It's a right of passage when you live in NYC to shop sample sales. Our high rent, expensive cocktails and sidewalks that feel more like a runway show, make the case that we deserve these extra perks like 80% off on a size 6 dress that is not even in the store yet.
But for much of the country, little is known of these "sample sales",
We recently had the pleasure of hosting a pop up sample sale in New Hope PA. A very quaint shopping area called Peddlers Village. The average person walked in with no idea of what a sample sale was. What do you mean there is only one size? Do you have my size or is everything for a model? What brand is this, I have never heard of them before? And so on, you get the idea. So, here are all the answers to those questions. And please reach out to us if you have anymore.
If you live in a major city you might think of sample sales as described by the article in Fashionista
"It's likely that when you think of sample sales, long lines, catfights and overwhelming bins full of crap to rummage through all come to mind first. This might lead you to believe they're just not worth the effort and resort to paying full price or settling for a paltry end-of-season 40 percent off discount, instead. But that's for amateur bargain hunters, because sample sales are totally worth it if you shop them the right way. And I would know. "
Here are our tips and tricks for the best sample sale experience.
Samples are different then an outlet.
When designers create a collection the whole sale agent shows these pieces to store buyers, which then place orders, most of the time it's 6 months to 9 months in advanced. That gives the designer enough time to cut and manufacture the order. It's also better on the environment because there is less waste, nothing gets over produced. What is left after all the items get photographed on models and orders are placed are the actual samples. A great way to cut more waste is to sell this items at the designer's whole sale price.
Its's a WIN for the designer because they get paid back for the expense of making the collection, It's a WIN for the customer because they get an amazing deal on a current season piece, It's a WIN for the environment because these pieces are not ending up in landfills.
Now let's talk sizing. Many designers create the collection before it get's sized at the manufacture. We always recommend you try-on the items and not worry about what the size label says. Not all collections are a size 2 or 4 , many are 6 to 8. And often we receive items that are no size or one size fits most. The key is to be prepared to try on a lot. Smart shoppers will be ready with wearing black leggings and tank to try many items easily.
Discover new designers. These designers are commonly only sold in high end boutiques. They are cult followed brands so unless you are a regular boutique shopper, you probably are not familiar with many of these brands. It's a great way to discover a new designer you really love that is not found in every typical suburban mall without cashing in your 401k plan.
Another great resource at a sample sale is the employees working at the store. They know all the brands and how they fit, where the are made, who the designer is, how to care for it, where to wear it and so on. They are experts at finding "treasure" pieces you may have over looked on the rack. They are there to help your experience be enjoyable so allow them to help.
New samples arrive weekly from different designers. If you cant make it to an In-Store shop, look at our website and chat with us online. We also offer video chats, many designers do not want their collections online because they interfere with full price boutiques. We always have more in-store then online so don't hesitate on asking for virtual looks or email request pictures.
We hope this information is helpful. Please reach out with any questions. Most of our designers we host sample sales for are women owned and can be found in the best boutiques across the country. Our mission is to support these brands and provide a sustainable way towards a less wasteful industry .
You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org