A guide to Sample Sales

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There’s nothing better than knowing you have bagged a bargain, especially when it’s a good quality brand that you know will last you.

Being lucky enough to work close to The Music Rooms in London where many sample sales are held, I’ve been able to go to a fair few over the years and as such have developed a clear method for making the most of the opportunity and bagging a bargain!

I thought I would pass on some of my tips and tricks I have learnt along the way and share some of the things that I recently purchased at a Karen Millen and Issa sample sale as well as a full list of sample sale dates and locations to pop into your diary.

1) Have a firm idea of what you are looking for

Ask yourself, what could I really do with? Whether that be some more work wear, or a thick winter jumper or even a pair of new boots, have a few items in mind before you go in so that you can try and make them the focal point of your shopping and bring a sense of purpose to your shop.

2) Identify frequently replenished areas

It’s easier said than done isn’t it – you’re finally at the front of the queue and all you want to do is immediately get riffling through the rails to find anything imaginable that could fit your size and shape. Personally, I think it’s better to survey the space first and identify any areas where stock is routinely refreshed, or which has the items you are after, giving you the best opportunity to nab first dips on the goodies. In my experience, the most frequently replenished areas are the bags/shoes/accessories section. Here is the opportunity to get your hands on a luxury bag or save hundreds on a pair of heels/boots.


3) Get creative with your search

At a recent sample sale, many of the shoes on offer were also kept under the tables (which were covered with a cloth). By being a bit cheeky and trawling through the shoes under the table, I got myself a great little pair of smart ballerina’s that had been on my list for a while. Sometimes it’s good to think outside the box, and always ask the assistants to double check the stock at the back to find your size.


4) ALWAYS try on

I really can’t stress this enough. I’m guilty of making the mistake of not trying things on, getting home and realising the £350 Issa wrap dress I’d wanted for years, actually didn’t do much for my shape. It’s still hanging in my wardrobe, three years on.

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5) Know where to draw the line

It can be easy to get carried away once you get into the swing of a sample sale. Suddenly feeling like you want to throw caution to the wind and purchase those extra couple of items you’re not sure about but hey, you’re saving money in the long run so why not! Try and go back to your plan pre-entry and really ask yourself – what did you go in there to buy and what items you should perhaps let go. The aim of a sample sale is to come away feeling victorious (and a little bit smug) not deflated and planning your dinner of beans on toast for the next month.


Recent purchases from the Karen Millen sample sale:

Jumper – £120 to £30


Shoes £130 to £30


Pony fur (faux) shirt – £105 to £25


Cashmere mix jumper £150 – £45


To find out all upcoming sample sales near you visit here: http://www.samplesaleguide.co.uk/samplesales.html

The next one’s I am looking out for are:

Margaret Howell

17th March 2016
18th March 2016
The Music Room
26 South Molton Lane
United Kingdom
One & Only Designer Sale

Thursday 7th April 2016 – 11am – 8pm (Ladieswear)
Friday 8th April 2016 – 11am – 8pm (Menswear)

The Music Room
26 South Molton Lane
United Kingdom



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