updated 31 Jan 2013, 16:41
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Wed, Jan 30, 2013
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Before you join those long, long queues...


Ms Alexis Bryan Morgan, executive fashion director of Lucky maga- zine, said finding sample sales takes a little digging.

"Join those mailing lists. Read the blogs. If you love a brand, follow it on Facebook and Twitter," she said. Loyal fans are often the first to be notified.

Sometimes, designers hold once-a-year sample sales in their retail stores. But some showrooms partner with different designers to host them throughout the year.

Venues include Soiffer Haskin at 317 W. 33rd Street, Clothingline at 261 W. 36th Street, and 260SampleSale at 260 Fifth Avenue near 28th Street.

You can check schedules and sign up for e-mail messages on their websites. Other sample-sale information can be found at web- sites like,,,, TheStylishCity. com, and The best times of the year for sample sales are late February through June and late September until before Christmas.

Several tour companies offer New York City shopping trips that include sample sales, as well as private access to merchandise before it's offered to the public. offers Garment Center Insider Shopping Tours on Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am to 1pm (tour costs US$64 or S$79), and offers private sample-sale Shop- ping Tour Experiences for US$100.


If you're going it alone, be prepar- ed for long lines that will take as much as four hours to get into the store. Also, be ready for crowds.

Expect additional lines inside to check bags and coats, and for dressing rooms - which often don't have mirrors - and cashiers.

"Wear something you can slip things over - a simple black bodysuit and leggings or a cami- sole," said Ms Bryan Morgan.

Some sample sales are cash only, while others are credit cards only, so be prepared.


True designer sample garments are "tiny, typically size zero to size four", said Ms Bryan Morgan. But medium and large sizes may be available too, along with accesso- ries, like bags and scarves, where fit is irrelevant.

Inspect for damage. Merchan- dise will be marked if it's irregular or was used in photo shoots. But, sometimes, clothes are torn by shoppers trying them on.


Expect your fellow shoppers to be aggressive, said Ms Bryan Morgan. If you see something that you like, don't leave it there and walk away, as someone will snatch it up.

Don't be tempted by the sale tag, then go home and discover that it doesn't work for you. Be sure that items fit and work for your wardrobe.

"Just because it's on sale, doesn't mean you have to buy it," said Ms Bryan Morgan.

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