How to Shop Sample Sale Sites

Sample sale sites, also known as flash sales, are a fabulous way to get big discounts on brand names. Quality designers, better value, and up to 50 percent more savings than an in-store sale—what's not to love? These invite-only only sales offer up to 80 percent off retail prices on designer goods, but there's a catch: The sales last for only 24 to 72 hours. How does it work? Brands pair up with the sample sale site to sell excess merchandise at a discount. To get access to these deals, you'll need an invitation from a member. Ask your friends or around the office, or try googling “{sample sale site} invite code.” Or check with your favorite fashion blogger. Most members get a store credit if they refer you, so you both win! It can be hard to keep track of all these sales, so we've compiled some tips to help you get better value for your money.
1. Check Your Email
Sample sale sites will email you every morning with the day's sales. Most sales start at 11 a.m. ET, so be sure to check your email early!
2. Make a Schedule and Be On Time
Set a reminder, or add an important sale to your calendar. Make sure you log on a few minutes early. Although some sales last up to 72 hours, there's no telling when the merchandise will sell out.
3. Have Your Size Ready
Shop at the office most days? Write down your measurements on an index card and keep it in your desk. That way you're not scrambling for a tape measure while the clock is ticking and your items are being added to carts.
4. Sold Out?
Ask to be added to the waiting list. Sometimes sites will free up merchandise if shoppers abandon their carts without purchasing, and some will notify you once merchandise has been returned.
5. Check the Return Policy
Some sites offer a full cash refund, and some offer only store credit. Also note that specific items such as sunglasses, lingerie, swimwear, and accessories may be final sale. Received credits for a return? Don't forget about them! Keep a running list of where you have credits, and check this list while browsing stores. Be sure to check the site's credit expiration-date policy.