Once upon a time, a sample sale occurred when a manufacturer sold off the sample inventory that their salespeople used to show buyers. The samples were produced and shown a season or more ahead, but not sold until the actual season arrived. Usually only people ‘in-the-know’ were privy to such sales. Typically, there was only one size to sell (the ‘sample’ size – usually size 8).
Fast forward to present day. When a designer or manufacturer ships their merchandise to stores, there is usually leftover inventory. This leaves them with two options: 1) to sell their leftovers to an off-price store or 2) to have a sample sale where they can sell directly to the public for their normal (sometimes below) wholesale prices. Today’s sample sales barely resemble the sample sales of yesteryear, but rather look like a warehouse or stock sale, with a wide variety of styles and sizes.
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