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Sample Sales 101

December is here and brrrrr, it?s cold outside.? Bundle up to visit those sample sales.? And of course tis the season for sample sales?lots & lots of them.? December is the biggest month of the year for these, one of our favorite forms of shopping in New York.

What is a sample sale?? So glad you asked!

At least twice a year, spring & fall, designers & manufacturers create a new line of clothing. In order to sell these new designs to department stores & boutiques a sample line is manufactured for the salesmen & showrooms to show to buyers.? As the garment industry works six months in advance of the stores, the fall line is created in the preceding spring & the spring line is created in the preceding fall.? So..When the fall season is upon us the manufacturers are through with their fall samples.? All the clothes for that season has been sold, cut, manufactured & shipped to the stores. What do they do with this sample line?? They offer it to us, the consumer, at sample sales.

In the past,? ALL of these sales were referred to as a ?true sample sales?, meaning they offered only the sample line.? A sample line is created in only one size, hence only one size of cl.? This is more times than not, NOT the case currently.? Most sample sales nowadays will stock all the sizes that that particular line carries.

?How can this be, if samples only come in one size?? So glad you asked!

Now most sample sales will also offer ?overstock?.

What is overstock? So glad you blah, blah, blah!

Overstock is the merchandise a company will manufacture over and above what they need to fill their orders.? Why would they do that you ask?? Ok, so you didn?t ask.? I?ll tell ya anyway.? If a store sells out of an item & wants more, the manufacturer doesn?t have the time cut & sew it on the spot.? They have to have it ready to ship.? Hence, overstock.? What ever of that is not sold can go into the sample sale.

So if you see an advertisement that says this is a ?true sample sale? you?ll know it will offer only one size.? Make sure you find out what size that company?s samples are made in, so you don?t waste your time.

Some good sales happening this week

alice + olivia Sample Sale Up To 70% Off?

12/8/2009 – 12/11/2009?? Tue-Fri 8am-8pm

?80 W. 40th St.? (btwn. 5th & 6th Aves.)? 2nd Floor?? (212) 840-0887

12/4-12/9 Theory women’s sample sale… 261 W. 36th St., nr. Seventh Ave., second fl. (212-947-8748); F (11-7), S-Su (11-5), M-W (11-7).

Stop back to get the skinny on how to find the best sample sales, how to get the best deals at those sample sales and most importantly, how to hide the new purchases from your hubby! ( Oh sure like you?ve never done it!)

And remember?PLEASE shop responsibly!