Sampling Samples!

There are some stigma's and facts about sample sales, so let's get to it!

What is a sample sale?
A sample sale is when a bridal boutique is trying to sell the discontinued or previous seasons gowns to make room for new inventory.  Instead of placing an order with the store you are purchasing the “sample” dress on display.

Is the dress new?
No. The dress you are purchasing is the sample gown that has been tried on by other people.  Typically when you purchase a wedding gown you place an order with the boutique. That order goes to the designer who makes a new dress just for you.

Why are the prices lower?
There are a couple of reasons why the prices are lower.  First, the store is trying to remove the dress from their inventory.  Drastically reducing the price will attract buyers.  Secondly, the sample has been tried on by other people in the store which means there may be small stains, rips or tears. 

PERSONAL FAVORITE:  Vera Wang 'Eleanor'- Fall 2010

Is the gown used?
Sample gowns haven’t been worn outside of the store.  However, they can be considered used because other people have tried them on when they have come to dress shop.

Does the dress come home with me?
Yes.  Unlike regular ordering, at sample sales you take the dress home with you that day. 

What about fittings/alterations?
Depending on the boutique, you may or may not have the  option to still have your fittings done for you through the alterations department there. Always call the story and ask.

Can I get my money back if I want to return the dress?
Typically sample sales are final because the prices have been drastically reduced.  Every bridal shop is different so make sure to ask before purchasing.

Are sample sales chaotic?
Sample sales are a different kind of shopping experience. They aren’t better or worse, they’re just different. Sample sales are like regular shopping.  You’re with other people who are looking to make a purchase.  Staff  is there to assist you, but may need to leave you to help other customers, and there’s a chance you may not get what you want if someone else has it.

Always do your homework and research before going to a sample sale.  It’s important to understand how the boutique conducts their sample sale and what you can expect.  If you have questions ask them ahead of time.  For example if getting alterations at the boutique is a must for you, but they don’t provide that service for sample gowns, better to know prior to going.  Do they may take appointments or have a special queue for letting customers in?  Can you request a gown and put it on hold prior to arriving?

Research, plan, and be prepared.  The more organized and prepared you are to go to a sample sale, the better the experience will be for you and the people you take.  When planning a wedding sampling is important… food, cake, tablescapes.  Sample the samples and you may get the dress of your dreams at an amazing price.