Sample sales and overstock sales are very different types of designer sales, so it’s important to know the difference between the two to ensure you know what to expect.
Sample sales are very exclusive. They aren’t often well publicised, and offline sample sales are usually kept very secret and low key. Sample sales can be found in fashion forward cities such as LA, NYC, London and Paris.
The reason they are kept so exclusive is that they are often very small, with only a few pieces available in very limited sizes and colourways, so shoppers aren’t keen to share them in case they miss out. Designers don’t want the quality of their brands and collections to be diluted by offering too many cheap designer bags, designer jeans, accessories etc.
Overstock sales are almost the opposite. They occur when a designer label has too much stock and wants to get rid of it as easily and quickly as possible. At that stage, any money for otherwise worthless stock is worth it, otherwise they have to pay to store or transport the designer clothes and accessories to make room for new collections.
Overstock sales often happen at the turn of the fashion season, so if you only wear pieces from the latest season and runway styles, overstock sales probably aren’t for you. In some cases you may have to buy clothes, hats, boots and so on that you won’t get a chance to wear for several months or even a year depending on the sale and what’s on offer. However, if you like your brand names and don’t care about the season, overstock sales are great as they provide much more variety than sample sales.