Friday, March 30, 2012

Tips for the 2012 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale

The Vera Bradley event of the year is approaching and if you're like me, you know it's not to be missed! The Annual Vera Bradley Outlet sale is held every year in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It's an arena full of handbags and accessories all at a discount price. For me, it's just as good as Christmas!

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.

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.

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. This year I want a new Stephanie (or two since the style is retired) and a new Turn Lock Wallet.

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.

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 patterns that will be retired in March. (All pattern swatches from the Vera Bradley website.)

Blue Lagoon
Lemon Parfait
Then, those retired last November.

English Meadow
Twirly Birds Pink
Night & Day
And the patterns that were retired last September.

Twirly Birds Navy
Hello Dahlia!
Slate Blooms
I think we'll also see patterns that were retired just after last year's sale.

Simply Violet
Call Me Coral
Make Me Blush
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.

I'm sure we'll also see the next patterns to be retired...

Safari Sunset

Viva la Vera

Deco Daisy
Retired styles are usually available in all patterns that they were made. Theoretically, you could find a bag in a Winter 2011 pattern, but I've found that anything that new tends to disappear fast. Your best bet of scoring those will happen in the first few sessions on Wednesday.  I'd love to score something in Island Blooms, though!

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.
2011 Prices
2010 Prices
2009 Prices

This will be my fifth Vera Bradley Outlet Sale and I've picked up a few tips along the way.
  • Use a crossbody handbag or a smaller purse. It gets crowded in the arena as you can see from the pictures and believe me, you'll want your hands free to shop!
  •  Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. You're going to be on your feet the whole time. Don't wear flip flops or you risk having your foot stepped on.
  • Bring your registration and your ID. There are usually computers set up to print off your registration, but you'll have to wait in line. Save time and do it before you arrive. You will not be able to purchase anything without your ID, so make sure you have it!
  • Please don't bring children! There is no way I'd bring a kid to the sale. It's crowded and you won't enjoy yourself if you have to worry about keeping your child with you at all times.
 This is not the mall, do not bring a stroller! You will only annoy everyone else and your baby really doesn't belong. If I couldn't get a babysitter, I wouldn't go to the sale.

Don't forget to like the Argyle Love Facebook page and follow me on Twitter. I'll be tweeting from the sale and hopefully sharing some pictures too.

And finally, remember to have fun! Score some great deals and enjoy being in the company of other Vera Bradley lovers.

Are you going to this year's sale?



  1. I am going to the Saturday session that has free admission. Have you been to the outlet sale before

  2. Great tips. My favorite is NO KIDS. I'm a mom myself but gosh darnit, leave them with a sitter. Make it a girl's day!

  3. I've gone several years now as well, and each year we've gone on a different day - Wednesday through Saturday. This year, we will be going Sunday to get the best deals as we have not found the selection to be that different as the sale goes on. Vera staff just seem to constantly replenish items. We'd rather save big and never have our hearts set on a particular pattern and/or style!