Fashion Sample Sale

The Difference Between Thrifting & Sample Sale Shopping

Lindsey Castin was a Thrift Shopper before discovering sample sales

By Lindsey Castin, ShopDrop Intern

Growing up in NYC the fashion possibilities were endless but, it wasn’t until I was in high school that I started to go thrift shopping. My mom lives by the rule to never throw things away because they will always come back into style. This holds true with the choker, bomber jackets, scrunchies etc… the list can go on forever and ever. I found myself (and my friends) thrifting because what was currently in style was what was in style in the 80s/90s. A lot of items from that time period would end up in thrift stores because people who lived through that era donate their old clothing to the store. Like most trends, the big name brand stores don’t pick up on them until much later after they are started by the younger generation and thrift stores offer a affordable, unique, and fun fashion option to people who love clothes and following the latest trends (or setting them!) but are also on a budget. I’m also attracted to the idea of thrifting because of its impact on up-cycling (reusing old items for a new purpose) and being a place where people with low incomes can shop and still find nice things. Supporting your local thrift shop helps families in need get the clothing that is a necessity while offering an abundance of choices.

“I think the difference between the two is that sample sales are of higher quality but thrift stores are definitely cheaper.”


Before working as an intern for ShopDrop I had never been to a sample sale. When I first learned what they were I pictured a really intimidating store with extremely nice items that I would not be able to afford even with the added discount. Although this is true for a select number of sales the majority of them are just as hectic as thrift stores and filled with normal people. Sample sales are a bit different because you choose to go to one based solely on the brand, which is helpful if you are looking for something specific and is not as overwhelming as having a million options. As I get older and can afford to buy  clothing items that are better quality. I have found myself obsessed with every sample sale I go to and always finding something that I will wear forever at a fair price.


I think the difference between the two is that sample sales are of higher quality but thrift stores are definitely cheaper. If you can afford to spend a bit of extra money I would recommend sample sales. Lots of the time when I thrift I buy a lot of things (because I don’t really have to choose since it’s all usually $1 per item) and then I never end up wearing half of it. Opposed to sample sales where I spend around $50-$200 on an item and it will become a wardrobe staple. Not to say you cannot find name brand things at a thrift stores, it’s just harder, but when you do that is always a great find and will be cheaper than a sample sale but you really have to dig!—my biggest thrifting accomplishment was when me and my friend found matching Kate Spade bags for $10! Thrifting will always be my first affordable fashion love but, sample sales now have a new found place in my heart.

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