The Paul Smith Sample Sale had more men’s sportscoats and suit jackets than I have ever seen in my life. Racks and racks of sportscoats, suit jackets and casual jackets lined all of the walls of the showroom. They also had a nice selection of men’s trousers, shoes and accessories, all at a pretty discounted rate. While the menswear was abundant, the womenswear available was pitiful. One small racks of haphazardly thrown womenswear doesn’t exactly qualify for advertising womenswear. There were a few jackets and some knitwear but overall, not worth it for the womenswear.
The women’s shoes, however, had a really good selection of sneakers, dress shoes and flats ranging from $70-$125. The shoes would be worth the time to head on over to this sale for us ladies!! The kids’ clothing rack was also pretty sparse and had very few pieces ranging in price from $15-$60.
Overall, I gave this sale a 6.5/10. The sale was pretty crowded when I went and the lack of womenswear very much influenced this score.
What: Paul Smith Sample Sale
Where: 151 Wooster Street NY,NY
When: May 21,2019- May 26, 2019
Ahh yes, it’s that time of year again. Spring is in full swing, we can shed the winter layers and attend the ever most exciting event of the year: the Manolo Blahnik sample sale. For one day only you can travel down the road from the Manolo NYC boutique to the Warwick hotel conference room, and score a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes for under $200! However, this year it was more Lipstick Jungle than Sex and the City.
Shoppers line up at the Manolo Blahnik sample sale at 4:00 a.m. Considering the fact that doors open to the general public at 11:00 a.m., that is a serious commitment. A Manolo Blahnik sample sale veteran informed us about the procedure:
1. You write your name down as you walk in
2. Receive a numbered ticket based on the order of the list
That didn’t go as planned, since the new staff members did not honor the list we waiters in line created. That caused a group of exhausted, anxious women to claw their way to the front to grab one of the first tickets.
The ticket you receive will have your assigned group number. There are ten people per group, and groups enter based on capacity. The Manolo team attempts to organize shoes by size on tables; however, after the vultures get in, you will likely find a pair of 35s in the 41.5 table. Once you’re inside the stock room, you have unlimited time to shop as many pairs as you’d like (or can afford). At check out, they will strike out the label with a Sharpie and you hand over your cash. Yes, old fashioned cash, as this is a cash only sale.
All this numbered ticket business happens at 11:00 a.m. because, the VIP group (assigned letters A – I) will enter first at 8:30 a.m. No, you can’t just scam a VIP ticket. You have to be high-up in the fashion editorial world, Manolo Blahnik’s wholesale vendor, or an employee/friend of the brand. That is where a lot of the REALLY good stuff goes. So if you’re general public, don’t even count on snagging any classics or Hangisi.
However, there is still a great selection if you are in groups 1 – 5, decent selection (good stuff but you have to search) if you are in groups 6 – 10. After group 10, then it really is every woman for herself. As you can expect, there are hoarders who get there early and grab all the shoes. It’s the classic case of the early bird gets the worm. They DO restock. I left with three pairs of brand new shoes valued at around $2,000 for $460.
It’s important to mention that the resellers penetrated the VIP group and were cleaning out the sale. Some of them (shoppers!!) were also walking around with a marker and marking the shoes they wanted to speed out the checkout process.
The staffing issue was so bad, it earned a separate paragraph in my blog. I’ve been to sample sales before and don’t expect to be treated like royalty. That being said, I was still blown away by how rude the staff was. In the middle of the day, they just stopped the sale to eat lunch. I mean, it’s a freakin’ one-day sale. Bring in a few extra staff members and take shifts for lunch.
Be aware that there are some true samples there. Some shoes have been obviously previously worn with a roughed-up sole, and there is no further discount if that is the case — my advice to you: spring for the ones that are unused. Yes, you can get used ones fixed, but unless you LOVE them, there’s better stuff out there.
