How To Survive Sample Sales

A Day at Nike's (1)

I love myself a good sale, so it’s pretty safe to say sample sales make me extremely happy.  As someone who has gone to a handful of sample sales before, I’ve gotten to know a few tricks that I share with friends, and now I want to share them with you!

Now, I can’t guarantee that you will be walking away with that designer dress you had your eye on, but I can guarantee that you’ll be a little more prepared next time you decide to enter the fashion battlefield of sample sales.  Here are my five tips to surviving sample sales.

1. Get there early.

My first time going to sample sales I arrived 45 minutes – 30 minutes earlier than the advertised start time and the workers let me in early, but I quickly learned that was not the case for most sample sales.

Some people even camp out for it!  For the Comme des Garcons sample sale, Leslie and I arrived thirty minutes early hoping to be one of the first people in, but boy were we wrong.  By the time we arrived at Skylight Clarkson, the line was wrapped around the block.  So, if you want to get the first look at what the brand has in store, go early.

2. Gauge public interest for the sale.

Bigger brands like Comme des Garcons and Herschel are going to attract a wide range of people – the brands are popular amongst a large group of people and more people would be willing to go and stand in line to get a crack at somewhat affordable prices.

By gauging public interest for the brand, you can determine how early you should arrive -with more people, you should arrive earlier so you don’t have to wait in line.  Yes, it’s annoying having to wake up at the crack of dawn, but if you think getting an 80% markdown on your favorite brand is worth it, by all means!

3. Eat breakfast & pack snacks.

One of the biggest mistakes I have ever made was not eating before sample sale.  Why?  I waited almost two hours to get in and I was cranky and irritable and made some questionable purchases because I wanted to get out of the venue as quick as possible.

Don’t be grouchy and eat breakfast.  Packing snacks is key, too.  If you think you’re going to be waiting for a long time, put in a granola bar or two – you won’t suffer from the hunger pangs waiting on line and you won’t have to leave your friend along miserably waiting to get in while you search for the closest fast food joint.

4. Go to the bathroom before you get to the venue.

In anticipation for the lines you may encounter, go to the bathroom before you even get to the venue.  There is nothing worse than approaching two hours of waiting to get into a sample sale and then walking 2+ blocks to the closest Starbucks to use their restroom.

Just go beforehand, saves all the trouble and I’m-trying-to-hold-it dances.

5. Set a spending limit & try the clothes on if you can.

If you’re anything like me, you get carried away in the heat of the moment and purchase things that you have no use for.  Then you see the charge on your credit card statement and silently curse yourself.

Don’t regret your purchases because you won’t be able to return these purchases!  If you can, try on the clothes – what looks good sitting on top of a clothing pile may not look good on you.  By trying on the garment, you save yourself the price of how much that garment would cost.

Bonus tip: Bring a portable battery charger!

Let’s face it, waiting on line sucks.  Bring a portable charger to replenish your phone’s battery because you will probably be on Twitter & Instagram the whole time, let’s be honest.

And those are my tips to surviving the sample sale – be sure to stay tuned to my site for more posts like this!

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