Suzanne O’Connor’s Bargains LA

The Premiere Bargain Hunting, Bargain Shopping & Sample Sales Guide for the Los Angeles Area.


Zannee's Blog

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Problem with Sample Sales

By Suzanne O'Connor

I adore sample sales. You really can save serious money on cutting edge quality designs.
The problem is that you will be so excited about the savings, that you forget to use caution.

All Samples Sales should be approached with a bit of caution and a keen eye for garment cut and quality.

The first thing savvy shoppers have to know about a Sample Sale is whether or not it’s a real Sample Sale. Samples can vary from a pre production mockups (lower in quality) to an actual production samples (limited sizing and fit issues). Usually after they’ve decided to make a run they also do something called sizing correction to fine tune the sizing so the garment fits correctly. So some Samples may not get cut exactly right.

These types of garments must be examined carefully and tried on…. even tee shirts have to be tried on. The cut can be way off and sometimes the quality is very poor.

The second thing savvy shoppers have to know is that a Sample Sale can actually be overproduction / back stock sale. Actual production garments that didn’t make it into stores will be at the sale. The manufacturer made more than they needed to cover extra ordering and these end up a designer sample sales at wholesale direct prices.

Most Sample Sales are a mix of the two kinds of sales with both samples and over production from past seasons in the inventory. I always try to stick to what looks to be overproduction. But I don’t ignore the samples or irregulars either.

The steepest discounts (85% off or more) are usually on samples, seconds and irregulars. This is where an overly excited shopper can buy an item that ultimately wont work. But if that shopper sews and understands garment construction, with a little creativity, whatever issues a garment may have, can be fixed.

Lastly, each garment should be looked at with several questions in mind. Will you wear it? Does it fit right?  Is it a great addition to your wardrobe and most importantly. … Would you want to buy it at full price.

Just because it’s a “steal of a deal” doesn’t mean you should buy it. I tend to start with a large pile and edit it down to several items that are great or needed additions to my wardrobe.

Shopping Samples Sales offers great rewards and serious savings…. though it may take a bit more thought, a bit of caution and some extra effort.


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