The Sample Sale Shopping Guide – Los Angeles

Sample Sales make it possible for those of us without readily disposable incomes to finalllllyyy start adding our fav designer gems to our closets already.  But…where? When?  How much?  We’ve got you covered on this as well as a few tricks-of-the-trade to keep you (ahem) ahead of the pack…

What is a Sample Sale?

A Sample Sale happens when a designer/design house has an overstock of merchandise and has decided to gift us (hurray!) with the good stuff for less.  While traditionally, this just meant a fab new wardrobe for those of us lucky enough to fit in a size 2 or 4, they have since expanded to include a wider range of sizes AND include accessibility to industry folk and professional fashion appreciators alike.  Score.

When To Go

A little research will get you a long way. The CMC (California Market Center) hosts a monthly sale day open to the public the last Friday of the month (which is THIS Friday!). Because the showrooms operate on individual schedules, there are more than a few ways to find out when your beloved designer garb is up for grabs…  The LA Fashion District will let you in on their fav upcoming sales, the Cooper Design Space often promote their own showroom deals and the CMC will email you a running tab of sales to come.  Keep checking back up until a day or two before Sale Day as many will wait until the last second to announce.

Getting There

Parking lots literally surround the market center buildings ranging in prices from $5-$15 for all day. Street parking is also available, but nothing’s worse than spending the day worrying if you’ll make it to the car in time to feed the meter again.  Most lots offer an ‘early bird’ discount too if you’re there by 8-9am…which you will be…since prime shopping time is 9am-2pm and we all know you need to make a stop for that morning cappuccino too.
If you want to eliminate the parking comedy altogether, hop on your nearest bus, train or subway route and head in to Union Station.  From there, the DASH shuttle bus will take you straight to the CMC for just 25 cents!  More on this economical option HERE.

Shopping Strategy 101

  1. Make a list of the pieces you are really looking for to keep you on track, but give yourself a little leeway lest you come across a one-of-kind piece you just can’t leave behind.  
  2. Bring the amount of cash you expect to spend (kind of like gambling, except you’re guaranteed to trade it in for something fab) and your own shopping bags (they may or may not provide them in the showrooms).  
  3. Wear flats and something easy to try things on over (a form-fitting tank and an easily removable cardigan/blazer/jacket) since fitting rooms will be a nay say and you’ll need to be quick on your feet to stay ahead of the game. 
  4. Be sure to check out the bulletin board in the lobby of each building when you arrive so as not to miss out on any last-minute sale flyers posted. 

You overslept.  You got called in to work.  You can’t stand the idea of spending one of your hard-to-come-by days off battling other fashion-obsessed power women for the only size 6 in the bunch.

That’s okay.  We won’t hold it against you.
Check out Sample Sale Sites for a daily list of all the major players and what’s on sale when in the online sample sale shopping world.  OR, shoot me an email and leave all the bargain-hunting up to me.  I do love that sort of thing.
Happy Shopping!

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June 27, 2012
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