips and tricks for a safe and successful sample sale trip. Next time you get that long-awaited location email, you’ll be ready.

Do Your Research

Look into or ask around about the brand or showroom’s past sample sales. Find out how big the buzz is, how long the lines were last time, and what type of product is gonna be out for starters. If it’s only accessories and you had your heart set on a garment, there may be no need to waste your Saturday morning hanging out in line just to be let down.

Don’t Buy Just to Buy

This is the type of stunt where shopping addicts get their start, and no one needs to be spiraling into debt over old designer goods. Plus, nobody likes the girl that gets something they’re not even interested in, then tries to resell at three times the price.

Do Determine Whether You Need Cash

Most invites will say credit card or check accepted, but if it’s cash only, you’ll want enough so you won’t have to attempt a second trip. You’ll also probably want to set a limit (see above).

Don’t Worry if You’re Not First in Line

These days, brands put out a rotation of product throughout the day so the warehouse isn’t looking completely depleted by the time the middle of the line is strolling through.

Do Play Nice

Staffers are your key to navigating the sale smartly. They’ll  point you in the direction of that coveted bag, and if you’re really nice, they may even help you get you that product saved for the next round. Also, making friends in the line can lead to an assist on snagging a specific piece or even a willingness to trade.