So here’s the deal, sample sales are usually filled with merchandise that brands are trying to get rid of. Whether they’re selling early prototypes, fit samples or product that just wasn’t selling the way they’d expected, think of sample sales as an upscale yard sale. Actually, I take that back. Think of sample sales as competitive, upscale yard sales. (I think that’s a more accurately painted picture, unfortunately.)
You’ve got two ways to really reap the benefits of a sample sale. First, be the best, the boldest, the greatest shopper of all time. When you hear word that one of your favorite brands is selling apparel at a fraction of their original prices, hop onboard the gravy train and make sure you’re first in line. With that competitive edge, you’ll have your pick of the sale. To prep yourself, do some research online! Check out the brand’s sale function, and review what you really think you’d like. Then, if you recognize the print, the body, whatever, you’ll be able to snatch it up right away! Especially when taking this aggressive tack, you might as well ditch any large purses or outerwear. (At most sample sales, appendages need to be checked upon arrival.) Do you really want to miss out just because you needed your coat in sub-zero weather?
The second way is more comparable to the tortoise’s approach, in that infamous race, than the hare’s. It’s relaxed, slow and steady. If you’re not bubbling up with that competitive spirit— I am a total tortoise—and you hate the stress of pushy people, shoving one another into rolling racks, I suggest you arrive three hours before closing. Sure, some of your ideal picks might be gone, but the experience is easier, you’ll have more time to thoughtfully look through the clothing and, added bonus, your prices might be slashed even further. I recently helped with a sample sale, and it was so exciting to see prices plummet as the day went on. Remember, they want to get rid of this stuff!
At the same time, don’t let these reduced prices rivet you past reason. You don’t really need anything at a sample sale, so be careful to avoid going overboard during the experience. A sample sale is not a good place for someone who thrives off of shopping math. (I.E. Someone who excuses his/her purchases if they’ve been bought at 75% off or more.) Don’t just buy something just to buy it! So keep in mind what you’re looking for when you walk into a sample sale, or you’re going to be majorly overwhelmed by the vibe.