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A Brief History of Sample Sales

Let’s go back to a time of pleated acid-washed jeans and permed hair. Yes, we’re talking about the 80s. This decade also hosted some pretty impressive sample sales that would eventually evolve into the events we all know and love today. 30 years ago, sample sales were all very hush-hush. There were no convenient websites to register and get details. People had to rely on word-of-mouth and slink into underground venues, bribing elevator operators to get into the events.

By the early 2000s, sample sales were flourishing as a way for shoppers to score unbeatable deals and for companies to bring in big earnings from hosting the events. Companies began adding leftover stock and retailer’s returns with more variety in sizes to help them compete with the off-price retailers like TJ-Maxx which were growing in popularity.  

By the end of the decade, about 70% of all sample sales were hosted in New York City, but the trend was growing in other big cities like Los Angeles. Of course, this comes as no surprise. Consumers and retailers alike never want to pass up an opportunity to be resourceful with their fashion and with their budgets.

Who’s to say what the future of sample sales holds, but for now, we can all appreciate the thoughtful hosts who still value attendees’ experience and try to maintain order amongst the energetic shoppers looking to score great deals and the enthusiastic vendors hoping to off-load unwanted products. 

The sample sales LA hosts are as popular as ever. A notable event, La Perla Sample Sales Los Angeles, is a terrific example of the thriving industry, with hundreds showing up and opening their wallets to support the brand and their closets’ repertoires. With all the designer sample sales Los Angeles accommodates, there’s bound to be one close to you soon, so go check ’em out!





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