Friday, April 10, 2015

My Experience at the 2015 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale

Yesterday was my day to shop at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale. I had so much fun, but now I'm sad that I have to wait a year for the next one!

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 VBOS shoppers.

We arrived at the Coliseum about an hour before our 11:00 session. I'm still not sure what line we were in, to be honest. We were upstairs, so I assumed we were somewhere in line 2, but we got into the sale relatively quickly and it wasn't very crowded at all yet.

There was apparently some delay in getting people into the sale which resulted in Vera Bradley adding an extra 45 minutes to our session. They never announced this while I was on the sale floor, but I saw it on Twitter while I was shopping. They may have announced it towards the end of our scheduled time, but by then I was in the checkout area.

As I said, we got into the sale relatively quickly.  The line started moving right after 11:00 and we didn't stand still for long. I'd say we were in within 15 minutes of the sale starting. I was too excited to start shopping to look at my watch!

This year, I had grand plans to try to stay with mom while we shopped. So when we entered the sale, she and I headed for the Little Hipsters because she wanted one of those. I had also been thinking about getting one, but they didn't have any in Ribbons, so I decided not to get one.

There was one Little Hipster in Go Wild on the pile and I very stupidly did not grab it. Of course, later when I went back, it was gone. Always grab something you're interested in, even if you don't think you will buy it!

After picking out a Little Hipster for my mom, I headed for the Glennas and Emily Satchels which were in the same section. At this point, my mom wandered off, but no big deal, we had a meeting point set up.

I did find a Glenna and an Emily Satchel in Ribbons, so they both went into my bag to consider later. I then got distracted by various items in that area, like the baby stuff. I had to force myself to focus on what I was there for first and then I could browse. But there was so much stuff and so many great deals!

I found the Veras and got one for my mother-in-law and then looked for the Tumblers, which were gone, and the hair accessories. After I had the things I had come for, I wandered around looking at various other things and documenting prices for the price chart.

I also decided to go back and pick up a Little Hipster to consider. As I said, there weren't any in Ribbons or Flutterby and the Go Wild one was gone, so I ended up grabbing one in Flower Shower, which was the same pattern my mom picked out.

Eventually, we all met up at our meeting spot and started sorting our things and adding up our totals. I compared the Glenna and the Emily Satchel and ended up going with the Glenna again. While the Emily seems to have lots of room and I like that it's divided, ultimately I didn't like the shoulder strap. It felt shorter than the Glenna. Vera Bradley says it's a 1/2 inch difference, but apparently, that makes all the difference to me!

We headed to the checkout probably somewhere after 1:00 and while the line was long, it moved quickly. We didn't really stand in one spot for long. I was attempting to update the price chart while in line, so that was an adventure!

Things I Liked This Year
  • Bonus Buys! I admit, I was a little skeptical this would be a good thing, but I liked it. Our session had quite a few Bonus Buys and one of them was the Vera, which I was getting for my mother-in-law. The Bonus Buys were marked with balloons and they frequently announced what they were throughout the sale.
  • Markdowns! Markdowns had already started on Thursday, and I was happy to see the silver balloons marking them. Sadly, it wasn't anything I wanted in my session, but I'm always happy to see markdowns.
  •  Things were actually where the map said they were. Last year, this was a problem, but this year was good. Although if something was sold out, there was usually another product in that spot, so that was a little confusing. 
  • Friendly workers! Once again, everybody I interacted with was super friendly.
  • Jewelry! This year the jewelry, readers, and sunglasses were located in a special area on the sales floor with plenty of workers to help. This is so much better than having them after the checkouts or located elsewhere. I was so happy to get the necklace I've been wanting since last year. 
  • Coupon! Vera Bradley printed a coupon for $30 off a $100 purchase at the Outlet Sale in a local newspaper. Thanks to Tricia's mom and dad we were able to get our hands on 4 copies. After doing my calculations, I was able to keep the Little Hipster I was considering because I basically got it for free thanks to the coupon. I LOVED that coupon! My mom didn't spend enough to use hers, so we gave it to the lady in the checkout line behind us.
Things I Didn't Like This Year
  • Strollers! Look, it's crowded, it's chaotic, and it's hard to move around. The strollers do not make things any easier and I cannot imagine it's easy to maneuver with one. I'm just worried somebody is going to get hurt. I did see several ladies wearing their small children, which is great.
  • Sold out items. I know it's hard for Vera Bradley to predict what is going to sell out quickly, but it's really annoying to get excited about something on the map only to find out it's gone already. For example, pet items were on the map, but they were nowhere to be found during our session. I found where they were supposed to be, but there were only beach towels there. They need to put up a sign saying that the item is sold out. I know the map is trying to be helpful, and I appreciate that, but they couldn't have had much pet stuff if it was already gone, so maybe it didn't need to be on the map? I don't know. Better communication about sold out items is needed though.
  • No prices on the shopping guide again. Finding the right sign for products was sometimes tricky with the crowds and I always have a hard time remembering things. The price scanners were helpful, but with no prices on the guide, it meant that everybody wanted to use the scanners. You had to fight the crowd to get a chance to scan your item. I like being able to provide the price chart though and hopefully, it was helpful to a lot of people this year.
Here's what I bought...

Glenna in Ribbons
Little Hipster in Flower Shower
Colorful Hair Clips in Ribbons and Flower Shower
Cleaning Cloth in Indigo Pop
Carpe Diem Necklace in Petal Paisley
Not pictured - Vera in Indigo Pop for my mother-in-law and another item I'm saving for mother's day.

What did I put back? I put back the Emily Satchel I had been considering as well as a Loop Keychain because $6 was more than I really wanted to pay for a keychain I really didn't need.

How did my wish list do? I did get the Glenna, Colorful Hair Clips, and necklace that I wanted. The Tumblers and Umbrellas were already sold out by my session. There were no large flip flops left either. I did see the Ruffle Cosmetics I like, but they didn't have any in red.

After shopping, we headed over to Jefferson Pointe to shop and check out the Vera Bradley store. Of course, I spotted items I'll be adding to my wish list for next year's sale.

We also discovered that Fort Wayne now has a Tim Horton's, so we checked it out and got doughnuts. They were delicious and we'll be adding a stop at Tim Horton's to our annual girls' day traditions.

Yum! Double Chocolate!
We had a great day of shopping and I can't wait for next year's sale!

Tricia and me
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?

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  1. Hi Jenn!

    What paper was the coupon in?

    Thank you for all of your info!

    1. It was in the South Bend Tribune and a Fort Wayne paper.

  2. Do you know if it was in the Journal Gazette or News Sentinel Fort Wayne newspaper? Also did you notice if there were baby bag backpacks?

    1. I think it was the Journal Gazette, some time last week. They did have Backpack Baby Bags. They were $49.99 at the beginning of the sale.

  3. Someone is going to be shopping for me this year and it's my first time ever being able to get VB from the outlet sale. My question is are there any tips that you could give me to make it easier for her and myself? Thank you!!! SOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!

  4. Hi! Thank you for the great information! Do you know if they published coupons for this years sale?

    1. Coupons have been in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette on March 27 and April 10.