Everything You Need to Know About Sample Sale Shopping in NYC

One of my favorite things to do is to go shopping but not just any kinda shopping, SAMPLE SALE SHOPPING! I am always on the hunt for designers for less and sample sale shopping in New York City is always a great place to score a Fashion Steele! On my latest Youtube Video, I’m taking you all sample sale shopping with me. We’re going to hit up 3 major Sample Sales: Rent The Runway, Tibi and Phillip Lim and you’ll see what it’s like, how the prices are, when to go for the deepest discounts and of course how to stay in the know about in person and online sample sales. If you’re not yet subscribed to my Newsletter then click here and subscribe! I usually include information on all the best NYC Sample Sales as well as coupon codes and links to online sales that you shouldn’t miss. Here’s everything you need to know about Sample Sale Shopping in New York City.

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What’s a Sample Sale

A sample sale is when a brand or designer holds a sale. It’s usually done once or twice a year. The sale can include clothing, shoes and accessories. You’ll find samples or product that hasn’t sold in stores or online at a sample sale. A sample is an actual prototype of a garment and is normally what is worn on models during a designers runway show or before the garment is put into production. A true sample size ranges from a  US size 2-4 depending on the brand. I find that with most brands, I can fit into a sample size depending on what the item is. I am a US size 6. Samples are usually priced less than market garments because it’s not perfect. There are possibly missing buttons, hems, etc. but I’ve found tons of amazing samples that I was able to tailor. This skirt was a sample from Derek Lam. Everything is discounted at a Sample Sale and usually starts at about 20-30 percent off retail price. I got these Derek Lam Heels for $25, these Brian Atwoods for $500 (down from $2000) and these Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s for $50. My best sample sale find was these tall white Jil Sanders Boots for $100!

How to Stay In The Know About Sample Sales

To stay in the know about sample sales, first do yourself a favor and subscribe to my newsletter. I send one out every 2 weeks and always include NYC sample sales, coupon codes and online sales. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, if you’re in New York City or will be visiting and want to sample sale shop, follow @260SampleSale on Instagram then head over to the 260 Sample Sale website and sign up for their Newsletter. They sometimes include coupon codes for additional savings to be used at check out. In addition to that, follow the brands you love on Instagram! No seriously, most designers will promote their in person and online sample sales on Instatories and Instagram. They even offer discount codes in captions! Be vigilant with the brands you love. This is how I learned of the Tibi sample sale. They literally did 1 Instastory with an email address to message if you were interested in coming. Thank goodness cause now I have this fly outfit. There are a few other accounts you can follow for samples sales as well and they include: Chicmi, Sample Sally, The Stylish City, Time Out New York, and also fellow blogger and personal shopper, Lakeisha Rush of Fashion Sherlock who always drops the sales in her Instatories + Blog as well.


Tibi Denim Set & Sandals via Tibi Sample Sale


What’s It Like Inside A Sample Sale

Hell. Well about 75% of them anyway. If you’re not into crowds and hate digging through clothes to find a gem, sample sales ain’t for you. There are lots of people crammed into often tiny spaces all eager to find a deal. Some people are ruthless and will snatch something right out of your hand. Not me personally cause I have a death glare and am not about that bullsh*t. But yes, I’ve had someone try and walk off with some things that I set aside for myself. How does that happen you may be asking yourself. Well sometimes there are NO DRESSING ROOMS (even with sales selling both mens and womens items). Sometimes you just have to find a space in a corner and go for it. I have a standard sample sale outfit I usually wear for ease: slide on sandals, leggings, a bra + panties and an oversized shirt or top. This makes it easier to try stuff on over leggings. The music at sample sales is always blasting for some reason and it makes the whole experience even more frantic. Make sure to whoosah before hand.

When’s The Best Time To Go To A Sample Sale

I usually go the first day, to see what I want and then again the last day to actually purchase. There’s a science to this. Usually they mark everything down the last day but you also run the risk of the things you wanting selling out beforehand. 260 Sample Sale is also known to host different discounts on different days for their samples sales. The best approach with them is to watch their Instastories and Instagram Captions for markdowns. I have literally DM’d them to ask to put something aside for me that I saw on an Instastory. On the final day of the Need Supply Sample Sale I scored all of this for $83 because everything was marked down 40%. While at the Phillip Lim Sample Sale all shoes got marked down 40% (putting every shoe including boots at $60 each!). If you can’t go scope it out early definitely go on the last day for the steepest discounts.

Happy Sample Saling! Don’t forget to Book Mark and Share This Post with Your Friends. Don’t be Stingy.






  1. April 18, 2019 / 7:14 pm

    I really like the all white Denim set and just love the green sandals you wear a lot of nice outfits. Is the Sample sale open to the public.

    • monroesteele
      April 19, 2019 / 7:53 am

      Yes, but most will tell you if they are closed.


  2. Bukola
    April 22, 2019 / 6:26 pm

    Hi Monroe! Thank for this article. I follow the 260 Sample Sale Instagram and its like I’m torturing myself since I don’t live in NYC. Do you happen to know of any online sample sale websites?

    • monroesteele
      April 23, 2019 / 8:30 pm

      Hi Bukola,
      No there are no dedicated websites specifically for online sample sales. Thats really at the discretion of the designers and brands so you just have to follow them and subscribe to their newsletters to be notified.


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