Friday, April 8, 2011

Tips for the 2011 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale

If you love Vera Bradley as much as I do, then you know there's one event every year that's not to be missed...The Vera Bradley Outlet Sale! Every year, Vera Bradley hosts a sale of their amazing products at discount prices. Imagine an arena filled with rows of tables all holding thousands of beautiful handbags and accessories. It's heavenly!

Basically, once you enter, you grab a big plastic bag and a price sheet and then it's time to shop! My plan is to grab anything I think I might want and stuff it in my bag. Then, when I've browsed everything, I find a spot and sort through what's in my bag.
2009 Spring Vera Bradley Outlet Sale
Sorting area!
Rejected items are placed in nearby boxes and carts to be restocked by Vera workers.

After making my decisions and any final sweeps around the arena, it's time to pay! There are always tons of registers and the lines move pretty quickly. My favorite part is getting a free gift!

To prepare for the sale, I try to make a list of styles I want to look at the most. These are the items that I will head to first before taking some time to mosey through the rest of the sale. For example, this year I really want a new Hipster and a new Stephanie.

Just about every current and retired style of bags and accessories will be at the sale. What's unknown is exactly which patterns will be available. Based on what I've seen at previous years' sales, I can usually make a pretty good prediction of what I'll see. I try to identify which patterns I would most like prior to the sale. This is especially helpful if you are attending the sale with a group. Your friends can help by grabbing things in the pattern you want if you want to split up to shop and then meet back up to sort. (Of course, you'll help out your friends by grabbing what they want.)

I've found that the patterns are mostly ones that have been retired since the previous year's sale as well as some that are going to be retired after the sale. These are often the colors listed as "sale" on the Vera Bradley website. At the 2009 sale, I got a purse in Yellow Bird which then retired in November of 2009. At the 2010 sale, I got a Stephanie in Yellow Bird. This year, I don't expect to see much Yellow Bird.

So, what colors do I expect to see at the Sale? I'd say it's a good bet we'll see plenty of the patterns that have been retired since the last sale.

Starting with the mostly recently retired just this past March. (All pattern swatches from the Vera Bradley website.)
Poppy Fields
Sittin' In a Tree
Purple Punch
Then, those retired last fall.
Loves Me...
Totally Turq
Imperial Toile

Blue Rhapsody
Java Blue
Hope Garden
I think we'll also see patterns that were retired just after last year's sale.

Bali Blue
Bali Gold
As in previous years, there will also be older patterns available in select styles, but it's tough to predict just what exactly will be available. Your best bet is to look over the Sale section of the Vera Bradley website to get an idea.

As for the current patterns that will be retired? It's really any one's guess, but these are my guesses...
Make Me Blush
Simply Violet
Call Me Coral
Night and Day

Symphony in Hue
 Why these five? They are the oldest patterns that haven't been retired. Just a guess on my part and I could be totally wrong!

Also, there are few styles of bags that are being retired. These bags will be available in current colors as they are no longer being made. These styles are:
In addition, there are a few styles that are not officially retired, but are not being made in the newest patterns. I would guess that these styles will also be available in current colors as well. These styles are...
So, what about prices? Exact prices won't be known until the sale opens, but looking at previous years' prices can give you an idea of what to expect. Keep in mind, that beginning the second day of the sale, prices start dropping. Just a few on the second day, then more as the sale goes on. I usually go on the second day of the sale and find good deals. Just keep in mind, the later in the sale you go, the less selection you will have to choose from. I value selection over price, so the second day works well for me.

Here are some links to previous years' prices thanks to the great website Discount Fabric Handbags.
2010 Prices
2009 Prices

Finally, remember to get a good night's sleep, wear comfortable clothes and shoes, bring your registration, and have fun!

Are you going to this year's sale?
I do not work for Vera Bradley. (Although I would love to!) These are only my personal predictions based on what I've seen previous years.


  1. I'm going and can't WAIT! As much as I love Night and Day, I would LOVE to see it at the sale :)

  2. Was planning to go this year for the first time with my mom (who has gone for the past 6 years!), but too many logistics to overcome. Maybe next year?!

  3. Yep, I was at the sale this year. SO much better than last year. I can't believe I waited in line as long as I did last year AND I was pregnant too. Although, I was a tad disappointed with the prices this year, but overall, not bad. You really hit the nail on the head with which patterns/styles would be available. Maybe they should offer you a job! :)