The selection of merchandise at the John Varvatos sample sale is small but the discounts are big! Unless you can’t handle the heat, I think it might be a good sale to hit up; but be warned, it is blistering hot in the showroom.
At this sample sale, the selection is limited but still impressive. If you wear a size medium on top, you’ll hit the jackpot; there are lots of options here for you. But if you’re any other size you might strike out. At the sale, there are a lot of stylish jackets (in a variety of styles ranging from blazers to leather) and the graphic tees are really cool and soft (comfort is key). The sweaters look extremely comfy too; if you’re able to buy something knowing you can’t wear it for an entire season, I admire your strength. There is a decent selection of shoes but they only have sizes 10 or 11. If you’re in need of work shoes but you don’t like the typical designer styles you might be able to find something you like here. **Calling all stylish commuters:** there is also a wall of backpacks which are all 80% off! Most importantly though, all of the discounts here are steep, which we love to see! It’s not every day that you see good sample sale pricing!
Overall I’m giving this sale a 7/10. I wish they had more merchandise and a wider variety of sizes, but the pricing is undeniably good. So if you have the time to check out this sale and you are in dire need of contemporary men’s clothing I’d say it is worth going to. But if you faint in there, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Good luck, shoppers!
What: John Varvatos Sample Sale
When: Tue. May 28th – Thurs. May 30th, 2019
Where: 26 West 17th St., 8th Floor, Manhattan, NY
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 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 Caroline Constas sample sale has a lot of cute merchandise for decent prices. I am still dazzled by all of the colorful sequins and fun patterns, but much less thrilled with the disorganization of the clothing and the hectic crowd. If you’re in the area and looking for some cute summer party clothes, I’d say check this sale out. But be prepared to be herded into the dressing room like cattle.
At this sample sale, there is a plethora of cute tops, dresses, and bathing suits, but not as big of a selection of bottoms. Although there were some cute skirts, the pants were few and far in between. In the showroom, there are a lot of samples which is nice because they’re cheaper than the production items. But you better really like something before you decide to try it on; the line is extremely long and they harshly shuffle large groups of women in and out of the dressing room every fifteen minutes. It is quite an unpleasant experience.
Overall I’m giving this sale a 7/10. It has a lot of cute, on-trend clothing, and the discounts are pretty good. There are so many tops and bikinis that I want, but aside from the fact that my summer body is nowhere to be found, I just can’t bring myself to cough up the cash. If you are willing to pay though, I think that this sale is definitely worth going to.
What: Caroline Constas Sample Sale
When: Thurs. May 9th – Sun. May 12th, 2019
Where: 151 Wooster St., New York, NY
The Araks sample sale was bad; I’m still disturbed by the complete lack of organization going on in the showroom. And I’m absolutely haunted by the bare feet that were spreading germs around the showroom (I’ll explain, just keep reading).
At this sample sale, all of the merchandise is just tossed into bins which are separated by size. These bins are a complete nightmare to dig through. Additionally, there is hardly any variety in the colors and styles of the pieces, and the sizing is so terrible! The smalls look like they could fit Barbies, and the larges look like they could fit American Girl Dolls. I feel offended on behalf of all of the big busted women out there. While the prices are decent, I still think the brand is ripping its customers. These sample sale prices are what the products should be retailing for! Because trust me, the products are nothing special!
The bare feet though… The area sectioned off to be the dressing room had a carpet in it, so the staff members asked customers to take their shoes off before entering. But some of these customers didn’t put them back on before continuing to shop, nor did they have socks on… GAG! Overall, I’m giving this sale a 4/10. None of the merchandise was cute and the layout was a disaster. I would not recommend going to this sale.
What: Araks Sample Sale
When: Thurs. May 9th – Fri. May 10th, 2019
Where: 137 Grand St., 5th Floor, New York, NY
The LemLem sample sale had me really confused before I knew anything about the brand. To be completely honest, I could never have imagined why anyone would pay so much money for the kind of clothing they sell. But then I did some research and discovered that it is all made by African women who previously had no market to sell their products. This changed my mindset about the brand itself, but I still feel a little iffy about their sale.