This is a type of sale you have to be a pro to maximize results. So here’s a lightning round of tips:
-Get there early, or pay a line sitting service
-If you see something that you think is cute just grab it – grab everything first and then try on
-Cash only so hit up the ATM (and make sure you have money in that account)
-After you get your ticket you can leave and come back – bring what you need to stay occupied and stay there, you might miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime
-It’s a friendly crowd, make a friend
-Look at ALL tables (I found a 38 in a 41 table)
-Some shoppers are legit crazy – don’t let them push you around
-Internet/cell service is horrible – be prepared
-Dress in comfy shoes that make trying on other shoes easy – the room is small and chaotic so comfort and efficiency are your BFF (ladies, this isn’t a fashion show, you’re not here to impress, you’re here to shop the best deals on Manolo’s)
-Treat yourself to a nice lunch after going through all of that
What: Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale
When: Wed. May 22, 2019
Where: Warwick Hotel – 65 W 54th St. New York, NY
The For Love and Lemons Sample Sale had some really great finds and it was so easy to find them! Each rack was very clearly labeled with the type of clothing which made shopping a whole lot easier. They had racks of embellished dresses for $150 and they were all so pretty, I just needed an occasion so I could buy them all! They also had a nice selection of regular dresses, tops and bottoms. The line was also not bad ( I thought it would be much worse than it was) I waited in line for about 10 minutes and the sale was not crowded at all.
The kids clothes they had were absolutely darling and much more affordable. Everything was $30 so stock up for any little one you know! The jewelry was also all $30 !
I would highly recommend this sale to anyone who shops the brand regularly and are looking for a steal, or if you never have, now is your chance to get some beautiful clothes for an even better price. 8/10!!!
What: For Love and Lemons Sample Sale
Where: 150 Greene Street NY,NY
When: May 21,2019- May 26,2019
This is the first time that we can remember Milly hosting a sample sale through a venue that isn’t Clothingline. This time the sale took place at Chelsea Market. And that is a definite improvement.
Setup: The sale was extremely organized. Everything was on the correct rack. The prices were clearly marked and were on the rack. Two large public fitting rooms in the back.
Merchandise: the stuff was just nice. There were no items with damages, so no need to inspect every item off the rack. The dresses were cute. The merchandise was much more current than at some previous sales. There were also tables with Schutz shoes (and 2 other brands), which were really cute and affordable – $59 average.
Pricing: Prices were marked on each rack individually, so there was no need to go guessing. The items were reasonable. $19 for cute t-shirts with slogans. Some separates for $49, others for $69. Lots of merchandise and plenty to choose from.
The sale wasn’t packed so one didn’t feel the pressure to hoard or so uncomfortable that one had to leave. Adding this to the ‘sample sales to hit up’ list. Nice sale 7.5/10.
What: Milly sample sale
Where: Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave, Manhattan, NY
When: May 21 – May 23, 2019
The Joie, Equipment, and Current Elliot sample sale is absolutely amazing. I have never been to a sample sale this good, especially not at 260. If you weren’t sure whether or not you should go to this one, I’m telling you that you 100% should.
At this sale, the prices are outrageously great. Here are some examples of these jaw-dropping deals: Equipment blouses are $60, Current Elliot jeans are $45, and Joie long sleeved tops are $50. Now usually, if the prices are good the merchandise is bad and vice versa. But that is not the case at this sale, the selection of clothing from each brand is drool-worthy. My favorite pieces are all from Equipment, but Joie and Current Elliot have things that I love too. And before you think it can’t get any better, embellished pieces aren’t marked up! There are lots of Joie tops with intricate pearl detailing and they’re the same price as every other long sleeved top! How amazing, and unlike 26, is that?! Finally, there is also a really cute selection of shoes and accessories at the sale. They have a crocodile embossed tote bag that is so nice and so affordable.
Overall I’m giving this sale a 9/10. I am a little sad about the purchasing limit because I want everything!!!! But aside from that, this sale is literally perfect. So ladies, get ready to sneak out of work on your lunch break tomorrow to shop this sale. If you get fired, it will totally have been worth it. Happy shopping friends!
The prices at the R13 sample sale are very disappointing, but at least there is a decent selection of merchandise. I kept getting confused between the menswear and womenswear; not that you can’t wear either regardless of your gender. But an employee called me out for grabbing a men’s sweatshirt in a very embarrassing way.
At this sale, they have more jeans than anything else; there are several tables lining the middle of the showroom with tons of denim. They’re selling a pair for $125 which is just too much money. At the Current Elliot sample sale (currently going on at 260) jeans are going for $45 which is, on average, 80% off their retail prices. And they’re definitely just as nice as R13 jeans when it comes to quality. The fact that the R13 sweatshirts are selling for $125 is insulting. I mean they’re comfy, but definitely not worth a sample sale price of $125. Oh, and their famous lace-up boots are $395. So if you were thinking of getting a pair for a reasonable price, I’m sorry to say this, but it isn’t happening at this sale.
