Sample Sale 101: How to Find The Dress
Score your favorite designer gown at discount prices
By Sara Doerrier
August 8, 2011
No need to spend thousands of dollars on designer wedding dresses. The dress of your dreams by your favorite designer may be cheaper than you think. Two words: Sample sales. These extremely popular sales offer designer threads, in this case, wedding dresses, at incredibly low discounts.
Here are some helpful tips to serve you well.
Research, Research, Research
Check out the dresses you want, with what designers you like. Do you like the off the shoulder wedding dresses? Strapless wedding dresses? How about satin wedding dresses? These are all details that need to be smoothed out before you attend a sample sale.
Narrow It Down
Decide on a few lines and styles. Call around to each salon and ask if they carry them.
While you have the bridal shop on the phone, inquire about any upcoming sample sales. Keep in touch with them. If they are not having any upcoming sales, then ask them if they would be willing to sell the sample dress that you want.
Bring Appropriate Accoutrement
Bring your wedding shoes, veil, and other foundation garments with you when you try on a dress at a sample sale. There will be no second chances to come back. Sample sale dresses are on the spot purchases.
Bring Your Seamstress
If he or she is available, then bring them along. You will need his/her expert opinion if the dress can be altered or not. You will have to make the sample size work; there aren't other sizes to choose from.
Wear and Tear
Make sure you check the dress over for any signs of wear and tear. You are buying the dress as is, so it is important to make sure there isn't any significant damage.
Negotiate the price. Offer a price that is lower than the discounted price. Haggling a bit at sample sales is the norm, so don't feel shy. The worst they can say is no, right? A good selling point would be instant purchase, if they honor your price.
A Little Warning
There are no return policies with sample dresses. Make sure you are 100 percent that this dress is for you. Don't buy the dress too small. If it's too big, it's easier to take in the seams but letting out the seams is nearly impossible. And lastly, this is an instant purchase, have your cash ready. Because, if you aren't quick enough someone will snag that dress from your finger