Have you ever been to a sample sale? I went to my first one this past weekend, and learned a bit about how to “do” a sample sale.
I first learned about the Oiselle sample sale through Sarah. She posted something about it on facebook, and I was intrigued. But….I’m really, really cheap, so I wasn’t sure if I should go, as I wasn’t sure if the discounts would really impress me.
But, on the Friday before the sale, Oiselle posted the prices: $25 for outerwear, $10 for everything else. Ten dollars is pretty much my rule when it comes to athletic clothes: All of my running tops, bras, and shorts are $10 or less. (I do sometimes have to pay more for pants or long-sleeves though). I was really excited for the news of the $10 price tags! Perfect for my budget!
I take good deals veeeery seriously. So seriously that I always plan ahead when I’m going to a big sale. Then when I’m at a big sale, I get super excited and anxious. If the sale involves shoes, I sometimes feel that I might cry because I’m so excited. That’s just the truth about me and good deals!
Preparation: To prepare for the sale, I did a little research the night before. I looked over Oiselle’s website to see if there was anything in particular that I wanted. I’ve been wanting a Bum Wrap ever since I saw Meghan running in one last year at Ragnar NWP. I remember saying, “I like her running skirt!” and Mason (CEO of Nuun), turned to me and said, “That’s the Bum Wrap.” This still cracks me up. Mason apparently can identify any Oiselle style by name. Anyway, I’ve wanted a Bum Wrap since seeing Meghan’s last year, and decided that it had to be the first priority upon entering the sale. I also planned out what I didn’t want to be distracted by: No non-tech gear and no tech gear with short sleeves (I hate having sleeves on my workout gear…unless it’s cold enough that I need long sleeves). Planning out what I didn’t want was important, because I knew I’d be distracted by these things, and I wanted to be careful. Finally, I Googled “What is a sample sale?” so that I knew what to expect. The website I found explained that sample sales occur when companies are trying to get rid of excess merchandise. Sometimes, the sales include items that have been modified to fit on models, etc, so it’s important to try things on. The website also advised to wear gym clothes so that you could try on items without needing a dressing room.
Sounds perfect! I was ready for the sale!
The Sale: We (Lauren, Lindsay, and I) got to Oiselle headquarters a few minutes before the sale was supposed to start, and got into a short line of women. The Oiselle team decided to open the doors early, so we went up almost immediately. I made a beeline for a bin of Bum Wraps, as planned.
Mistake #1: I grabbed a few BumWraps, all in size medium, to try on. It was a good idea to grab a few, because the sizing was off. It was not a good idea to only grab size medium. By the time I tried them on, and realized that I needed something bigger, the BumWraps had been well picked-over.
Good Move #1: I avoided all the super soft, cute running-themed shirts, just as I had planned. (Remember, I was trying to avoid non-tech gear).
I found some shorts, a jacket, and some tops to try on.
Mistake #2: After perusing about half the room, I went to try things on. This was a mistake because things got pretty disorganized pretty quickly. I should have taken advantage of getting there early when all the items were in correctly labeled bins by size by looking the entire room over prior to trying anything on.
Mistake #3: I went to an area by a couch and started trying clothes on. This move would have been totally acceptable (and tons of people were doing it), except that I couldn’t see what I looked like. So, I’d try something on, and judge by how it felt, or by the reactions of those around me, whether it was a good choice. The real reason this was silly is because the Oiselle team kept telling us that there was a dressing area, and I ignored this. I later learned that the dressing area had a mirror in it. A mirror would have been helpful.
I was surprised by how many items didn’t quite fit right, but held onto a few items that worked. I held onto two Bum Wraps that didn’t quite fit right, but were okay.
Repeat. I went back out, searched for more items, and tried them on. This is when I discovered that there were tons of Bum Wraps in size Medium and Large still in their plastic packaging, unmodified. Whoops. Remember Mistake #2? I was able to easily find one in navy and one in black that fit perfectly, so I got rid of the possibly-acceptable, but-still-not-quite-perfect pairs that I had from my first round of trying them on.
Finally, I had a nice group of items in my hand, and was ready to pay, when:
Mistake #4: I found out that I had been confused about the pricing. Aw man! It turns out that the nice Bum Wraps that had been in the plastic packaging were $25! Because I am so thrifty, I could not handle this, and had to go back to the bin with the oddly sized Bum Wraps (since they were $10) to try to find some that would fit okay. Ack! This was particularly frustrating because I HAD found two Bum Wraps that fit okay, but weren’t as nice as the packaged ones. Note to self: Make sure that you understand the pricing when you go to a sample sale.
On the bright side, I was also informed by the Oiselle lady that the jacket I had was $10, rather than $25.
I went back to searching for Bum Wraps, and decided to keep the nicer navy one (my birthday is coming up, so I decided that I could splurge), and found an oddly sized black one that I traded for my nicer black one.
Good Move #2: This time I tried on my items in the dressing room! I got to see that the black oddly sied Bum Wrap was pretty tiny. But decided that I can rock the tiny (it’s more short than tight, so I think it’s okay).
I then got in line to pay…and the new Oiselle lady priced my items differently than the first Oiselle lady! Ack! I simply told her what I had been informed: The nicer Bum Wrap was $25, but the oddly shaped one was $10. The jacket was $10, because, I don’t know why, but that’s what the other lady said. I felt like a jerk telling her this, but she was kind about it, and simply gave me the prices that the other lady had informed me of. Thank you, nice Oiselle lady!
The Aftermath: Afterwards, I went for coffee with a couple of ladies. I love the Seattle running blogger ladies! I just need to move to Seattle so that I can see them more. While we were there, I started to get buyer’s remorse: Was I sure that pair of shorts that I bought was worth it? Guilt crept in. When I got home, I modeled all of my new items to Husband Saign. I put on the shorts that I was having buyer’s remorse for…and they were super comfy and cute. (I hadn’t tried them on in front of the mirror prior to buying). They are “rogas,” which Oiselle is kind of known for. Now I understand why. No more remorse, I’m happy to have some rogas! Husband Saign even reassured me, “They’re really cute!” Also, I found out that the size small defect shorts DO fit…they just have an odd poof in the pocket area, which I’m sure is why they are considered a defect! Still totally wearable though.
My thoughts: It was a wonderful event! Thanks, Oiselle, for putting it on! I had a great time, am happy with my purchases, and happy with my free defective item. I hope that someday I get to experience another sample sale. Next time, I’ll be better prepared, having learned from my mistakes this time around!
Have you ever been to a sample sale? Have you tried on rogas before?