Before working for Diesel, I was surprised by how people spoke of sample sales with such buzz and anticipation. I generally thought of them as a regular sale, but when an event was announced at work, the entire building went hysterical. Why? One colleague explained that a sample sale was a chance to buy current season lines at a very, very good price…”it’s practically better than half price but you’ve got to be ‘EARLY AND QUICK!” she stressed, reminding the importance of this constantly until the day of the sale.
When it arrived, the queues were crazy – and it was only 7:30am. Doors were due to open at 8am. Once that happened, there was a great rush inside; women clamoured after bags and shoes; men were hammering through the legendary 5-pockets, simply because nothing beats a pair of Diesel jeans for £15….
It was mayhem, but in such an orderly manner as people seemed to know what they were doing and what they were after. As I watched in complete awe, a lot of bargains passed me by. I had no idea of where to begin, but once I found my footing, I got into the groove, spending way more than planned but coming away with the equivalent of 2 boxes worth of goods. After this experience, sample sales are now my only destination to shop.
There are downsides to sample sales, such as the clothes only coming in certain sizes. They are ‘samples’ after all, and in some cases, there tends to be only limited stock. Also some sales are better than others and most of the time it is about knowing someone who works for the brand or company to give you the heads up. But when you have an opportunity to go…GO! Especially in the run-up to Christmas. So here are my top tips to making the most of them:
- Come with a friend. Two sets of eyes are better than one
- Have a plan. Know what you are looking for, and head for it first! (I’d say go for the essentials i.e. bags, shoes….)
- Don’t panic. Keep calm and just join the masses in the organised chaos.
- Be prepared to spend…but give yourself a budget! You want to get key items/pieces, but not everything just because it’s cheaper
- Try on every item you pick for yourself. In the majority of cases, there are no refunds or returns on sample sale goods.
- Stand next to someone with a big box. See what they throw out as it may be what you’ve been looking for
- Try to stay ’til the end. There may be more bargains to be had!
- Lastly, PAY by cash. Queuing times are simply shorter
(Words: Nastassja Lusengo)