Sample sales can be fashion heaven where you can find that little gem at absolute bargain prices. Sometimes you will need to go through piles and piles of clothing or shoes but the adrenaline rush will get you through it. To make sure you get the best out of your sample sale I have compiled the following five sample sale shopping tips.
1. Come in early, come in late
For the best selection come in early, but try to go the last day of sale too as that’s when most brands will offer further reductions. If it’s going to be a very popular sample sale and you want to have the best selection arrive early and I mean really arrive early, way before opening times.
2. Dress appropriately
If you are lucky there is some kind of a makeshift changing room at the sample sale which you will have to share with all the sample sale shoppers. But there are plenty of sample sales where, if you want to try items on (and yes you want to!), you have to change in the middle of the room or a corner. Let me tell you wearing a thong and trying things on without a changing room is not going to be one of your finest moments or imagine being braless….So unless you want to flash everything, wear appropriate underwear or wear thin basic layers like a tank and leggings. Also make sure you wear separates to the sample sale as you might just want to try that top. Also wearing something from the designer to the sample sale is a no-go as you don’t want to end up in a discussion whether it’s your own.
Going to a popular sample sale can be like swimming in a pool of sharks. After having faced the battle zone and carrying your stuff to the changing room/space, if any, there is no time to relax. While trying on the gems you’ve found and inspecting everything in front of the mirror or running back to the sample sale room for a different size there is always a chance that someone wants to lay their hands on your sample sale items. Having a friend with you to safeguard everything and vice versa really helps. Can’t find a friend who wants to fake a doctor appointment? Make a friend in the changing room.
4. Check, check and double check
It isn’t called a sample sale for nothing. You will find samples. Thus check everything to make sure it’s not faulty. Even if you find items of previous collections you need to check everything very carefully. Countless times I’ve come across beaded dresses or tops where the beads were falling off. Unless you want to invest the time and effort in repairing it, don’t give it another glance. Still love it? Try to get a further reduction. Delicate fabrics can be snagged so have a good look before purchasing because there is generally no return policy. If you buy it it’s yours forever….
5. Deal or no deal
Just repeat this “it’s not always a bargain. It’s not always a bargain”. If you keep this in mind you won’t walk away with items you would have been able to snap up much cheaper somewhere else. Just remember a sample sale isn’t always a good deal. For example, I’ve found items at regular sales (more than 75% off) which were cheaper than what I would have to pay at a sample sale. Also if it doesn’t fit, it’s never a bargain even if it is hugely reduced! And if you don’t find something to your liking don’t just buy something because you don’t want to leave empty handed. Save the money for another sample sale.
To give you an idea what happens when Alexander Wang hands out free items see the hilarious video below. And no, generally sample sales aren’t like this. Just a little bit less chaotic….
Still want to go to a sample sale? Have a look at the Style Barista sample sales section for all upcoming sample sales.
(All images in this post taken from the below video).