One of my favorite clothing and handbag lines is Tokidoki. It’s playful, fun, hip… and a bit pricey. But about a year ago, I found the brand’s Facebook page and gave them a “Like.” Now a couple of times a year I’m notified about their secret Warehouse Sales, which are not advertised to the public. Many brands, especially higher end ones, have warehouse sales. The trick is to find out about them.
Pros and cons of shopping warehouse sales.
Interested in finding a warehouse sale near you? WHsale.com lists them for all 50 states, D.C. They have 53 sales for May and 2 for June. Or, Google around or find your favorite brands’ Facebook pages, like I did.
Let’s start with the CONS.
Shopping at a Warehouse Sale can be a bit like shopping on Black Friday. Hate crowds? Hate lines? Yeah, me, too, but that’s part of the package. Be prepared – bring a book or magazine, bring a smartphone, talk to people in line. Whatever it takes to make the time pass. Some people even bring folding chairs. My wait time at this last sale was less than an hour. I watched Scandal on my iPhone while standing in line!
Another con – lack of air conditioning. Or maybe that was just the heat of the crowd making me hot. Warehouse sales are often in funky locations so don’t except crisp mall air.
And if you want the best deals, you’ve got to be the early bird. If the sale starts at 10am, people may be lining up as early as 7:30! Arrive at 10 and you may find yourself at the end of a very, very long line! So plan on getting up early. When that alarm goes off and you stare at it with bleary eyes, just remind yourself that the best stuff will go first and when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Travel time and distance may be a bit of a pain, depending on how far you live from the sale. I have driven up to 45 minutes each way for a warehouse sale, which is more than I would for any store.
And lastly, when it comes to the CONS, did I mention the crowds? At most sales I’ve been to, everyone’s always been respectful – no swiping items out under someone – but you do have to make your way around people while digging through merchandise.
Keep in mind that usually, all sales are final and when the sale is over, the warehouse will be closed.
Now for the PROS.
The deals! In most cases, the prices for items I bought at this last were about half of what they are on the website. Warehouse sales typically have items marked down by at least 45-50%. Sometimes even more!
Unlike Sample Sales or Yard Sales, all the items were new, most with tags. Keychains and toys were in gift boxes and most t-shirts were folded in sealed bags.
Many of the items I purchased that were half price at the sale are still currently selling on the website for twice as much! Secret sales are often for current season merchandise.
The quantity and selection were great. That’s not always true, so do as much research before hand to find out how big the sale is going to be and what type of merchandise will be available.
Everything was super organized and easy to find. If you come to a sale late, that may not be the case as items get picked over.
They took cash or credit cards. Check ahead of time what the money policy is.
The prices allowed me to splurge on handbags and t-shirts for myself and toys and shirts for my daughter, without guilt. Plus, there’s a certain high in getting a good deal, knowing your’e at an exclusive sale that most don’t know about, and the surprise of what you’ll find.
Was the travel time, wait in line and crowd of people worth it? Yes!