What exactly is a handbag "sample sale"? Is that risky?

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  1. I imagine a handbag from a sample sale has been fondled, passed around and stained. Am I wrong? I could save about 50%; but dont know if that would be risky!
  2. Sample sales are usually for the floor models...obviously I would inspect the bag very carefully before I bought it....if there's nothing visibly wrong with it (stains or whatever)...go for it. I think some store have weird return policies regarding samples too....like all sales final. Check it out, if you find something you love and nothing is wrong with it....buy it!:smile:
  3. I forgot to mention its an online sale. Maybe a bad idea, huh? Its about a 60% off difference, but Im a freak about that. Maybe I could call them directly, theyre a small operation.
  4. I'd rather go to one in person so I can look at the things. Sometimes they may be missing a label or something that's typically on the ones sold in stores (like in the case of clothing). They're authentic pieces but there could be a noticeable difference in the piece so it's better to do that kind of thing in person :yes:
  5. What website is it? I'd like to take a look too.:smile:
  6. As a designer, 'samples' to me would mean:
    1) the original in-house prototypes made before the first production run (may be in shapes, finishes, materials not used for final production. Could be unique in that it was considered too experimental/expensive to go to market, or could be not quite 'right' in the opinion of designer/sales team).
    May have been made up using mismatched hardware, linings etc, as the production materials may not have been in house at this stage.
    2) the wholesale selling collection used by a selling agent to show the buyers from stores (in the showroom, or on the road, at trade fairs etc). Would expect these to be as close to production as possible and less risky than the above, maybe a bit handled but should have been kept in good condition by agent. Again, some styles may have been discontinued as didn't sell enough at wholesale to make it to production minimums. Often, these can be real gems because they were not commercial or the exact oposite!
  7. PS if you see something you like, and can telephone to get more info, get it quick! With samples there's usually only one!
    If there is a load (more than 5) of the same style, I'd say it isn't a sample but a batch of production bad'ns.
  8. I love sample sales! There are a ton here in London and I go to them often. The ones I've been to usually have not only floor models and the like but also past seasons' stock that hasn't sold. If you don't care about being current in terms of season, which I usually don't, they can be an awesome place to score a great bag from a favourite designer.

    I'm not sure about online ones though.
  9. which stores have the sample sales --in handbags????
  10. :blush: I always thought that a sample sale was a product that was being tested in the market to see how well it will sell, and that is why you can get a really good handbag for about half the price......after reading this thread, I must be wrong.
  11. Hi - I love sample sales. I have been to MANY of them (usually for handbags and shoes) and have done EXTREMELY well at them. However, a lot of them stink...big time.

    There are 2 different schools of thought when it comes to a sample sale - one is exactly what it sounds like - sample sizes (clothes and shoes) or floor models, etc. There is generally a higher risk of finding damaged merchandise or clothing in sizes that you would never want to begin with! That's what the Prada sample sale is like...sounds much better than it really is.

    Another type of sample sale (which I think you are writing about) is more of a stock sale or an opportunity for a designer to unload excess merchandise at a severely reduced cost. This is generally merchandise that has never been used or worn (at least the ones that I have been to). The majority of handbag sample sales (at least in NYC where I live) fall into this category. Websites like Top Button, Clothing Line, etc., all promote stock sales (but they call them sample sales).

    My favorite sample sales generally include the Kate Spade one (used to be my #1 when I was into Kate Spade), the Delman sample sale and the Kooba sample sale. For example, Kooba recently had a sample sale in NYC. The bags are all 100% current, 100% authentic (tags, sleeper bags, and if you call Kooba HQ they vouch that the sale is in fact legit.) Upon leaving the sale, they stamp the inside of the bag (on a seam) with a little star so you can't take your brand new tagged bag back to Saks for a store credit. But other than that, they are 100% perfect. To give you an example of the discount, I got an emobbsed Paige and an Ada bag (which retail for $675 and $645 respectively) for a total of $455 including tax. However, like anything, it's all hit or miss. I went to the Jimmy Choo "sample sale" a few months ago and it was HORRIBLE. The deals were definitely good (the shoes were still $300/pair though), but the models were old, and as I put it, it was like where pretty shoes went to die. They took the gorgeous shoes out of the boxes and sleeper bags and threw them (literally threw them) onto bridge tables. When you paid for them, they gave them to you in a plastic I :heart: NY bag. Kinda sad.

    The key is - know what you're looking for. Get there early! Know the retail value of the merchandise. And if you'll never wear it, it doesn't matter how great a deal it is. I was lucky at the Kooba sale - my bags that I got were black and brown (totally classic colors). If I had gotten there, and all they had left was a moss green Scarlett bag, it wouldn't have mattered if it was $50 because I know that I never would have carried it. That's the hardest part - getting wrapped up in the amazing discount and forgetting that even discounted, it's still not free. I kinda made that mistake at Delman - gorgeous ballet flats, but the ones I got are buttercup yellow satin and totally impractical for where I live. I'm hoping to wear them this spring with super dark denim, but we'll see.

    Regarding online sales - I have heard great things about the Kate Spade online sample sale, but since I live in an area where I can visit them in person, I've never participated in an "online" one. But the Kate Spade one, I would trust completely.

    Good luck!

  12. sample sales can be great for finding bags that were never even put into production. ;)
  13. The sample sale is from Freddie&Ma out of New York City. They customize in one of a kind pieces. You have got to try their bag builder, its so incredibly cool. Best of all everything is handmade in New York City. I like to put my money where my mouth is and buy products made in the USA. I dont care if it costs more, I feel better about it.

    I spoke with them today and have complete confidence in purchasing from them, as well as their sample site. She said my bag was right by her desk; and they dont send out anything thats not in good condition. Its a matter of time before I buy another custom. They have a sample sale site and a regular site: both are below.

    freddy&ma custom handbags

    sample sale site
    Sample Sale
  14. thanks for the site!
  15. Great site!!