Sunday, October 11, 2009

Prepare Yourself - American Apparel Flea Market Tips

My school was selected as a last-minute stop for American Apparel's Flea Market Tour! Thus it isn't featured in the list above (muahah, such secrecy).  It was during the worst possible day of the week but I went to the sale twice, before my eight hours of classes and right after I was done with class.  I came not knowing what to expect.  I wasn't even sure how long the line for the sale was going to be. But now, I'll share what I've learned from my first time are five things to keep in mind if you're heading to a nearby American Apparel Flea Market.

1. Always always ALWAYS check for holes, stains, and defects
The semi-crappy quality of many of the products at the sale is the reason why everything was priced so cheap.  Also, American Apparel tries to get rid of the clothes that they don't sell through the flea markets, so you'll see a lot of salmon colored as well as highlighter yellow shirts.  I was excited to find these two-toned tights I previously blogged about.  When I got home and realized that I didn't check for defects, I found a small tear in the black side of the tights!  Now I really appreciate my mom's careful eye during our shopping trips...  When I went back to the sale at night, I made sure to check for defects and found a very light stain on the white shirt I wanted to get.  No biggie.  I also saw that one of the chashiers got the exact same tights as I did, but she didn't mention any holes on it!  *Smacks face*

8:13AM - Still setting up

2. The Early Bird Doesn't always catch the worm, just don't be the Extra Late Bird

I had class all day, starting at 9:30AM, and the sale was starting at 9AM.  So I thought I had to be there bright and early.  I woke up at 8AM, didn't eat breakfast (like always), and biked to the location of the sale, which wasn't too far away considering how huge this campus is.  As time went on, the line grew and wrapped around the nearby building.  I was one of the first people allowed to go inside around 9:15AM, a late start.  I had a quiz for my morning class so I had to pick something and go.  Too bad I didn't have any time to shop around later because I heard that more American Apparel stock was brought in during the afternoon.  So it doesn't really matter what time you go to this sale, but make sure you don't go at night, when plenty of the good stuff will be gone.  Also, my campus has terrible lighting fixtures that literally are like dark room safe lights.  Everything was tinged with a yellow hue, and I didn't have a flashlight, just a cellphone LCD.  American Apparel is all about color, so it's best that you see the clothes during the day.

3. Bring CASH
I don't understand why so many people would rather use a credit card than plain old cash.  It's not that hard to bring a fifty dollar bill, you know.  A lot of times, American Apparel Flea Markets only accept cash, but for the college tour, they accepted credit.  More people used cards than cash so unless you want to wait in another long line, bring those bills (if you're at a Cash Only flea market, you'll probably have to wait in another long line, regardless). If you're not sure how much cash you have to bring, here's a nifty price list for you:

If you know what you want, you can estimate how much you'll need at the sale.  The small print at the bottom says you can take an additional 50% off the price of any article with damages that are larger than a quarter (coin).  Note that American Apparel charges tax when the total cost of your purchases is over a certain amount.  In the morning, I bought a $3 pair of tights and I didn't have to pay tax.  In the evening, my purchases totaled over $20, so I had to pay tax.

4. Know your American Apparel sizes
Everyone should know their sizes, especially since American Apparel tees are used by so many graphic design companies to print their own shirts.  It's probably good to know your pants size, too, because you never know what you're going to end up getting at one of these sales.  I got a somewhat messy-looking pair of jeans, a size 26. I'm usually a size 25, but they fit perfectly!  Click here to find the right sizes for you.

5. Want a certain item?  Make a request
That's right, American Apparel Flea Markets take REQUESTS.  A friend of a friend told me he was at the sale and while he was there, someone announced that requests were being taken and he asked the cashier what these requests were for.  You basically write down your name, phone number, and the exact item you want, and they will call you once they find this item.  He said that no one ever called him about the jacket he requested so I'm not sure if this service works, but it's worth a shot.

Another random thing that you might want to know...the workers at the sale were actually very very friendly, even though they all looked like hipsters!  They didn't give any attitude, though a couple of gals organizing some clothes just looked at me when I wanted to ask them a question.  For the most part, the people there were pretty cool, giving you their thoughts on some of the stuff you pick out.  And the guys who check your bags before you leave to make sure you didn't steal anything say "OK, you're straight" when you're good to go.  I just thought was kind of cool, heh.

Here are my purchases...

The jean coloring is sort of strange but I really really needed jeans to wear, now that it's getting chilly around here (I miss LA).  And I finally got a white t-shirt!  That's right, my closet lacks of white t-shirts.  The total price of all these items at full cost would've been over $100 but I bought everything for under $30!  YAY!

Images: Stylehive, moi, Metromix, American Apparel website

A note from the blogger...
Hello everyone, I'm afraid that the crapload of work I have is preventing me from blogging.  My posts may become less frequent, but not to worry, my bi-weekly posts shall return soon!  Thank you all so much for stopping by my blog!


IdStyle said...

I will keep my eyes open for an AA flea market near me, seems like a great way to stock up on all those good layering basics. Thanks for the tips!

Jen said...

This is awesome! I hope they come my way sometime soon!

Fabulous Finds Gal said...

Great overview and post. Thanks for sharing.

Fabulous Finds Gal

✿ e m i r i said...

haha I'm the opposite. I have more white shirts than any other color. I need more darker ones... but I hate it when they start fading in color. :/