Sample Sales: An Alternative Shopping Experience
(A post by a very talented professional in her field, who also is my beautiful other half, Maria Polansky)
If you’re not a fan of crowded malls and high retail prices, sample sales are the way to go. They take place once per season, typically – in April/May and then again in November/December.
So why should you mark these dates on your calendars?
Firstly, the prices are amazing. Samples are at least 50% cheaper than retail prices, and wholesalers are often willing to give you additional discounts if you make a larger purchase. You can find $5 bins of accessories or $10 rack of clothing at any sample sale.
Secondly, the samples are unique items of clothing, and it is unlikely that anyone else in your neighbourhood will have the same item of clothing as you. It’s a difference from the chain store clothing that every other person is wearing, and at a better price. By purchasing samples, you are also supporting upcoming and independent designers as opposed to a huge corporation.
Lastly, the environment is a lot more relaxed than in a typical retail stores. Sample sales are held by wholesale and/or import agencies, so they don’t have strict commissions or sales goals like sales associates at the mall do. You can shop comfortably without any pressure from employees.
The only disadvantage is that samples generally come in one size and it tends to be smaller, so if you don’t fit the sample you will be out of luck.
Sample sales are generally held at the FX Building (1951 Glen Dr., Vancouver) and the Parker Building (1355 Parker St., Vancouver). These two buildings are home to many agencies. There will usually be a ‘sample sale’ sign in the window to welcome you in. Some agencies accept credit/debit, but cash is your best bet when shopping.