7 Tips To Shop A Sample Sale Like An Expert

Women ShoppersNavigating a sample sale can be more dangerous than tiptoeing through a minefield, with both clothing and your sanity at stake. These seven tips make any sample sale more manageable, saving you time and possibly thousands on chic designer swag.

Know Before You Go.

Reading the sale invitation carefully can save you lots of time and confusion. If you know all the info, chances are you’ll be able to get in with little hassle and pick up the good merchandise.

  • Is the sale public or for registered guests only? If its the former and you're not on the list, you'll likely not get in—no matter how long you've waited on line.
  • Need identification? A printed-out invitation? Find out in advance. For example, trying to get into the Christian Louboutin sale, in particular,  is like breaking into Fort Knox: a name on the list plus government issued photo ID is necessary.
  • Is it taking place in a showroom or store? (You'd be amazed at how many people go to the wrong location.)
  • When is the first day of the sale? Many sales span over a few days and while showrooms tend to restock sales daily get there on the first day to get the best picks.

Size Yourself Up.

Figure out beforehand what size you wear in that designer’s clothing; it’ll allow you to grab more and try later.

Know The Full Price.

Most sales have a range of sizes but the samples (which come in sample sizes—typically size 2 or 0) will be the cheapest. They’ve been worn and will probably need a few repairs. Factor in tailoring costs with the cost of the sample against retail to see if the purchase is worth it. A sample that’s $50 with $50 of alterations is worth it if it retails for $3,995. (But, know your full budget before you go!)

Assess Your Closet.

Survey what things you need and what you already have so you only buy things that will work with your current wardrobe. That aquamarine top may be cute but does it match anything else in your wardrobe? If not then forget about it. It’s easy to get caught up in buying when everything is so cheap but go after staple pieces and solids, classics like these will never go out of style and will stay relevant in your closet regardless of how trends change.

Hunt And Gather.

Grab as much as you can first and sort through it later. If you try to shop the racks like you would in a department store, people around you will grab everything you want. Find a corner to take your pile and assess what you’ve grabbed, what you need, and what can go. The more you have, the better the chances that you’ll end up with things you want rather than what’s already been picked through.

Be Selfish.

Shop for yourself, not for your friends because you never know if they’ll like what you’re paying for. Chances are something may not fit quite right or it was a little more than they were willing to spend. What happens in this scenario? You’re left with items you don’t want and didn’t want to pay for. Invite friends to tag along but let them shop for themselves. You’ll save time not searching for other people and get more for yourself.

Paper Or Plastic.

Find out what types of payment are accepted beforehand so you’re not stranded when you reach the register. Lots of sales, like the one from our favorite, Giles and Brother jewelry, are cash only. Very rarely will anyone accept a personal check and cards are limited. Call ahead or double check the invite.

Follow Emily Note on Twitter @e_elizabeth! Follow LearnVest on Twitter @LearnVest!

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