Yesterday was my day to shop at the Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale. It was a really fun day and now I'm sad that I have to wait another year to do it again.
I wanted to share with you a few notes about my experience and some pictures I took along the way. I shopped with my best friend Tricia and our moms. We are all veteran VBAS shoppers.
We arrived at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum about an hour before our 11:00 am session. Like last year, we entered through the conference center and waited in the conference room there. When we arrived, we were about in the middle of the room. While we were waiting, we were encouraged to move forward and fill in empty space, so we ended up being closer than that.
The best part was that they actually opened the door to the sale 15 minutes early! It felt like we didn't have to wait long at all this year!
Since I had already studied the map the day before, I knew that the purses that I wanted to look at were in the yellow row with the crossbody bags. I planned out a route using the map and this year I actually stuck to it!
I made myself focus when I got into the sale and I headed for the yellow row. I smiled as I passed up the Glennas and found the Carryall Crossbodies. Pattern selection for the Carryalls wasn't great for my tastes, but I found one in Impressionista. I was interested in a microfiber solid one, but they only had espresso and I really wanted black.
The map said that the Cargo Slings were in the yellow row, but I couldn't find them. I knew they were retired, so I figured they were gone already.
I looked at my wish list and headed for the flip flops in the blue row. I had hoped to get a pair in Chandelier Floral, but while they had plenty of size large flip flops this year, I couldn't find any in that pattern. Instead, I grabbed a pair in Midnight Paisley. Black and white go with everything, right?
Next, I headed for the wristlets and wallets in the green row. I found the wristlets I was looking for and picked up a couple in patterns I like. I just grab and go, there's time to consider choices later!
Then it was time to head for the paper products and hair accessories. There were lots of mini notebooks this year and I even considered some file folders. I found the Colorful Hair Clips with the other hair accessories. Sadly, there were only 3 patterns this year as they've been retired. I grabbed 2 of them, but because I'm not a fan of Camofloral, I didn't get those.
I finally headed for the lunch bags where I found the Lunch Coolers. Several ladies at the table raved about the bag, so I added one to my bag.
Since I now had everything on my wish list, I decided to head for the last chance tables. They were very crowded, but there was a lot of good stuff! I ended up finding the cargo slings back there, although they were buried and there weren't very many. I found one in Katalina Pink and added it to my bag. I also found some Turnlock Wallets back there. I was secretly hoping to find one in Ribbons but didn't see any. I did grab one in Flutterby to consider.
Eventually, I just wandered around looking at things and taking pictures of signs. I felt overwhelmed and actually never went over to the Faux Leather, Preppy Poly, or Leather items. I met up with my group and sorted my stuff and agonized over which purse to get. Because I'm trying to find a crossbody that is similar in size to the Glenna, I went over and grabbed one of those. I ended up grabbing one in Northern Stripes which was a mistake because I freaking loved it.
But since I promised myself I would not buy yet another Glenna, it went into the discard bin with a few other things I'd grabbed. Sandy had grabbed a Grand Tote 2.0 and I asked her about it. Turns out, it is originally $65, but at the outlet sale, it was $19.99! Well, that's a great deal, so I went to look at those and ended up grabbing one to use this summer for camp stuff and to take to the pool.
We did one last wander around and just before we headed to the checkout, I decided to take a spin through the jewelry section. I ended up adding a necklace to my bag.
We made it to the checkout area just before our session ended. Although there were no problems this year, check out still took a long time. We were in line for over an hour. In previous years, the line has gone much faster. Although I did appreciate not waiting over 2 hours because the computers crashed.
Things I didn't like this year
- The lack of sorting areas. Before, there has been lots of space for people to get out of the way of the shoppers and look through their stuff and put things in the discard bins. This year, there were only 2 small areas at each end of the sales floor. I don't know if that's a fire marshal thing, a Coliseum thing, or a Vera thing, but it wasn't enough room.
- Also, you aren't allowed to sit on the floor which has been always been a rule, but they don't provide chairs. I don't mind, but many shoppers are of a certain age and kneeling on the floor isn't really an option. Meanwhile, the Coliseum workers that supervise the sorting areas were sitting in chairs.
- And to go along with my previous 2 points, if you're going to enforce those things, you need to enforce them everywhere. When I was in the jewelry section, there were several people sitting on the floor back there. They were hidden from view from the sales floor, so nobody told them they couldn't sit on the floor.
- No markdowns? Usually, on Thursday, prices start getting marked down. If there were any markdowns at our session, they weren't advertised.
Things I did like this year
- We got into the sale 15 minutes early! That was awesome!
- Signs! This year all the signs were on top of the tables and there were lots of them! So many in fact, that I'm still missing prices on the price chart.
- The price scanners were working! And they were improved.
- Pattern selection! There were lots of patterns available. I even saw some things in Havana Rose and Havana Dots. Outlet and QVC exclusive patterns were also available.
- Organization! Everything was organized very well with similar items grouped together
- Last Chance Tables! Even though they were frequently crowded, I love the Last Chance Tables. They were more spread out this year and organized by price. I found several things worth considering and Trish found some things too.
Here's what I bought...
Grand Tote 2.0 in Cheery Blossoms
Carryall Crossbody in Impressionista
Lighten Up Lunch Cooler in Floral Fiesta
Your Turn Smartphone Wristlet in Chandelier Floral
Ruffle Bodysuit in Lilli Bell
Flip Flops in Midnight Paisley
Colorful Hair Clips in Nomadic Floral and Wildflower Garden
Mini Notebook in Northern Stripes
Have Faith Necklace
Not pictured - an item I got for my mother-in-law for Mothers' Day
What did I put back?
Because I wanted to check out the Front Zip Wristlet, I ended up grabbing it in Marrakesh and Katalina Pink. I decided to go with the Your Turn Smartphone Wristlet, so these went back. I found a Katalina Pink Cargo Sling on the Last Chance Table for $29.99 but ultimately decided it was too big and I didn't love it, so it went back. I agonized for the Northern Stripes Glenna, but it went back too. The Turnlock Wallet in Flutterby that I found on the Last Chance Table for $19.99 also ended up in the discard bin.
How did my wish list go?
I got everything that was on my wish list this year. I did a good job of sticking to my list and getting the things I wanted before considering other things. I did a much better job of actually considering the things I had on my list this year. I did get the Ruffle Bodysuit which was not on my list, but for $1.99, how could I say no?
After the sale, we headed to our traditional lunch at Cheddar's and then went to Jefferson Pointe. We checked out the Vera Bradley store there but didn't stay long since there were storms in the area and we were ready to get home.
We had an awesome day and can't wait for next year!
Have any questions about the Outlet Sale or Vera Bradley? Feel free to ask them in the comments or over on the Argyle Love Facebook page.
What did you get at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale?