The Greatest Shopping Secret & Strategy

October 17, 2011


For years I could never figure out why certain luxury stores had so little to choose from during some of their largest and most well-known end of season sales. Sure there was inventory, but the sizes were so limited. How was that possible?

Answer: Things were picked over before the sale actually began.

This privilege extended to customers is called “pre-sale” – and it’s not just for the wealthiest or the most prolific customers. You get to do it, too.

Pre-sale means you can shop the store anywhere from a few days to a week before the “real” sale to select and pay for items ahead of time. You will have to leave them at the store in their inventory hold room and return to pick them up, but you can shop early, unhurriedly and with greater selection options.

Stores like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman are famous for their pre-sale customer service, but did you know that even stores like Macys, Dillards and even Saks Off 5th extend this courtesy as well? While pre-sale options may be de rigeur at the luxury stores, you may have to ask your local salesperson at a mid-range store if pre-sale is available to you. Because these stores run sales more frequently than the luxury stores they may pick and choose which of those numerous sales pre-sale will be available.

Got a favorite boutique that runs a famously fabulous seasonal sale? Ask them, too.

But, as my grandfather used to tell me: Don’t ask, don’t get.

Want to really shop like a luxury customer? Forge a relationship with a favorite salesperson and tell them what items you are looking for and have them pull those things for you for the pre-sale.

There. Now you’re a pro.

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2 Responses to “The Greatest Shopping Secret & Strategy”

  1. April Says:

    Huh. And this is why you’re my go-to fashionista.