As a newcomer to LA, a great fortune has been bestowed upon me. I have experienced the secret Last Friday of the Month Sample Sale world! High-end designers such as Calvin Klein, Hard Tail, Betsy Johnson, English Laundry, Frankie B, and Ben Sherman sell directly out of their showrooms all conveniently located in one building. Actually, I feel like I need to say I am a survivor of the Friday Sample Sale Mission. With all the prep my friend had me do to prepare, it was as if we were going in as a special ops team.
First, I had to make sure I had cash, because it is the only accepted method of payment. I was told to set a budget and only bring that much with me so I wouldn’t be tempted to go crazy. Next, I had to find a big bag to carry all my purchases because they don’t give you any there. Then, I was briefed on the importance of my shopping outfit. There are no change rooms at the sample sale! Apparently some women strip down right there to try things on. Sometimes men are standing within view, but I guess it’s all in the name of a good deal. In order to avoid having to do that, my friend Hannah and I wore skirts and tank tops. Any pants, shorts or other skirts could be pulled up underneath our skirts and then we could just lift our skirts up to check the fit. Any shirt, dress, sweater or jacket could be put on right over our tank tops.
Finally, it was time to talk strategy! The sale building has 12 floors, and each floor has at least 4 showrooms selling their samples. Most people start on the 1st floor and work up, while others start on the 12th and work down. To avoid the crowds, we planned to start on the 6th floor and work up, then go back to the 5th and work down. The elevator would not be an option since waiting for it wastes time. Listening in on conversations in the stairwell would be one of our tactics as this can reveal tips on hot deals or even spontaneous sales happening at other locations that people plan to hit up later. Hannah told me that the security guard in the lobby has maps of what showrooms are open on each floor. Taking one will allow you to mark and remember your favorites for the next time you come. On future visits, you would start by hitting up those showrooms first.
Thanks to all the tactical talk, the actual day of our mission was a huge success! A few rules were broken (my personal shopping coach Hannah ran out to the ATM machine to get more cash-thus busting the make a budget plan), and a few unexpected bonus joys were found (a sandwitch cafe with the best bread ever!). The experience was exhilarating. My best purchase of the day was this Hale Bob dress for $40.
The fun continued after the sale. Hannah and I returned home and went online to check the retail price of everything we bought. I found my dress on Hale Bob for over $300!
The moral of the story is….if you are planning a trip to LA, make sure it revolves around the last Friday of the month. People who have lived here for many years have never even heard of this well kept secret. Shhh…you never heard it from me!
California New Mart: 127 East Ninth Street, Los Angeles California 90015
The last Friday of every month between the approximate hours of 9:00am-3:00pm
oh my gosh – i haven’t done that in forever!! good for you – the last time i went, i felt like i had almost lost the will to live. I’ll definitely have to have a game plan before i go next time!!
You should go again, it’s really worth it! You can do it!!! Go with a friend and eat lunch across the street at the Old Mart (big brown building). Walk straight ahead once you enter the main doors and there’s a little deli on the left. Choose a pre-made sandwich and they will heat it in a press for you. Delish! There are sample sales that go on in that building too on the same day.