Friday, April 11, 2014

My Experience at the 2014 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale

Yesterday was my day to shop at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale. I'm sad it's over and already counting down to next year!

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. We ended up being at the front of Line 2 which meant we were led upstairs to wait. I was disappointed not to be in Line 1 but happy we were at the front of Line 2.

We ended up sitting down to wait and looked over the map. The wait didn't seem to be very long. The hardest part was waiting after 11:00. I think we lost about 20 minutes from our shopping time. Frustrating, but I still felt that I had enough time to shop.

Once in the sale, I headed straight for the purse I wanted and then the lanyards which were nearby. I then tried to head to the lunch bags, but they were not where the map said they were located. I ended up just walking up and down the aisles and grabbing whatever caught my eye.

We were smart and designated a meeting spot this year. I sorted through my bag and ended up putting a few things back after doing some math and some thinking. This year, I think I did a good job of finding things I liked and not grabbing a lot of extra stuff.

We really used our time in the session and didn't end up heading to the check out until just before 1:30. The line was long, but it actually moved very quickly. We never really stood in one spot for long. The gentleman that rang up our purchases was super friendly.

Things I Liked This Year
  • The friendly workers! Almost everyone I interacted with was very friendly and nice. 
  • Markdowns! Last year, I felt like there weren't very many markdowns. This year, there were several and they announced them frequently. 
Things I Didn't Like This Year
  • Strollers! Way too many strollers again. Our session was sold out and very crowded once everybody was in.  Dodging people was hard enough. Dodging strollers is impossible. Plus, I'm always worried somebody is going to get hurt.
  • Pattern selection was hit and miss. Last year it felt like there were a lot of the newer patterns and this year felt like it was mostly just the already retired patterns. There was quite a bit of the Canterberry patterns. I love Ribbons and was hoping to score some items in that pattern, but nothing that I bought had it available. 
  • Prices were hit and miss as well. Some things were great deals, some things were decent deals, and some things are just bad deals. The Tech Cases, Cosmetics, and various Wallets are not good deals.  They are decent sale prices, but not what I consider "outlet" prices. 
  • Things were not where the map said they were. As I said, the lunch bags were not in the location printed on the map. I ended up wandering around looking for them. There were several other items not located correctly according to the map. Also, I saw the Tumblers in 3 different spots.  
  • No prices on the shopping guide. 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.
Here's what I bought...

Vera in Olivia Pink
Glenna in Olivia Pink
Lunch Sack in Go Wild
Mini Notebook in Go Wild
Colorful Hair Clips in Go Wild
Flip Flops in Go Wild
Lanyard in Cupcakes Green
All in One Wristlet in Island Blooms

Here's what my mom bought...

Tablet Tote in Ribbons
Mandy in Ribbons
Coin Purse in Lilli Bell

What did I put back? As you might remember from my Wish List, I wanted a Tumbler. They were at the sale for $9.99. I was willing to pay that price and picked one up in Go Wild. Ultimately, I decided that I really wanted one in Ribbons and to just wait.

I picked up Clip Zip IDs in Go Wild and Island Blooms because I need something to hold my ID for my summer camp job so I don't have to carry a purse. I decided to go with the All in One Wristlet instead because it will also hold my phone.

My mom originally picked up the Vera I got because she was considering a few different bags. She ended up with the Tablet Tote and I decided I wanted the Vera, so instead of going in the reject bin, it went in my bag! And now I'll be sporting a new teaching bag after spring break.

After shopping, we had lunch and then headed to the Vera Bradley store at Jefferson Pointe. I really wanted to check out the new beach stuff that came out yesterday. That turned out to be a bad idea because I ended up falling in love with all the new giraffe items as well as the new necklaces. Hopefully, I can score them at next year's sale!

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

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. I went Tuesday and had the same issues, but also was very happy and enjoyed my time. My biggest struggle is tracking my spending! Any ideas?

  2. My daughter and I went on Wednesday 2:30 session. It wasn't sold out but it was still packed. We were also near the beginning of the upstairs line but they weren't allowing anyone to sit on the floor; they came along and made people stand up! Lucky you!
    There were no markdowns while we were there, no announcements until they began announcing how many minutes left in the session. If I ever go again, it won't be the first day!
    I also noticed things not being where they were listed on the guide but I managed to find the things I was looking for.
    I was hoping for better prices. I've heard people go on and on about how cheap you can buy the retired patterns but I saw many things not even 40%. (the website says 40 - 60%)
    My best deal was a garment bag in Indigo Pop (my fave pattern) for 49.99 (63%). I also got a Miller Bag in Paisley meets Plaid for 49.99 (41%), a Go-Round tote for 39.99, and glasses case for 7.99. My daughter got a large duffel, mini hipster, laptop sleeve, glasses case, mug, flip flops, pencils, and visor all in Plum Crazy and a Tall Tote in Floral Nightingale.
    They weren't letting people sort stuff along the sides of the room on Wednesday. Police would come along and make you move. People were doing their sorting in the checkout lines which caused a lot of stuff thrown all over the place in the lines. I wonder if they went back to letting people sort because of the ridiculous mess in the checkout lines.
    I'm glad you found all the things you wanted and had a good time. We had a blast and are glad that we went but I don't know if we will be in any hurry to go again next year.
    We went to lunch before the sale and the restaurant was full of women carrying Vera bags! Our waiter told us that happens on the days of the sale!