Whether you’re physically attending a sample sale or you’re shopping online for something similar to a sample sale, we’ve got some advice for you.

In today’s tech savvy world, with plenty of money-saving apps and websites, there are very few reasons to pay full price. The thrill of the hunt is wildly exciting, and some women have mastered the art of sale shopping, and they have it down to a science.

While that’s totally applaudable, not every woman has the time to constantly hop and skip from website to website checking for markdowns. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of physically sample sale shopping (to make some of you feel better for not being able to attend), because honestly, what we’ve found is pretty interesting.

The pros and cons of physically showing up to a sample sale


  • Sometimes you can truly score a runway, one of a kind piece, on mega sale for 90% (or more) off
  • You get to see the garments/shoes/bags/jewelry/whatever first hand
  • The art of negotiation is not lost when attending a sample sale in person
  • It can be a fun, unique experience to attend one of these “exclusive” sales


  • You’re unable to try items on/have to share a random makeshift room with a bunch of other shoppers and hope that you’re wearing appropriate (if any) undergarments
  • All items are final sale
  • Expect to wait in long lines, rain or shine
  • Dealing with the pushiness (literally) and attitudes of disgruntled shoppers
  • Long checkout lines, yes, you could be standing in line to check out for 45 minutes
  • Sample sales can be cash only
  • Physically fighting over a handbag (we’ve only heard stories)
  • You will encounter a lot of damaged goods that even the handiest of people can’t salvage
  • Sometimes these clearance events are “invite only” (like the Christian Louboutin Friends & Family sample sale) aka you never even stood a chance
  • Sample sales happen the most in New York and Los Angeles so many people don’t even have access to them, ever

FYI, if you’re still feeling left out- in general, physical sample sales are no longer what they used to be

Sample sales used to be primarily in NYC and there was a certain high you would get from attending. Now, even physically showing up means waiting in a huge line, dealing with pushy customers, and many times the sales aren’t nearly as steep as they used to be. Prices have gone up, things are heavily picked over and flawed from so many hands touching them, and the thrill is somewhat gone. However, the internet is a thing of many wonders and in 2019 companies have gotten smarter and they will heavily discount items to sample sale prices online. Even major department stores will have a final sale and/or clearance blowout, where you can find discounts on top of discounts. Sometimes these clearance events happen online first (yay!) and sometimes these are “online only” sales (double yay!)

Now let’s talk about online sample sales and similar concepts

Here are our pros and cons when it comes to online sale shopping:


  • Today, many sites allow you to return your heavily discounted items if you don’t love them
  • No lines
  • You don’t have to encounter any people (lol, oh what a time to be alive)
  • Even if you’re not based in a major city you can participate and get in on the action
  • There’s a lesser chance of receiving a damaged item
  • t’s a quicker shopping experience. You can browse many items at once, and not have to skim all of the clothing racks
  • Your arms also won’t be breaking off from holding a ton of clothes that you probably won’t even buy
  • And, because duh, who doesn’t love to shop late night in their pj’s while drinking wine and watching reality tv?


  • Not being able to physically see or try on the item in person, so there’s a greater chance that you might not love it
  • Some people actually like to go in person for the adventure, and we have to admit, sometimes taking a break from the computer is a good thing
  • You can request to shop a sample sale “online”, so that means a person will physically go to the sale for you, take pictures and send them to you, and you need to be by your phone to approve the purchase. It’s a think fast kind of thing, and there’s both a user fee and a shipping fee - womp.

The overall theme here is that you need to be in the know to find out about these secret sales

Lucky for you, there’s a site called Shop It To Me that took all of these pros and cons into consideration and it’s pretty awesome. Search designer sale items from only the brands you love, in your size, via your favorite and 100% reputable retailers- all online.

Sign up for the free designer sale service, because paying for apps, memberships, etc is so 2018. Obviously, check it out on the App store too - for free.

Shop It To Me is trustworthy, aesthetically pleasing and active on Pinterest, and it’s every fashionista’s best kept secret. Now that the secret is out, the only question is, are you in?