Overall, I’m giving this sale a 5/10. The prices are outrageous and the staff members are rude. If you were really excited about this sale and are still contemplating going, at least wait for the additional markdowns Thursday (which I overheard a staff member confirm).
What: R13 sample sale
Where: 261 West 36th St, NY, NY
When: May 20 – May 23, 2019
The LoveShackFancy sample sale was one we were extremely excited for. That is, until the reviews started pouring in on Monday morning.
Setup: The room was lined with racks of merchandise. There were 700+ pieces at the sale, mostly from the summer resort collection. The room looked great before the people came in, but here is where s*** went down. The air conditioning was broken, there were a ton of people in line. And so the sample sale quickly turned into the sample sauna, and let me tell you, the shoppers did not enjoy that. To top it all off, employees were letting in personal friends ahead of everyone else and were giving them stuff stowed away before the sale the public can get to it.
Pricing and Merchandise: The items were 70%-75% off retail, but for the quality were still pricey. Most items were in the $100-$199 range, with come accessories in the $25-$35 range. Lots of items for kids as well. We found the pricing sheet from the last sample sale, and our suspicions were correct. Prices for certain items grew by as much as $50. For that quality, the inflation is a joke (and it’s not a funny one.)
We truly hope that the brand could somehow save this sale, get the AC fixed, stop showing blatant favoritism and offer customers a pleasant (or at least relatively pleasant) shopping experience, because the LoveShackFancy clothes are super cute. Due to the complaints and pricing, we had to drop the rating to a 5.5/10.
The Bonpoint Sample Sale had the most adorable selection of baby clothes that I have ever seen in one place. Tables and tables full of every type of clothing a baby would need for any age. These pieces were very well made and looked absolutely darling and so cute, my favorite being an adorable pink sweater that was so nice, I was actually jealous that it was toddler sized and not my size! The discounts were really good; 70% off pants , socks and shoes and 60% off everything else! what a steal!
The layout of the sale was really good in that it was very well organized by size/age and gender and everything was laid out very neatly on tables and the older kids clothes were hanging on racks in the back of the room. It was very easy to find what you were looking for. The sale was also not crowded at all and very spacious, so it was very easy to shop.
Overall, I gave this sale a 9/10, perfect for anyone with young children! Happy shopping!
What: Bonpoint Sample Sale
Where: 123 West 18th Street, 4th Floor, NY, NY
When: May 14, 2019- May 17, 2019
We gave the DL1961 a 7/10. While we were annoyed that they raised prices from the previous sample sale, the brand is still one of the best luxury denim brands out there, so we’re still happy to score a pair of these jeans.
Setup: The setup in the small showroom is not the most convenient but is okay. A small room has tables in the center and along the walls. In the center are the tables for women, along the wall for men. Every ‘seat’ is a different size, and the jeans/skirts are just folded one on top of the other. So you have to sift through a number of items until you find what you want to try on.
Merchandise: Mostly jeans – the basic cuts. Some skirts, shorts, jumpsuits (very few), 4-5 tops, a box of maternity jeans and a toon of corduroy options. Also, at checkout there are leather pants/leggings.
Pricing: Ugh – this was the most annoying part. Last year and the year before, it was buy 3 pairs for $90. And now it’s 3 pairs for $120. But why though???? Clothing items were $30. We’re not thrilled but we’re not going to the streets to protest this one.
If you need a good pair of premium denim – hit this one up.
The Best Kids sample sale is unique in its set-up. Rather than walking into a showroom and shopping for a specific brand, multiple brands partner to create a one-stop kickass sample sale.
Set-up: The same building on 33rd Street has multiple showrooms that carry children’s clothing – from casual to fancy to pajamas and accessories. Many of the brands are European and can only be found in unique shops in the States for alarming prices. When you walk into the building, you can go from floor to floor, from showroom to showroom, from brand to brand – and you can shop all these places at wholesale prices.
Merchandise: Given the unique layout of the sale, the merchandise varies greatly from showroom to showroom. Zoe LTD was definitely a highlight with a ton of items for girls. Most showrooms have items for boys and newborns as well.
Pricing: Pricing also varies significantly from showroom to showroom. That being said, most items are 50%-70% off. You’ll be able to find things for $20 and certain things for $160. It’s a pretty wild range in that sense.
If you need to shop for kids and want them to look amazing, this sale is one you should hit up at least once. Because it is definitely part of the NY Shopping Experience!
What: Best Kids Sample Sale
Where: 34 West 33rd St, Floors 3,5,9,10,12, NY, NY
When: May 13 – May 15, 2019