If you’re in the market for a bridal gown (or follow TGS on Facebook), you’ve probably come across the term “sample sale” once or twice. Though any combination of “bridal” and “sale” is a good thing, what exactly does “sample sale” mean? TGS answers some common questions below.
What Is a “Sample Sale”?
Boutique bridal stores usually only carry one style of gown from a particular designer at a time in a standard size (think 8 or 10) that can easily be pinned and fitted to the majority of figures during the trying-on process. These gowns are often the standard model (i.e. no customized details or color) and are used as a “sampling” of what the designer has to offer (hence where we get the term “sample gown”). A sample sale, then, is a special sale of these types of gowns. The best part? Since the gowns are already made, they’re considerably less than ordering new!
Who Should Shop Sample Sales?
Since sample gowns are essentially sartorial models, they are limited in sizing and design. However, that isn’t to say sample gowns aren’t unique (plenty are). Rather, they cannot be endlessly altered or customized like new gowns. The perfect sample shopper has these qualities:
- The bride knows exactly what she wants and is able to easily select a gown that meets her requirements without doubt or trying on different styles
- The bride does not want or require customization in her gown, and is happy to select one as is
- Brides who have either waited too long to purchase a dress, have a quick engagement, or are having a small ceremony and/or elopement and need a gown quickly
- Brides who fit into standard sizes (6-10)
- Brides on a budget
Who Should Avoid Sample Sales?
As wonderful as sample sales are, they cannot cater to every bride. Those who should schedule a bridal appointment are:
- Brides looking for specific details, colors, or customization for their gown
- Brides who fit outside standard sizing (< Size 6, > Size 12)
- Brides with specific requirements or who are looking for unique fits or uncommon styles
How Do Sample Sales Work?
We select a sample gown from our collection and put it on sale in Suite 355. Once there, the gown is immediately available for purchase–no waiting or shipping costs! If you fall in love with a sample gown, an associate will pack your dress and you can take it home with you the very same day.
Can I Order Samples?
Yes and no. A sample gown found in a boutique is sold as is–that means you purchase the gown in the style, color, and size you see on the rack. There is no custom sizing or detailing when you purchase a sample gown, as they are already made. However, if you fall in love with a sample gown, you do have the option of ordering it new and to your specifications from the designer–at a much higher price. Be careful of this, as some sample gowns have been discontinued and are no longer available. Always check with your associate to see if the gown you love is in circulation before attempting to place a new order.
How Much Do Sample Gowns Cost?
Every boutique is different, but at TGS, our sample gowns range in price from $150-$2,500. That means there’s the potential to purchase a $4,000 gown for $2,500–what a steal!
Why Are The Samples On Sale? What’s Wrong With Them?
Nothing! Though some bridal boutiques will offer damaged or discolored gowns in their sample sales, TGS is not one of them. All of our sample gowns are new and current designs and in pristine condition. However, with so many new gowns coming in, we simply can’t fit all of our dresses in one place, and have to swap out some designs to make room for the new. That’s when sample sales happen and gorgeous, on trend gowns go for discount prices. What’s not to love?
What Designers Are Part of Sample Sales?
All sorts! In the past, we’ve had Carol-Hannah, Modern Trousseau, Ivy & Aster and Tara Keely. We regularly add in samples from our complete range of designers, so check back often!
Is A Sample Sale The Same As A Trunk Show?
No. Though both are in-store events, a trunk show is vastly different from a sample sale. A trunk show is when a designer makes an exclusive appearance (along with their entire collection) to a bridal boutique to sell their gowns. Gowns at a trunk show will sell for full retail price (though some designers offer 10% discounts for buying day-of), can be customized, and will not be available immediately to take home. On the other hand, sample sales feature gowns from a wide variety of designers in all sorts of styles and colors, with the added benefit of getting the gown the same day you shop.