Suppose your wedding is next month and you need that gown now? Or suppose you love the sample but it’s just been discontinued? Or else you love the sample but can’t afford to special order it? You do realize next season a whole new stock will be arriving? This means your salon will have to get the old out of the way. And all those gowns with full skirts just hanging there take up space, or haven’t you noticed? While sizes are limited and samples mostly run sizes 6-8-10, the good news is, sample markdowns usually go half off, sometimes less. Some salons have sample sales they advertise a couple times a year while others offer marked down stock continually.
Absolutely love that gown you just tried on? Offer to buy it. Yes, that same gown. Ordinarily samples are not for sale but this may be the time they’re moving in all those spring confections and need to move out that gown you want, especially if it is in less than perfect shape, which, more than a few samples tend to be. Now, a word about wear and tear: Before you start bargaining, check out how much or how little that soon-to-be-yours gown has been tried on by others. This means really looking at it inside as well as out. Is it ripped, stained, the hem soiled and need cleaning? The overall condition of most samples has a lot to do with how the salon takes care of their stock. Still, figure on dry cleaning whether the gown looks like it needs it or not. After a good clean and press it will seem revived both inside and out and take on a new life of its own.
So the question is, who pays the cleaning bill? In some cases, the more service oriented the establishment, the more accommodating they’ll be. As for alterations, you might save them for when you have your gown customized. If you are customizing, any nipping in of the waist or shortening of the hemline might have to wait anyway.