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- Diane

The best way to shop for amazing savings

The best way to shop for amazing savings

With such competition from on-line, bricks and mortar retailers are paying increasing attention to the shopping experience - the design and layout of their stores, the environment in the dressing rooms, etc. etc.

But I'm here to tell you that if you want to buy anything from underwear to shoes, clothes to jewellery - and this goes for gents too - at discounts that will knock your socks off, the places you should be looking at are the anthesis of a comfortable shopping experience. Sample sales.

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These are places where you'll need to be prepared to elbow your way through rails which, if you're lucky, will be organised by size, but more often won't be. Rummage through boxes where the best bits are bound to be at the bottom. And where, if there's the luxury of a screened off changing area, it'll be communal and chaotic. 


I'm well aware this sounds pretty grim. So what on earth makes it worthwhile? Well, let me focus your attention on that one key detail 'discounts that will knock your socks off'. Because honestly, the money you can save at these events makes the business of shopping at them more than worthwhile and actually rather exhilarating.

A quick explanation of how sample sales work. They're generally used by retail businesses to get rid of excess, end of line and previous season merchandise. Some of the samples have been used by agencies to sell products to the retailers that never made it through the selection process, so they're pieces that have never been sold in store. Succinctly, sample sales are an opportunity to get near perfect merchandise at a fraction, and I really do mean a fraction, of the retail price. See the attraction now?

If you're still not convinced, let me show you one or two of my recent sample sale purchases and the savings I made on them. Take this, I think very fabulous, Reiss trouser suit for example


The jacket was reduced from £250 to £85 and the trousers from £125 to £35! I had to have the trousers taken in and up a bit, but the cost of that was minimal (a good tip to remember, items don't have to fit perfectly as long as the cost of getting them altered wouldn't soak up your saving).

Or how about these bags from a recent LK Bennett sample sale (yes, I know, there are three of them, but honestly at the prices, it would have been rude not to).


Apparently the plain grey one and the blue one at the front retail for £225 and the patterned one for 335 euros (how ludicrous are those prices. I mean who would ever pay that for a bag? Anyway, I digress..) I paid £35 for each one.

Convinced now? I thought you might be. Sample sales happen all the time all over the country. The best thing to do is to sign up to get alerts, either from the retailers/designers themselves, or from one of the various websites that lists them. Try this one. Or this. And do let me know about any brilliant bargains you find. Happy sample shopping!


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