If you have a keen eye and quick hands, you can score some pretty sweet deals at sample sales. There is a reason why those in the know frequently sing praises about them. However, you can also make a number of mistakes at them. And often times, you don’t realize you’ve made a mistake until it’s too late. To ensure that you score the best bargains and avoid ending up with buyer’s remorse, we’ve compiled a list of some of the things that can go wrong at sample sales.
Have a look at the common sample sale mistakes and avoid them:
1. Not getting there early.
If it’s a one-day sale, you’re going to want to get there early so you can get the best selection. And by early we don’t mean five minutes before the doors open. If you have your heart set on getting something specific, you will probably want to go at least an hour early. There will already be other eager shoppers waiting and you will have to line up, but you’ll have the best selection. When you go at the end of the day, you’re going to be left with the dregs.
2. Forgetting to bring cash.
While some sales accept cards, not every one does. Therefore, make sure you have some cash on hand before you step near that sale. The last thing you will want to do is have to put something back because you don’t have any money on you. And no, they will not hold it for you while you go to the bank to get cash.
3. Not wearing the right outfit.
You want to wear something comfortable so you can easily navigate through the crowds. (Read: No stilettos.) And you also want to wear something that allows you to try on clothes easily. There often aren’t any dressing rooms at sample sales. And sometimes there aren’t any makeshift ones, either. That means you’re going to have to try on the clothes in the middle of the room in front of everyone.
4. Not thoroughly inspecting the items.
You can get a lot of good things at sample sales, but you can also get some damaged pieces. While you might be fine with that if it’s heavily discounted, you will still want to be aware of the damage before you make your purchase. Check pieces thoroughly for holes and stains. And make sure that zippers go up and go down easily and that all of the buttons are actually there.
5. Believing the size on the tag.
It doesn’t matter if you regularly buy clothes from the brand hosting the sample sale; you need to try on every piece. The size on the tag may not actually be the size of the garment. Things that end up at sample sales can often be sized wrong or they can have fit issues.
6. Not watching your stuff.
If you found something you love, you need to guard it. We’re not joking. There are some people who will stop at nothing when it comes to getting the things they want at sample sales. And that includes snatching it from other people’s carts, bags or even hands. You’ve been warned.
7. Only looking at one area.
Even if you’re only looking for a particular piece (i.e. shoes, sweaters), you will still want to survey the entire sample sale venue. Why? Items can get moved around during all the hustle and bustle. And sometimes you might find that they’ve dumped a random pile of goodies in an unexpected location.
8. Focusing on price rather than how much you like it.
When you see all the discount stickers at sample sales, it can have you grabbing everything within arm’s reach. While you might think you’re getting amazing pieces, it’s worth stopping and having a hard look at your potential purchases. Do you really like them or do you just like the price of them? Would you like them as much if they were regular price?
9. Going to the sale hungry and dehydrated.
You need all of your energy for shopping. And sample sales are not like malls where you can take a break and go grab a coffee and a croissant at the venue. Therefore, make sure you are well fed and well liquefied before your shopping adventure.
10. Wearing your fanciest bag and coat.
Some sample sales make you leave your bag and coat behind while you go rummaging. If you have a handbag or jacket that you love and would be heartbroken if you lost them, do not wear them to the sale. Sample sales usually function like cloakrooms, but we know that mistakes can happen. You can also play it safe and not wear a jacket at all.