Being a successful sample/warehouse sale shopper is no walk in the park. Getting the best prices is exhausting, requires patience, time, and dedication. Yet getting amazing steals on designer pieces makes it all worth it, trust me.
I’m not sure what it is about them; the anticipation, the bargains, or just general shopping, either way Warehouse/Sample Sales have become one of my absolute favorite types of events to attend. I have an obsession with getting great deals and the excitement of knowing I paid barely anything for something expensive is always an awesome feeling. Even though I have been attending sales for the past few years, I wasn’t always a fan of them. I always had the impression that brands I liked didn’t do sales and that these sales would have horrible items that no one wanted. I was completely wrong and learned the beauty of sales. Brands like For Love and Lemons, Lovers + Friends, Planet Blue, BB Dakota and so many others , which are known to be high quality and more pricey brands have sample/warehouse sales as well. It’s all about finding the right sale for you!
When looking into my closet, it always amazes me that a noteworthy portion of my favorite pieces happen to be from sales. With that being said, I do attend a lot of sales and have in the past, so I know that not all sales are a success. Unfortunately when you come home from a sale, the items may not fit the way you expected them to. Luckily there is always Poshmark for you to sell and make a profit on the items that you don’t want to keep.
I typically find out about upcoming sales by following and subscribing to all of my favorite brands and my go to website for finding sales, whsale. Sales are typically announced about 2 weeks before, sometimes even less. If you are looking to go to a warehouse/sample sale, I would recommend to check whsale, as well as look out for any emails regarding sales from your favorite brands.
Before I tell you my tips and tricks to success, it’s important to know that there is a difference between a warehouse sale and a sample sale. Understanding the difference and being aware of what you are getting yourself into is essential in order to avoid disappointment. Each brand is different but typically a warehouse sale will have a variety of sizes to shop from while a sample sale will typically only carry smaller sizes (Such as Small, 0-4, 26 and under).
Knowing what you are getting yourself into and what to expect are important when deciding whether or not attending the sale makes sense for you. Be fully aware that attending a sale means waiting in line for up to a few hours, possibly sitting on the floor, and claustrophobic situations.
Ask yourself a few questions.
Do I actually like this brand?Is this brand worth waiting in line for?Do I own anything for this brand already? (A great help when it comes to sizing)Is the location, date, and time convenient?If released, is the price list in my budget?
Invite a Friend.
Having a friend attend a sale with you makes anything so much more enjoyable. To almost every sale I’ve gone to, I’ve always taken my sister. She loves sample sales and knows what to expect from them. Make sure your friend is also interested in the brand because waiting in line should be worth it for them to. If you don’t have anyone to go with, don’t worry. I’ve gone to sales alone and made friends. Literally everyone who is waiting is bored and will talk to you about anything to pass the time.
Waiting in line for a sale can be super boring and tiring so plan in advance. I always arrive with coffee and a pastry. I carry a small back with me to carry essentials. I think backpacks are ideal for sales because they don’t get in the way while you’re shopping. You want to be as hands free as possible, trust me. In my backpack I typically have water, snacks, playing cards, a book and a tapestry. I always recommend having something to sit on so that you aren’t sitting on the dirty ground. You’d be surprised how many people tell me they wish they brought something to sit on. If you bring a towel, a chair or anything big in general, you can easily take them back to your car before the sale starts.
Have a budget.
It’s very easy to go crazy at a sale but being realistic with how much you should be spending is important in order to avoid buyer’s remorse. With items being so affordable, it’s tempting to just purchase things.
To me having issues finding parking always ruins an event. This is why I love arriving on time because parking is typically not an issue. I always like to google map where the location is just to get a better idea of what the parking is going to be like. If you will be arriving late to sale (after it opens) I definitely recommend getting dropped off or taking an uber to avoid stress.
Looking through racks and boxes of clothes is exhausting so you want to dress as comfortable as possible. I definitely recommend sneakers or comfortable shoes since you’ll be on your feet for a while. My go to outfit is typically a tank top and leggings. This allows me to easily try things on over my clothes to make sure everything zips.
Arriving early is my #1 tip. I’ve never arrived at a sample sale after it has started simply because I don’t want to risk having to waiting in line longer. I always strive to be in the first group that gets in. I typically arrive at a sale 1 and a half to 2 hours before the sale starts. Sometimes there is a huge line, other times there is no one and I just hang out in my car.
Shop in order.
Sales can be very stressful so it’s important to shop in some logical order so you know where you’ve looked through already. If there is something you are looking for in particular like shoes, obviously go there first. If you are just browsing to see what you find, I recommend starting from the back and moving towards the front. I always find the back to be less crowded and where all the good stuff is hiding.
Be nice and considerate of others.
Everyone attending a sale wants to be able to look through everything and get amazing deals just as much as you do. It is important to be respectful of others and acknowledge their space. If an item is close to someone and you aren’t sure if it’s theirs, ask them before taking it.
Choose items (you’re actually interested in) and sort later.
In order to make sure you see everything, don’t waste your time pondering over an item just yet. Find everything you are possibly interested in first before everyone takes all the good stuff.
Check for damages.
I cannot stress this enough! Unfortunately not items at sales are perfect so it’s important that you throughly check your items for any damages. Some tears like a missing button are an easy fix but holes and such may make your find not fixable. Analyze everything before you buy!
Do the math before going to the register.
To avoid an awkward situation. I’ve seen this happen so many times and it doesn’t look fun. If the price list is very specific, I typically take a picture of it so that when I’m sorting I know how much everything will be before going to the register. I’ve seen people in shock when they hear their total and I completely understand how easy it is to find a lot that you like. Not knowing how much you are planning to spend may make you to make a quick decision about what you don’t want at the register which is stressful and doesn’t give you enough time to think. So, I recommend being fully prepared to hear the damage.
A warehouse or sample sale can really be a hit or miss. If it’s a brand you’re a fan of, they’re typically amazing and totally worth the early morning. I definitely recommend following my advice above to know what to expect and to have the most successful experience.
I’ve included a few upcoming sales in the Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Enjoy!
Upcoming Warehouse Sales In Los Angeles
(and Surrounding Areas)
When: Friday, August 25, 2017
Where: 860 S. Los Angeles St. Suite 542
Time: 9am – 3pm
When: Saturday August 26th and Sunday August 27th
Where: 1110 N. Beachwood Drive. 3rd Floor, Los Angeles CA. 90038
When: Saturday August 26th and Sunday August 27th
Where: 777 S. Alameda St. Los Angeles
Time: 10am – 5pm
When: Wednesday August 30th
Where: 3550 Cadillac Ave. Costa Mesa CA, 92626
Time: 11am – 5pm