At a sample sale for a brand like this, I would expect prices to range from $20-$50. But they are not even close; these products are selling for $65-$250. And anything worth buying is on the higher end of that price scale. Even the kids clothing items were $50 a piece. Although the dresses are pretty cute for the beach, I honestly don’t think they’re worth the money.
Overall, I’m giving this sale a 5/10. For a sample sale, the prices are just way too high. If this clothing line did not support a good cause, this review would be a lot nastier. But if you like expensive beach coverups and are an avid supporter of sustainability, this sale is the right place for you. Otherwise, I’d avoid it.
What: LemLem Sample Sale
When: Thurs. May 9th – Sun. May 12th, 2019
Where: 151 Wooster St., New York, NY
I cannot stress just how amazing the Janis Savitt sample sale is. If you are in need of jewelry for any reason or no reason at all, this is 100% the place to go… seriously, get off your couch and go to this sale RIGHT NOW.
Although the space is a little small, given that the sale is in an apartment style office, it is well organized and there are several kind, helpful staff members readily available to help in any way you might need. At the sale, there are tons of classic pieces (like the Cobra bracelets) going for extremely low prices starting at $10! I mean, how incredible is that?! There are lots of other cool pieces too; stunning earrings, chic necklaces, and endless drool-worthy bracelets. All of the pieces at this sale are impressively discounted and in great (if not perfect) condition. Prices range from $5-$100+ and each piece is more beautiful than the next!
Overall I’m giving this sale a 9/10. If the space wasn’t so cramped I would definitely give it a 10, but unfortunately, it triggered some claustrophobia. I highly recommend going to this sale if you’re in search of cool jewelry. Don’t worry if your wallet has been light lately because the deals are excellent.
What: Janis Savitt Sample Sale
When: Wed. Apr 24th – Tue. Apr 30th, 2019
Where: 200 West 58th St., Suite 12B, NY, NY
When I saw the advertisement for this Bag Studio sample sale I was really excited; I mean who doesn’t want to shop for discounted purses on a beautiful spring day? But to be honest, when I got there and shopped around for a bit I was let down. Unless you’re looking to stock up on LeSportsac merchandise, don’t bother going to this sale.
At this sale they had all different kinds of bags; there were plenty of totes, makeup bags, backpacks, wallets, shoulder bags, and even large roller suitcases. I was surprised by the number of products, but the quality of the selection wasn’t that great. I was expecting more French Connection and Christian Siriano to be at the sale, but boy was I wrong. Out of the three rooms at the location, there was only one wall with non-LeSportsac merchandise. The showroom was decently organized, all of the pieces were in great condition, and the discounts were alright.
Overall, I’m giving this sample sale a 6/10. Unfortunately, the cute patterns throughout the merchandise and organization were not enough to excite me. If the pricing was better and there was a greater variety of merchandise, I’d be happy to reconsider. But since those things aren’t going to happen I’d say sit this one out.
What: Bag Studio Sample Sale
When: Wed. Apr 24th – Fri. Apr 26th, 2019
Where: 10 West 33rd St., Suite 528, NY, NY
The Billionaire Boys Club sample sale is perfect for street-wearers looking to stock up on some trendy merchandise. The cleanly styled showroom and music playing throughout fit the brand’s vibe and enhanced the already awesome shopping experience.
At this sample sale there were hoodies for $50, crewnecks for $40, t-shirts for $20 and hats for $15. Additionally, they had lightweight outerwear for $50 and non lightweight outerwear for $90. They had nice variety of Yeezy ready to wear items as well as their signature vintage hard denim which retails for over $500. But at this sale the denim is going for $40! All of the products were displayed on racks but fully stocked in cardboard boxes; this was really helpful and made the digging process a lot easier. All of the merchandise came in a wide variety of sizes and was in great condition. And girls, don’t be too upset about the exclusively male clothing; the t-shirts and sweatshirts come small enough to fit tiny girls too!
Overall, I’m giving this sale a 8/10. Yes the merchandise was plentiful, high quality, and well priced, but what really sealed the deal was the staff. I have never encountered nicer sample sale employees! They were all extremely helpful, patient, and enthusiastic; it made my shopping experience 10x better! I would definitely recommend going to this sale if you like the brand or are in need of some new streetwear. Thanks Billionaire Boys Club for making me feel welcome!