Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Deets on J.Crew's 7th Sample Sale

As mentioned in the January 5th "J.Crew's 7th Sample Sale Coming Soon {yey?}" post, J.Crew is having another Sample (aka: same crappy clothes you've seen the last 6 times) Sale. (Image above courtesy of Racked NY.)

"Thanks!" to Suzy, as well as Linda (in this post), who let us know that NY Mag's The Cut (click here) shares some additional details on the items available:
J.Crew is hosting a sample sale on apparel, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and children. The women's featherweight cashmere cardigan is $60 (originally $158), the women's cotton trench coat is $70 (originally $168), men's suede boots are $60 (originally $135), and men's wool suiting blazers are $149 (originally $365).
This all sounds great, right? Well, don't get too excited. This latest Sample Sale sounds like the last one, which I found to be another disappointing Sample Sale. Some tips and advice for these kind of sales:
  • The majority of items for sale are items rejected from customers during the 6 previous Sample Sales. So, check clothes for holes and stains.
  • The items mentioned above (like the Cotton Trench Coat) will be limited in sizes & number available. For the last sale, they kept touting a pea coat for $100. When I got there (on the first day of the sale too!), there were like 5 of the coats in size 4 and 6 (which are not my sizes). Thanks for nothing.
  • The shoe section will be divided by size which is convenient. See a pair of shoes, grab it and try on later. Seriously, the shoe section sells the good stuff quickly.
  • That last point brings me to another tip I learned from fellow customers... the really good stuff we never see. I was told that the ClothingLine employees get "first dibs" and buy all the sweet merchandise before the doors even open. Great.
  • Keep expectations in check. I went to 2 Sample Sales hoping to snag some great finds like a Jaime Bag for cheap. Totally did not happen. Most shoppers barely buy and those who do only get a handful of items because the items there are just okay (especially for the price points).
  • Think hard whether you want it before you buy it. Most items can be bought for a lower price point with some patient stalking online and in-stores. (Moreover, items from J.Crew will come in better condition than the Sample Sale.)
Another post will be up on the first day of the Sample Sale for those who attend & can share more details. :)

Will you be attending this latest sample sale? If you are, please let us know! Do you have any additional tips & advice for Sample Sale shoppers?


  1. Great tips Alexis. I feel like J.Crew's is a less of a sample sale and more of a warehouse/castoff sale. I will be going on Tuesday AM specifically in search of shoes. I hardly even look at the clothes anymore. I mentioned this in your last post but I was able to snag a pair of Metropolitan Booties for $99, which is a good deal to me considering they're still full price online a few months later. They were marked as a return but I saw no damage or wear. My friend who was with me found some embellished tees that ended up being rolled out for winter for $15/each.

  2. Well, this post makes me feel better about not being able to go to any of these sales! LOL. $60 and $70 still sounds kinda ridickerous given that these items have been through 6 sample sales now. Time to start lowering those prices to clear stuff out. Hell, you can get better prices on better merch during extra30 + free shipping!

  3. I don't think that I'm going this time around but I agree with you Alexis and also with Roxy (I am still kicking myself for letting those same Metropolitan booties go. Maybe it was Roxy who got them lol).
    I would add as a tip to go with your sales prices in mind so you don't end up paying more for the same merchandise that you can buy for less and in better condition on the website.
    And also be vigilant at the register because they often make mistakes with the prices.

  4. one question: is the sample sale cash only? I would assume so but just wanted to check in case I end up going. thanks!

  5. I'm curious, but probably not enough to bother with it, even though I live in Manhattan. Yes, I'm very lazy. :P

  6. Thanks for this note and all great tips. Happy to see an actual picture from one of these events!

  7. thanks for the tips about the sample sale
    doesnt sound too great!

  8. I think this time I'm going to pass. Too many times the merchandise doesn't work and it's too big of a pain to take it back for store credit. This year my mantra is all about quality NOT quantity. I think that's even ruling out J.Crew cashmere sweaters. :)

  9. This post made me LAUGH, especially the. "Thanks for NOTHING".

    I think your exchange is the best place to get things. Thanks to some great JCA's I have found some pieces that I was stalking. Thanks for hosting it and I have been trying to spread the word on this blog and the exchange as well.

  10. I forgot to add, I tend not even shop online at jcrew, I just wait for Monday's to shop on your blog.

    Too many items jcrew online are damaged and the colors are too off.

    Thanks again for all that you do.

  11. Yeah... I might have to be with you, JC, on not buying anymore JCrew cashmere. I have lots of JCrew cashmere. I love it, because of the colors and styles, but it does pill so badly. I thought this was normal, but the other day I pulled out a tommy hilfiger cashmere sweater I got at TJMaxx a few years ago... and realized that I have worn it 5-10 times and it does not have a single pill on it. It wasn't even that expensive, and it is so much better!

  12. My cashmere sweaters from this year is starting to pill really bad at the waist of all places, where it is baggy. I will no longer buy JC cashmere at any price!

  13. I just returned a cashmere sweater I bought online. What was I thinking when I bought it??? So glad I got my $100 back!

  14. Thanks for the post Alexis. I have often felt "left out" because I don't live near any sample sale locations, but I think I would be disappointed, and make bad decisions because of the frenzy. It sounds like the Exchange and stalking popbacks are more reliable for undamaged merch at good prices.

    OT I was driving thru Indiana yesterday and stopped at the Crewlet in Michigan City. Deserted mall but Wow! Great outlet if you are anywhere near. Huge sale section, all 40% off, some retail non-outlet items too. A couple examples I can remember , prices BEFORE 40% ...

    Outlet Lea Cardi 24.99
    All cords 14.99
    Outlet LS Victoria 29.99
    Chunky Beach Cardi 34.99
    Outlet Eden and Bella 49.99
    All belts and scarves 14-19.99
    Mica Mini 29.99

    Left with a bag full of (impulse) buys for $65!

  15. Roxy: Let us know how the sale is. I hope you find some cute shoes!

    Elaine: I always felt like I was missing something too. But now I don't feel bad about not attending. I agree with you about the need to lower prices too! :)

    Ruffles: I felt the same, left out from the warehouse sales. So the Sample Sales seemed like something I could finally attend. Now that I can, I don't want to even bother with the mess. ;)

    Allie: You can use credit cards (like Visa). So no need to bring a lot of cash. You can also bring your purse with you, as long as it's not a super big one. :)

    Iwish4JCrew & Ali: Your welcome! I hope the tips help a bit. :)

    JC: I am passing on this too! The worst part is ClothingLine won't let you try on the clothes. And returning is a big hassle, you basically have until the Sample Sale ends and for credit only.

    Pink Cupcake: Thanks for the nice words. The Exchange is a really great place. :)

  16. Thanks for all the details. I also feel like I'm not missing anything. I believe Ema said bring a calculator with you if you decide to go.

  17. I've had some pilling with my JCrew cashmere but, disturbingly enough, my worst pilling has been some of my Lands' End cashmere cardis. Their cashmere really seems to be hit or miss lately; some of my sweaters are perfect and others look like rags after a couple wearings. "World's Best Cashmere"? Not so much. My Brooks Brothers cashmere cardi truly doesn't pill. I guess I need to start buying more from them.


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