Anthropologie’s Tag Sale is just two days away! Beginning this Wednesday their semi-annual sale extravaganza will take over stores much in the way it’s taken over some in this community! What is the Tag Sale? And what can you expect? Explanations, rumors and guesses inside. Thanks as always to the generous employee tips that helped compile this post.
First an important disclaimer. Though this post consists of tips kindly provided to me by various Anthropologie employees, everything in this post is UNOFFICIAL. None of the information here comes directly from Anthropologie’s home office so it is subject to change or being just plain wrong. I’ve tried to fill in the knowledge gaps based on past experiences but we shall see what Wednesday actually brings.
WHAT IS THE TAG SALE?
Twice a year Anthropologie further discounts its sale items to clear out inventory. Primarily a store-based sale, it’s called the Tag Sale because stores used to tag each sale item with brightly colored tags stating the new price — groups of items for $29.95, $39.95 and so on. Tag sales are also what New Englanders call garage sales so perhaps the name is derived from there?
Here’s what you can expect: primarily further markdowns on items already on sale, occasionally an extra % off clothing sale items (usually 20% or 25% off), rarely significant new cuts. The Tag Sale usually lasts about 4 weeks and there’s sometimes fresh cuts during that period but those new sale items are rarely the ones you’re waiting on. The Tag Sale only applies to sale items, not full-priced ones. In my experience the biggest fresh cut sales of the year follow the Tag Sale. In 2012 for example we got both Free Shipping and a huge markdown set two weeks after the Tag Sale ended. So you might want to save your pennies for that.
In past years stores would relocate their sale racks to the front of the store for the Tag Sale. Instead of sorting the racks by clothing type, i.e. dresses, shirts, skirts and so on, instead they’d sort racks by price. So the $39.95 rack might include dresses, pants, tops, and sweaters all on the same rack. Before the Tag Sale stores would also dig through their inventory rooms, known as back stock, and would also put out hidden gems for the Tag Sale. Perhaps a forgotten item from a few years ago that never sold. Or a found box of an item thought to be lost. So occasionally the racks will yield hidden gems. I’ve heard of community members finding items from 5 or more years ago marked at the extremely fair prices of $19.95 or even $9.95! But like all precious gems these finds are rare.
What’s the big deal about the Tag Sale? If you’ve been waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for 2nd/3rd/etc cuts on an item it will likely come this week. The big hook, however, has usually been the extra % off sale items or aggressive sale pricing. Since that’s become more commonplace the Tag Sale can be a letdown if you have lofty expectations. If nothing on sale is catching your eye right now the Tag Sale is unlikely to be a big draw for you.
Those in the community dreaming of 80% first cuts will want to temper their expectations. Expect more items than usual to get marked down but don’t expect steep price cuts. There should also be a lot of 2nd/3rd/etc cuts so if you’re looking for low prices start there. Don’t expect new items to go on sale either. Anthro will stick to its mysterious regular markdown cycle. Sometimes there are surprises in the sale. Mostly there are not. I’m very curious to see what Anthropologie will do this year since their inventory numbers are much lower than last year at this time. The NYC store sale rooms have been feeling pretty empty recently.
To me, the best part about the Tag Sale is that Anthropologie has come through with some pretty neat surprises in past years! So who knows what Wednesday may bring?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TAG SALE
When does the tag sale begin?
Wednesday, June 19, 2013.
Will there be any extra discounts during the tag sale?
It looks like there will be no extra % off sale on Wednesday when the Tag Sale begins. Instead, a small set of fresh markdowns will kick things off to try to drive customers into the store. Could there be a % off sale before the Tag Sale is over? Possibly.
Is the Tag Sale in-store only or online too?
The Tag Sale is both in-store and online. However there are sometimes price differences, with items being lower-priced in stores. Sometimes there will be an extra % off in-store only. In past years select stores with large sales inventories have had the extra % off. For example in the winter the NYC stores had an extra % off sale due to inclement weather conditions. The Seattle stores seem to have secret % off sales more frequently than other areas. If your nearest store sale room is bursting at the seams an extra incentive could be on the way!
Can I use my birthday discount during the Tag Sale?
