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If you’re a fashion obsessed girl on a budget living in a big city like New York, Los Angeles, or Miami, chances are you’ve been to a sample sale or two. Sample sales are a great opportunity to snag deeply discounted designer fashions, but they can be intimidating to even the most seasoned bargain shoppers. Check out these tips to make the most of your next sample sale experience:

1. Be prepared to wait

When labels like Rebecca Minkoff, For Love and Lemons, and Brandy Melville host sample sales, you can bet they want everyone to know about them. This means posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, in the hopes that the event information will reach as many eyes and ears as possible. The downside of word getting out about these fabulous sales is that it could mean a few hours standing in a long lineup for anyone who wants to get their hands on some new sale threads. That being said, nine times out of ten the wait is totally worth it, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes, pack snacks, and bring a friend along to make it a bit more bearable.

2. If you see something you like, hold on to it

Don’t make the mistake of being indecisive. Designers have very limited stock during their sample sales, so if you see something you like but aren’t sure about, hold on to it. You could potentially lose out on something that you might love just by putting it down for a second! Give it some thought – you can always put it back if you decide it’s not for you.

Bonus tip: scope out the brand’s social media accounts in the days leading up to the sale for a possible sneak peek of what items will be making an appearance!

3. Time yourself

Often, designer sample sales attract such large crowds that when new groups of eager customers are let in, they are placed within a strict time limit to shop and complete all purchases so that the lineup outside is kept moving. Set a timer on your phone to keep track of how long you have to browse each section. This way, you’ll be able to devote equal time to clothes, shoes, and accessories, and you won’t be disappointed when your turn is up!