Monday, December 3, 2012

The Sample Sale Challenge II: The Forgive & Regret List

In the however many months I've been traipsing back and forth between home and New York, I've come to develop a list of retail experiences that I would not even wish to befall on my worst enemy. Hell on Earth scenarios are what I like to call them, which may be greatly exaggerated but at the very least to the point. Take, for example, the sample sale. A fantastic place to find good quality and priced items, but with the high chance of resembling a Walmart at midnight on Black Friday... only in smaller confines with more people in sharper objects (curse you incredibly attractive leather stiletto boot trend!).  This time in tow I came with a forgive-and-regret list -- a list of all the sales I've been to and swore I'd never go to again, yet at this point am willing to reconsider, along with 4-5 other handpicked sales.

Coat and Jewelry Racks at the J. Crew Sample Sale

Case in point, the Rag and Bone and J. Crew sales of yore. Before, the lines were spilling out of the windows, the merchandise was overpriced and under quality, and the aisles resembled trenches (mind you, trenches of fashion). As expressed in this previous post, Rag and Bone was definitely out, but J. Crew managed to stay on the list out of purely because they were restocking.  Hence, the challenge:

Is a crazy sale really worth forgiving?

To read more of the ordeal, click the next page.  It's got pretty pictures of shoes, I swear.  Click!

Front of line meet back of line.

Now you might be wondering, how does one know this information before ever having to step foot outside? The Internet and a good amount of research.  I really recommend checking out Sample Sally or other blogs like Style Curated.  They save you time and give you a good idea of what level of calm or hell to expect once you get there.  As shown by Saturday's experience, however, sometimes no amount of research can predict what to expect.

J. Crew's sale was a combination of pros, cons, and a whole lot of mess.  Getting to the sale at around 3:00, I expected a couple things.  Firstly, that the sale probably would have died down as it was the last day in the late afternoon.  Clearly, I was wrong.  The line went from the store front over a block to where the subway station was.  No matter, undeterred, I stuck it out for a relatively quick 20 minutes.  Inside, we deposited our purses, as to be expected.
*Sample sale rule number 1:  bring a smaller backup purse or wallet in addition to your bag in case you have to check things in.

Where good shoes go to live, and where leather boots go to die.

The inside was a packed mess.  Aisles between racks were about 2 feet wide, and stuffed with people.  Clothes and people were everywhere.  The space was filled to the brim with people and clothes.  Worst and possibly most shocking of all was that there were no fitting rooms.  Blasphemy. However, the prices were so good, with an additional 30% off of the already 70% off original price pieces.  I had piled up in my hands a Majesty pea coat for $105, Valentina nude patent pumps for $70, the Sinclair dress for $60, and sweaters/shirts for under $25.  And then, like the psychotic deal obsessed freak I am, I bought them all!  I found a spare corner in the children's section, awkwardly tried everything on while wedging my wallet between my legs and tried on my clothes.  The sight made for great slapstick comedy.
*Sample sale rule number 2:  bring a friend who will hold your stuff for you and make sure no one steals any of it.  It happens.  Too often.

I'm not sure if I forgive this sale completely.  Coming out of it was like stepping out of a retail war-zone -- battered and a little bit emotionally damaged from the grabbing and clawing.  I forgive the sale halfheartedly, as I am not one to complain about well-priced goods.  Instead of continuing the great challenge, I decided to sleep at my friend Ashley's place instead.  Call me weak, but I'd rather curl up in front of a warm bed and a laptop filled with Netflix.

What do you think lovelies?  Would you have forgiven this sale?  Holler at your girl down below!

1 comment:

  1. hmm...this JCrew sample sale sounded traumatic. However, the picture of the shoes instantly caught my attention and I would go to at least look at whether they had shoes in my size that day! But still...I think I would have to bring a friend who is really optimistic and excited, to stay motivated and not feel trampled on (literally)!