When I lived in London, I lived for sample sales. Most of them were less than a 20 minute tube ride from home, and I was always able to be one of the first through the doors to catch the best bargains before they went.
Since arriving in LA, however, it's a different story. In a city where it takes no less than an hour to get anywhere, where trying to find parking is on par with the quest for the holy grail, and where the sale shoppers can actually be bothered to get up at 6am to be first in line for doors opening at 8, I've found myself very much behind the curve - and, on the few instances I've actually ventured out to a sale here, have been left to pick through piles of size twelves and seasons-old stock.
Which is why I'm so! so! so! excited to have learned about ideeli.com. It's basically an online sample sale filled with the sort of stuff these LA shoppers wake up at 6am for - Pade Vavra bangles, Baccarat pendants, bags by Celine and YSL and Oscar de la Renta and more. Prices are typically over 50% off the original, and sale times are kept secret until the last minute, when all members receive an e-mail saying a sale for a particular item is about to start. You can sign up for text message alerts too, so that you're ready to buy on your Blackberry as soon as the items go up for sale - no matter wherever you are. With deals like the ones below, I might just become a regular sample shopper again after all...
Pade Vavra Confetti Bracelet, was $700, now $295
YSL Vincennes Hobo, Was $1195, now $495 (!!!!!)
Kotur D'Abo Clutch, was $435, now $189