Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tips for the 2013 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale

The Vera Bradley event of the year is next week and I cannot wait! 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!

 photo VeraBradleyOutletSaleCrowd.jpg

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 handbag and a new Turn Lock Wallet. Want to see my wishlist? Check it out on Pinterest!

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 colors most recently retired..

Priscilla Pink

Doodle Daisy
Ellie Blue
 Then, those retired last November...

Rhythm & Blues
Floral Nightingale
Mocha Rouge
Very Berry Paisley
Rosy Posies
And the patterns that were retired last September...

Tea Garden
Happy Snails
And I'm sure we'll see some of the colors that were retired just after last year's sale...

Plum Petals
Safari Sunset
Deco Daisy
Viva la Vera
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. For example, I've been seeing Night Owl every year since 2010. 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. Here are my predictions...

Summer Cottage
Island Blooms

Limes Up
 There's also a chance that these might be retiring soon...

Paisley Meets Plaid
Portobello Road

Retired styles are usually available in all patterns that they were made. Theoretically, you could find a bag in a Winter 2012  or Sping 2012 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 Tuesday. I'd love to snag something in Go Wild!

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 used to go on the second day of the sale and find good deals. This year, Thursday is the third day of the sale, so I'm hoping to find even better deals. Just keep in mind, the later in the sale you go, the less selection you may have to choose from. I value selection over price, so the second day worked well for me. I'm hoping the third day will still be a good day for both selection and value this year.

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 sixth 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. I'm going with my best friend, Tricia, and she is leaving her adorable baby at home. He's a great shopper, but she knows that the Outlet Sale is no place for a baby. I'm so glad I have responsible friends who value the safety of their children.
 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 and Instagram. I'll try to tweet from the sale and hopefully share 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? Any questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments for me or on the Argyle Love Facebook page!



  1. I normally grab a large tote, like Get Carried Away, and stuff it instead of lugging around the trash bag with accessories, etc. Have a great time at the sale! I'm going Tuesday @ 11am and I CANNOT wait.

    1. I am with you Leslie. I always grab a tote or duffle so I have something with handles soooo much better than the garbage bag to carry around. Then at the register I just pop it in the box before checking out. Although in the past I have also purchased the tote bag!!! Since I come from out of town we will be going Friday evening and then Saturday morning bright and early. We also hit the sale on Sunday before the drive home!!! I can't wait for next week!

  2. I wish I could go! I'm so close .lol have fun.