You can find seriously discounted clothing at designer sample sales. Sample sales are used by designers and retail businesses to get rid of excess merchandise. These sales give you an opportunity to purchase near-perfect merchandise at a fraction of the price that you would pay in a retail store. The key to benefiting from the awesome deals at sample sales is to stay informed of when and where the sales are located.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Fashion magazines
- Sale address
- Comfortable shoes
Search for sample sales in your area (see Resources). Stay informed of what is happening in the fashion community so you will know which designers will be holding sample sales. You may also want to visit local boutiques and inquire about sales; add your name to the store's customer list so you can be notified by mail or e-mail of upcoming sales.
Know where you are going. When you learn of a sample sale, get the address; sales are frequently held in warehouses and office buildings where there is no signage. If there is a number on the notification or invitation to the sale, call to find out if you will need to make an appointment.
Dress comfortably. Successful sample sale shopping will require that you spend a lot of time on your feet. You may not have access to a changing room, so wear a leotard or undergarments that you do not mind other people seeing. You may have to change clothes in an open room in front of other shoppers.
Arrive at the sale early. You will have access to the best selection of clothes if you arrive early on the first day of the sale. Also, if you arrive early, the merchandise will likely be organised and it will be easier for you to find deals. If you shop late in the day, the items will be picked over and the best bargains will likely be gone. Although discounts increase at the sales comes to a close, the items you want may be harder to find.
Check items closely before purchasing. Your purchase at the sample sale will be final, so if you realise the merchandise is severely damaged after you have already paid for it, you will not be able to return or exchange it. If the item was a steal, it may be worth it to replace a button or repair a zipper. The key is to only purchase merchandise that needs small adjustments or repairs.
Have a general idea of what you want, but be flexible. Finding a specific item will be a challenge at a sample sale. You will have more success if you keep an open mind about what you are willing to purchase. Being open minded does not mean you can forget your budget, however. Most sale notifications will include the price range of samples; seek sales that are within your budget.
Bring cash. While some warehouses and designers will accept credit cards, some will only take cash.
Avoid shopping during the lunch hour. Sample sales are most crowded during the hours between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
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