Assuming you read last Friday’s post, Sample Sale Survival Guide-Part 1- Pre-Sale, you should be all geared up for the big event. You know where to go, what you want and how much it’s gonna cost. So, without further ado, here’s Part 2 of the Sample Sale Survival Guide- On the Day.
SAMPLE SALE SURVIVAL GUIDE- PART 2
ON THE DAY
1. Dress the part.
Dress appropriately. Oftentimes, there are not any dressing rooms at these things. So, you either need to be comfortable with your body or be wearing something that you can slip clothes over. Either way, don’t wear anything too complicated, as you don’t want to waste precious shopping time trying to get in and out of your clothes.
2. Mind your manners.
That being said, make sure you look and act nicely. Not only is it not classy to act like an animal let out of it’s cage (which, I assure you, some shoppers do), but looking and acting like ladies and gentlemen can have added benefits. You will be surprised who will remember you at future events. I have had designers put items aside for me that they knew I’d like, as well as give me additional discounts. Not to mention free stuff. All because I was nice and they remembered me.
3. Because you wouldn’t wear the band’s t-shirt to the concert.
Speaking of clothing, don’t wear the same designer to the sale. This also goes for jewelry, handbags, etc. You don’t want them to think you’re shoplifting. Also, don’t shoplift.
4. Paper or plastic?
Although they often take cards, some sales are cash only. Know ahead of time and come prepared. I’ve missed out on some great pieces because I didn’t bring cash and there wasn’t a conveniently located ATM.
5. Travel light.
I have been to sales that did not allow handbags, strollers, dogs, etc. So be ready for this. It really sucks when your dog or baby has to wait in the car while you shop. (Just kidding.) I will typically just bring a wallet or shove my credit card/cash into a pocket.
6. Timing is everything.
If it’s one of your favorites or a very popular designer (and you know that a lot of shoppers will be in attendance), arrive early. You may have to wait in line for a bit (bring a book or a buddy), but you’ll be less likely to miss out on the good stuff.
7. Follow the crowd.
Make a beeline for the most popular items first. This usually means handbags, shoes and accessories. Remember, you can always put it back.
8. Stay informed.
Keep the designer’s website open in your phone’s browser for an on-the-spot reference for prices, merchandise, etc.
9. You snooze, you lose.
Grab and dump. Meaning, as soon as you arrive, start stockpiling items. Don’t be shy. I hold onto stuff even if I’m not sure I love it. Because I may decide I do want something but, by the time I go back, someone else has already scooped it up. As my mother says, “You snooze, you lose.” Don’t snooze.
10. One (wo)man’s trash is another (wo)man’s treasure.
Search discards in the dressing room as well as the return rack (the rack that people hang things on that they’re not buying). People will often throw beautiful items on the ground (see #2), so don’t be afraid to dig. Also, hang your stuff up. Just because it’s on sale, doesn’t mean that it should be treated as such.
11. Follow the golden rule.
Make friends. Not only with the designers and shop girls, but also with the other shoppers. If you express interest in a one of a kind item in someone else’s hands and she ends up not purchasing it, guess who she’s going to give it to.
12. Don’t fear the damaged.
Be conscious, but not afraid of damaged items. Know what can be repaired (often for a nominal fee) and what can’t. Be realistic but know that this is sometimes where you can score some of your best deals. True story. At the now-defunct Barney’s Warehouse sale a couple of years ago, I purchased a “damaged” pair of Lanvin heels (seen here) for $300. Retail price? $1,900. The damage? A missing heel cap. Which I replaced at my local shoe repair shop for $10.
13. Check it. And check it again.
Speaking of damages, check every item over carefully. Some items will be in the normal section when, in actuality, they are damaged. If you point this out, sometimes they’ll lower the price a bit.
14. Shop outside the box.
Shop outside of your size. Things can be improperly marked or sized. And oftentimes, you can have too-large pieces tailored to your body. Sometimes you can’t.
15. Return to the racks.
Don’t be afraid to return to the racks. If it’s a sale I really love, I’ll do a loop, hit the dressing room, put away my discards, and then do another loop. They may have put back items or there may be things you missed on your first time around.
16. Go back for seconds.
Find out if they’re restocking. Sales often go for a couple of days. Sometimes, they will put out fresh merchandise the next day. So, if you missed out on the first day, doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on it on the second day!
Now that you know what to do before and during the sale there’s only one thing left to do…shop!!
Photos by Michele LoBosco