Our sample sales have become some of the most-anticipated events of the year for Briar lovers. Whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned sample sale pro, this post has all things sample sale laid out - along with a little stroll down memory lane.
A little sample sale history: our very first sample sale took place in the summer of 2017. Rachel and our production manager were trying to figure out what to do with some fabric they had picked up that was absolutely gorgeous, but didn’t have large enough quantities to be able to use in a collection; lightbulbs went off, and the idea of creating one-time styles out of limited, leftover, or excess fabric was hatched. The first sample sale featured twelve brimless styles, and the idea of sample sale themes began when we named each style after a popular baby girl’s name from the 1930s. The most popular style from that first sample sale was the elusive Dottie, pictured below. Hi Dottie!
Since that first sample sale, sample sales have evolved into much-anticipated events with 20-30+ seasonal styles including brimless, brimmed, Poms, and Sherpa-lined and a brand new theme each time. A fan favorite: Winter 2018’s literary theme - see the Where the Wild Things Are mini collection from that sample sale below.
On to the sample sale basics! Sample sales are held on our website, and typically begin at 10am Pacific Time (to calculate what time that is in your time zone, click here). We launch several new bonnets, which we call mini collections, every 10 minutes on our site under the “Sample Sale” collection until all of the bonnets in the sample sale are on the site. There’s a listing in the sample sale collection labeled “Sample Sale Schedule” which shows all the bonnets in the sample sale and the times that they will launch to make it easier for you to shop.
If you're wondering why we stagger the drop times, here are a few reasons:
- It gives you a better chance of getting multiple styles; if we launched everything at once you would basically be able to go for one bonnet before most of the others sell out. This way you can go for one option at 10, and have a clean shot at another favorite choice at 10:20, etc.
- It allows you to pick + choose when you can/want to be on the site to go for a certain style. Can't be on the site at 10? That’s okay, you'll still have a fresh chance at a new drop at 11.
- It's fun and different than our seasonal collection drops and it makes sense with the mini collections, which are a theme within a theme (ie the Gee’s Bend collection in our Spring 2019 “Artists” sample sale).
Since sample sale bonnets are one-time, limited exclusives they will not be restocked in the future; this is also why we offer them at a lower price! Sample sale bonnets are all final sale, and no further discounts apply to them because they’re already pretty amazingly priced. Quantities of each style vary based on the amount of fabric we have and the amount of bonnets our in-house seamstresses are able to make, and some of the more popular styles can sell out in seconds. Literally. We asked our facebook group for some of their tips + tricks in carting their favorite bonnets, and compiled a pretty comprehensive list below.
- Craft a plan of attack! Peruse the sample sale schedule prior and know what time you need to be on the site. Then get on the site a few minutes prior and refresh the sample sale collection page like mad until the bonnet shows up.
- Check out as soon as you have the bonnet in your cart! Carts do not hold - this means that the bonnet is not yours until the order is completed. The safest bet is to go for one bonnet at a time so you aren’t wasting time trying to add multiple styles to your cart while one sells out. As far as shipping fees, domestic shipping is free on all orders $30+, and we’re happy to combine orders and refund excess shipping. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your order numbers as soon as the sale is over to request your orders be combined and get excess shipping refunded, if applicable.
- Make sure you’re connected to fast internet, if possible. The general consensus is that computers tend to be faster than mobile. Some customers go to local coffee shops or places where they know the internet is faster than theirs at home.
- Create an account on our website, and log in prior to the sale! We recommend saving your credit card information to your account - here’s how: the morning of the sale, put a practice bonnet in your cart (a Basic or something else from the site) and go through the motions of checking out. Once you get to the final step before confirming your order, you can click the “Remember me” box at the bottom of the page to save your credit card information. Then delete the practice bonnet from your cart (unless you want that bonnet, too) and wait for the sample sale to start. Your info should be saved!
- Clear your cart before each launch! Orders are final and cannot be altered/canceled once the sale starts. And if you have a sold out bonnet in your cart from a prior launch, it will trip you up for future launches - the site will make you delete the bonnet before you can make a new purchase, which wastes precious seconds. Make sure to empty your cart in between launches!
For more tips, and to glean as much sample sale info as you can, join our facebook group The Briar Society!