Posted December 10, 2012

NYC: An Insider’s Guide to Sample Sale Shopping

Destinations

Traveling to Manhattan this holiday season? Good plan! We love being in a New York State of mind. And when we’re there, there’s always one thing on our brain: shopping.

At Kimpton, we also like to show you the path less traveled … the secret spots locals go. So for a true insider New York shopping experience, we suggest you hit the sample sales. Technically, a sample sale is just that: examples of a designer’s work used to promote a collection. But Manhattan’s sample sale scene embraces a range of options, from wholesale trunk shows to merchandise liquidations to piles of designer shoes and handbags at deep discounts.

Many sample sales are within a walk or short cab ride from Kimpton’s New York City hotels. The sales typically last three days, and prices clock in at more than half off retail. The trick is knowing where to find them.

That’s where we come in. Here are a few tips for finding sample sales and making the hunt thrilling once you get there.

1. Be resourceful.
Find out about sales by subscribing to Elysa Lazar’s S&B report, a listing of sales that has been the go-to source for close to 25 years. Or check out shopping-focused blogs, including wreakhavocny, madisonavenuespy and racked. Time Out New York and New York magazine also list sales each week.

2. Shop strategically.
Many sales start during the week and stretch into the weekend. For shoppers, weekdays are best and less crowded, but you get the best selection on the first day and best prices on the last day. It’s also good to avoid a hot sale in the middle of the day as you’ll be competing with savvy New Yorkers on lunch hour.

3. Come with cash.
Remember to bring your Benjamins; many sample sales don’t accept credit cards. In some cases, personal checks are accepted.

4. When you see a good deal, grab it!
We can help you with this last one. From now through December 24, Ink48 hotel in trendy Hell’s Kitchen is making your holiday shopping easier with its “Giving Your Shopping Bags a Lift!” package. Guests score $10 toward their taxi ride from a day of shopping, a $10 gift card for Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts (to get caffeinated before shopping!) and a welcome amenity. The package starts at just $1 above the hotel’s Best Available Rate. Book now using the rate code SHOP (rates start at $230/night).

If you have exchanges or returns to be made, enjoy the post-season benefits of Ink48 hotel’s “Many Happy Returns” package, available December 26-February 28. You get 20% off the Best Available Rate, a $10 taxi reimbursement and a welcome amenity. You can book the package with the rate code RETURN (rates start at $230/night).

Make your reservation online at ink48.com.

Happy shopping — hope you remember to bring an extra empty suitcase!

— Story by Martha Thomas

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