Sample Sale Marathon

The thing that I love about this city and the one that I would dearly miss, if I ever have to move out from the Big Apple, is the Sample Sale Season! Besides the growing number of online sample websites (gilt, ruelala, hautelook, ideeli, billiondollarbabes, etc) and outlet stores, nothing would ever beat the excitement of the traditional sample sales, where you could actually touch, see, or try the items and  having that “adrenaline rush” of scoring great deals.

Sample sales normally occurs whenever designers/ labels/ stores are trying to get rid of their unsold or imperfect collections from past seasons, and to make room for new arrival. In this recession time, some designers and stores keep on having sample sales until they ran out of stuffs, just to keep the cash flowing. Meanwhile, others would keep their sample sales as scheduled, usually twice or three times a year. In the end of spring till Memorial Day weekend, end of summer until Labor Day weekend and especially around the end of the year, starting from before Thanksgiving Holiday on Black Friday, until after New Year.

Dailycandy, Thrillist, Madison Avenue Spy and Fashionista, are few of the many websites, who always keep me updated with any sample sales around New York. Dailycandy also provides sample sales updates around the US. If you happen to be in New York and around the Fashion District on 7th Avenue and 39th Street, there’s this stand called the “Fashion Center Info Kiosk” . The kiosk with a giant button and needle on its roof could provide you with the schedule of all the sample sales around the city during your visit in New York.

Designer sample sales could run for one day to 3-4 days or more, depending on each designers, with all items marked down 50% – 70% off their original retail prices.

There are a wide variety of sample sales around New York from:

-designers: local and international designers, just to name a few from Jimmy Choo, Louboutin, Diane Von Furstenberg,  Hermes, Herve Leger, Abaete, Theory, Kate Spade, Orla Kierly, to new designers like Tory Burch, Mike & Chris, Rebecca Minkoff, Botkier, Kooba, Be&D, Loeffer Randal, Bulga, Foley + Corinna, Charlotte Ronson, LaRok, etc.


Some of the many sample sale flyers *click on thumbnails, images courtesy of DVF, Mackage, Mike&Chris, Cynthia Vincent, Kate Spade, Betsey Johnson, Mulberry

stores : Barneys, Atrium, French Connection, Anthropologie, Opening Ceremony, Showroom Seven, etc.


Opening Ceremony sample sale, image courtesy of Opening Ceremony *click on thumbnail

beauty : L’Oréal warehouse sample sale is one of the most sought-after where Kiehl’s, designer parfums, makeup, any beauty merchandises are marked down to almost 80% from their original prices. The lines to get into this sample sale is usually very very long, and this year they’ve moved their sample sale event into a bigger venue.  There may be many more beauty sample sales which I’m not aware of, I’m sure FD’s beauty experts who live in the States are well aware about them.


L’Oréal Warehouse Sample Sales*click on thumbnails, images courtesy of L’Oréal,  forwarded from friends and coworkers

shopping events : Lucky Shop, Gen Art, Billion Dollar Babes, Charitable Fashion Sales, etc.


Fashion for Action Sample Sale, image courtesy of Housing Works *click on thumbnail

private sample sales : sample sale invitations for friends and family, which you would be able to get easily from all the forwarded email blast, text messages, or twitter status from your friends and coworkers, -OR- the very exclusive ones mainly reserved only for magazine editors and specific clients. Although in these days, some private sales are usually ended up for public as well. 


Some private sample sales *click on thumbnails, images courtesy of Gucci, Chloé, Chanel, forwarded from friends and coworkers


MAC for friends and family, image courtesy of MAC *click on thumbnail

interior & home products, electronics, warehouse sales, and many many more.  


Furniture sample sale *click on thumbnail, image courtesy of the New York Design Center

Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin just had their sample sales in New York, at the end of April. The Hermès sample sales in March 09 was the talk of the town, where everything was flying off the rack. Talking about global recession! I would pretty much be broke if  I have to go to all sample sales around the city. Last year, I wanted to go to the Mike & Chris sample sale but ended up to another designer sample sale. Everything was sold at $20-$50, I bought a couple of tops and dresses without even knowing the label itself. When I went home and googled the name of the designer, Cynthia Vincent, it turns out she’s selling her collection at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus for $300 and more! What a great deal!


Hermès Sample Sale First Look in New York *click on thumbnails and links, photos courtesy of

The only sample sales I managed to  go this season are the Rebecca Minkoff (RM) and Botkier sample sales which unfortunately happened in the same week. Seeing piles of those  handbags in every colors at 50%-70% off their original prices, waving back at you as if they’re calling your name, who could ever resist? The line to the cashier was pretty long, everyone was holding more than 2 bags in their hands. Strangers become friends seeking for shopping advices or they could be your worst enemies if they’re holding the item(s) you’ve been eyeing for =D


Botkier and Rebecca Minkoff Sample Sales *click on thumbnails, courtesy of Botkier and Rebecca Minkoff

At the RM sample sale, the designer herself was at the cashier. She was actually checking out my purchases but I wasn’t sure that she was the one until I googled her the next day. Handbags and accessories at the RM sample sale were at a price range from $ 20 to $ 350 max. The Morning After bags were $ 325-$350, damaged bags *with minimal flaws honestly* were priced at $100. Botkier bags were sold between $ 150 – $ 275. On the very last days, usually the prices would be lowered even more just to get rid of the samples.


Rebecca Minkoff, the designer herself *the one wearing floral racerback dress*, at the check out 


At the Rebecca Minkoff sample sale, *click on thumbnails


Last day at the Botkier sample sale, *click on thumbnail

This week, the sample sale marathon is still going strong, especially in this Memorial Day long weekend. I know some friends who are hunting for great deals around the city ( I heard Tory Burch will be having a sample sale at the end of this week), or even going to Woodbury common outlets for designer deals. While myself, I’d rather chill out at my friend’s backyard and having BBQ *if only money could fall from the sky ;p 

Sources and images courtesy of: ZA, MS, thepurseforum, bagsnob, bagbliss, dailycandy, fashionista, nitrolicious,