Posted 2 years ago
Brands regularly approach us looking for advice on setting up a sample sale in NYC. We've put together tips to help you get started!
It's a question we get almost weekly - I'm a brand or a retailer with some excess stock, how should I put together a sample sale in NYC? The New York sample sale scene is so vibrant, it's easy to get lost in a jungle of options and choices. A great sample sale can be a huge success - not only helping you clear stock, but also introducing new shoppers to your brand who otherwise would never have discovered you, but a poor sample sale can be bad business, loss making and damaging to your brand too, so it's vital to get it right.
The New York sample sale scene is very unique and different from the other markets that we cover. You essentially have three options here:
What option you choose will depend on the scale of the sale, the resources you have available and the audience you want to reach.
Many brands in NYC do organise sample sales for themselves - and they are often extremely successful. If you already have your own showroom or store in the city, and the venue supports a large number of people turning up to shop, it can be a great success. There is a lot to consider, however, including:
If these questions daunt you, then it may be best to seek help from an experienced third party. But if you feel you've got all of the resources you need already available then there's no reason not to go ahead.
A vital and often overlooked consideration for any sample sale is marketing - how are you going to reach out to people and bring them to your sale? Experienced sample sale organisers have links with media and sites like Chicmi to make sure that your event is covered in as many places as possible. Dedicated sample sale venues (which we'll cover further down) even have their own mailing lists, which they can use to attract sample sale devotees.
If you're producing the sale yourself then, you need a marketing strategy, which may include:
Whatever marketing methods you choose, there's a few things to bear in mind:
Chicmi of course can help. We will list your sample sale on our site for free - and we also offer a very popular digital marketing option (we call it Boost) to help you reach more customers online too if you'd like. We're happy to embargo your event until it's ready so make sure you reach out to us at email@example.com as soon as possible so that we can help you put together your plan.
There are specialist stock clearing companies in most cities, and many of them organise some of the most prevalent sample sales in their respective cities. This is especially true of LA for example, but less so in NYC - where it's far more common to use a dedicated venue or host the sale yourself.
However there are a few - and the most prolific of them are Shelly & Renee and Privé Designer Sales who organise a large number of sales in various venues across the city. If you need introductions to others then make sure you get in touch with us - just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The advantage of working with organisers like these is experience - they know the pitfalls, they have contacts at the venues, they know where to reach out to to get your event organised. Some organisers work on a set fee basis, some work on commission.
The most unusual feature of NYC is the number of dedicated sample sale venues in the city. These companies own one or more locations that are dedicated to hosting sample sales. They all have in-house logistics and marketing specialists, they have close connections with sites like Chicmi, and they all have mailing lists packed with sample sale lovers.
There are several of them in New York, but by far the most prevalent ones are 260 Sample Sale, Clothingline and Soiffer Haskin. These three companies all angle their services towards a slightly different set of verticals, with Soiffer Haskin organising many very high end luxury sales, 260 Sample Sale working regularly with high street brands, and Clothingline producing more multibrand events than the other venues.
Unlike a venue that you might hire and fit out yourself, these companies are highly experienced at producing sample sales - and will help you with everything from logistics to marketing. This expertise, their large mailing lists and their specialized venues do come at a cost - but if you've got a large amount of stock to shift, and especially if you need the event to be spot on perfect and have the budget to support it, then working with them is an obvious choice.
If you don't have a huge amount of stock or you don't have the budget or audience to run a sample sale by yourself, then collaborating with other brands is an option. It's very common for groups of brands with complimentary audiences to get together and organise a sale - they not only share the cost, but can also all invite their own set of dedicated fans, who can then discover the other brands on sale too.
As mentioned earlier, some companies like Clothingline will often bring multiple brands together for multibrand events themselves - and these can be very successful.
If you don't have a network of other brands to reach out to then make sure you check out our Collaborate network, where you can sign up as a brand and be notified when collaborative events are happening in the city that you can be part of. It's completely free to join the list or announce your event - so there's no reason not to get involved.
Although we don't organise sample sales ourselves, we're always delighted to help guide brands to the right place. And when you've got your sample sale together, make sure that you let us know, so that we can help send our dedicated fashion lovers your way! We're always here at email@example.com, or you can use our event submission form here.
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