If prices are as marked during the Tag Sale then yes, you can use your birthday discount. From there the answer is more complicated. If Anthropologie does unveil an extra 20% off sale items or a similar promotion, you’ll still be able to use the birthday discount online so long as no promotion code is required. If a promo code is required than no you won’t be able to use the birthday discount because Anthropologie’s website only accepts one promo code per transaction. Likewise, a blanket promotion like an extra 20% off means you won’t be able to use your birthday discount in-store either because the in-store point-of-sale (POS) system only accepts one promo code per transaction. You cannot apply both a Tag Sale price adjustment and birthday discount. It’s one or the other.
Will I be able to get price adjustments during the Tag Sale?
Yes. Anthropologie will honor price adjustments, including promotional markdowns, within the usual 14-day period. You cannot apply both a Tag Sale PA and birthday discount. It’s one or the other.
Will I be able to do a charge/send during the Tag Sale?
Stores often leave their phones off-hook when the Tag Sale store traffic gets really busy. I expect Anthropologie will turn off the store finder feature on its website for this week too. So while it’s possible to a charge/send I expect it will be challenging at the beginning of the Tag Sale. Be patient if you do get through! Remember stores will be dealing with higher traffic volume than normal.
Will stores be restocking sale during the Tag Sale? Or is everything put out at once?
Stores won’t be hiding any sale inventory in the back during the Tag Sale — everything will be out. But Anthropologie does shift sale stock from store to store and there maybe new markdowns in the second or third week of the Tag Sale. So it’s worth more than one store visit.
Will my store open early on Tag Sale day?
Yes, many stores will have special hours on the first day. Anthropologie’s website will likely have a page with store opening times. I’ll update this post once the official email comes through.
What about Canada?? And London??
Online, the Tag Sale should start at the same time for everyone in the USA and Canada. In-store USA and Canada should both start Wednesday. For Anthro lovers living abroad the Tag Sale usually comes about 4-6 weeks after the USA/Canada sale is over.
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL BUT NOT BUDGET-BREAKING TAG SALE
1. Make a list of items you really, really want. I have not-so-patiently been waiting for a bunch of items to go on sale. Tonight I’ll be whittling down that list to probably 4 or 5 items that will fill holes in my closet. Will I stick to that list? Who knows, but it will be my starting point.
2. Set a budget.
It’s really easy to get caught up in the hype of “everyone is buying x item so I must need it too!” or “the deelz are so good I must spend $” or even “this hardly happens so it’s worth the splurge”. But one hard & fast rule for me these days is to ignore the pack mentality and buy the items that I need (or desperately want) and live vicariously through others for the rest. I’ve set 2 budgets for myself: the “well this really wasn’t such a big deal after all” budget or the “holy crap 40 items I want went on sale, what the hell do I do budget”. I will not be going over that 2nd number.
One of the hardest things for me is that while I’m writing the Sale posts on Monday the items I want are quickly depleting in inventory online. I’m sure this affects community members not near a store more than me but nothing is worse than prepping your cart and then finding an item out of stock when you go to checkout. But if there’s one thing I’ve noticed in past years with the weird development of people “pre-buying” items on Sunday night, it’s that almost everything comes back into stock. So if the item you want is sold out on Monday morning when you wake up don’t despair. You’ve got a community here of ladies to keep their eyes peeled in stores. And there’s a good chance that your item will pop back up online once Anthro’s inventory system catches up. So I’ve learned to be patient (sort of). As much as I loves me some Anthro, it is just clothing.
MY TAG SALE WISHLIST
Though I don’t expect it I’d be delighted beyond belief if Anthropologie surprised us with discounts on some of their super-cute summer items! So my pie-in-the sky wishlist includes new arrivals (highly unlikely to get discounted), long-awaited items (slightly more likely) and further cuts on a few sale goodies (likely).
Brigantine Regatta Dress ($168)
Chantelle Jacket ($228)
Dayflora Stitched Skirt ($148)
Diamond Pointelle Pullover ($78)
Katrine Peplum Top (now $50 in select colors)
Moss Lace Pencil Skirt ($188)
Patched Rugby Pullover (now $60)
Piper Clogs ($168)
Striped Persephone Tank ($88)
Sunstream Eyelet Dress (now $80)
T-Strap Kitten Heels ($70)
Tiled Swing Tank ($78)
Warbler Post Peasant Blouse (now $70)
Woodprint Swing Dress ($258)
What items are you hoping to see included in the Tag Sale? What questions do you have? Ask away in the comments!