Sample Sales! They are quite honestly the easiest way to get your money's worth, and especially on styles that are currently in stores or haven't even hit the shelves yet. Working in LA has taught me so much about how the fashion world really works. I rarely buy things at the mall anymore because of this reason. Sample Sales usually consist of a showroom selling whatever pieces they don't need anymore. Showrooms are just a place where certain brands show their current lines, meaning they sell what is coming up that season. These showrooms are for clothing stores or boutiques to come in and personally shop what they want to sell in THEIR store. They choose a few pieces, select a breakdown of sizes, we create invoice, and they go on their way. Once that shipment is ready for that delivery, the warehouse sends it out. Sounds pretty interesting, right? Well, welcome to the business side of fashion. Anyway, once those deliveries are either sold out or the season is over, we simply have no use for them. We put up a sale of these items, and they are all at wholesale price. That's right, that $68 dollar sweater you just bought is most likely $28 wholesale. And we probably "sample sale" that for cheaper. Most likely anywhere from $5-20 dollars.
Places to go (all based in Downtown LA - Fashion District):
- Cal Mart
- Lady Liberty
- New Mart
- Cooper Building
- always arrive early! Well, don't camp out, but a good thirty minutes to an hour early is best. Everything starts in the morning, about 9 or 10!
- wear comfy clothes. Wear maybe yoga pants and a loose shirt. Showrooms are NOT stores, we DO NOT have a fitting room and we don't have multiple sizing. Whatever we have is what we have, and if you need to try it on, throw it on whatever you got. I've seen people get stripped down to their underwear to try stuff on...it gets crazy here.
- carry cash! Like I said, showrooms are not stores. Maybe some people will have a Square system (where you can swipe your card through their phone or iPad) but I promise you, it's mostly just cash. It's also easier to get in and out of a showroom and onto the next.
- bring your own bag! Bring a really big comfy bag, that you can just shove as much clothing as you can. Smaller the bag, the biggest regret.
- find good parking. You'll end up being here for a few hours without realizing it. Most of LA is street parking or parking by the meter. There is some good parking places outside of the New Mart building or a parking structure in the Cal Mart.
- and lastly, plan out where you want to go. Check Instagram or Facebook for updates on showrooms and who is selling that day. A lot of big name showrooms like Wildfox or Paige will be super busy, and may run out of sizes or styles. Make sure you go to the one you have your eye on first. And even then, it gives you more time to pop into different showrooms to see what you can find.