Anthropologie’s semi-annual Tag Sale returns this week!! Although this sale isn’t quite the big deal it used to be, the last few rounds have been full of twists, turns and surprises sure to delight most any sale lover. These days sales and promotions are more frequent, so the Tag Sale isn’t quite the huge deal it once was. It’s still a lot of fun though!
Inside, 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. We’ll play the Tag Sale Guessing Game later today!
First an important disclaimer. Though this post consists of tips kindly provided to me by various Anthropologie employees and community members, 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 this week actually brings.
WHAT IS THE TAG SALE?
The Tag Sale is a semi-annual markdown period at Anthropologie where sale items are further discounted to clear out inventory. In the past, Anthropologie stores used to sort items by price, i.e. $59.95, $129.95 and use colored tags for each price group. Hence, Tag Sale. Some stores would move their sale section, normally in the back of store, up to the front. These days each store does it a little differently.
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 the inventory Anthro has too much of — usually not the items highest on our wish lists. 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 and 2013 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.
During the Tag Sale, Anthropologie often has its online store search turned off. This means that you can’t use the Anthropologie website to find sale items in-store. Additionally, Anthro’s become excellent at managing their inventory levels. Their online sale section is consistently nearly empty these days which means that when the Tag Sale goes live there’s going to be a rush of attempted orders for very few items online, followed by a possible rash of order cancellations.
So, let’s quickly recap what happened in last year’s summer tag sale: The Tag Sale kicked off with lots of fresh markdowns, with dresses and sandals seeing the most cuts. The July 4th weekend brought an extra 20% off sale and the last tag sale markdown saw more shoes and accessories. (Note: I expect something along these lines for this year’s summer Tag Sale.)
BHLDN also typically takes an extra 20% off its sale around the first or second week of July.
And last winter’s tag sale: Anthropologie did a huge set of fresh markdowns the day before the Tag Sale began. The Tag Sale started with an extra 25% off all sale clothing and accessory items. And in mid-January, the entire Anthro sale section went to 40% off! (I do not think the Summer Tag Sale will see discounts quite this steep, but you never know…)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TAG SALE
When does the tag sale begin?
This week! As early as tomorrow possibly…
Will there be any extra discounts during the tag sale?
It looks like there will be no extra % off sale when the Tag Sale begins. Instead, a set of fresh markdowns will kick things off to try to drive customers into the store. There will most likely be an additional discount of 20% off sale around the July 4th weekend.
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. 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?
Short answer: the policy is no. You can always ask though. Some of my tipsters have said their stores are accepting the birthday discount during the Tag Sale. Other tipsters have told me their store is not.
Longer answer: Anthropologie is making it harder and harder to use the birthday discount on promotional items. (This is so lame by the way.) If Anthropologie does an extra % off sale during the Tag Sale, that will be considered a promotion and you won’t be able to use the birthday discount. If prices are as marked during the Tag Sale then yes, you can use your birthday discount. 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?
Anthropologie is moving away from the charge/send practice, so it is getting harder and harder to find a store that will do charge/sends. Stores often leave their phones off-hook when the Tag Sale store traffic gets really busy. 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?
Potentially. This tradition seems to be dying slowly. Anthropologie’s website will likely have a page with store opening times if any stores are opening earlier. I’ll update this post once the official email comes through.
What about Canada?? And the UK??
Online, the Tag Sale should start at the same time for everyone in the USA and Canada. In-store USA and Canada will both start the same day the online Tag Sale starts. For Anthro lovers living abroad the Summer Sale has already begun!
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL BUT NOT BUDGET-BREAKING TAG SALE
1. Make a list of items you really, really want.
We’ve all done it — we buy items we don’t really need or aren’t even sure if we want them just because the deal is good. To avoid that, I usually make a list of items I’d buy if they go on sale or extra % off sale. Then I pre-add them to my shopping cart before the sale starts if they are available online. (Note: if you do this I really appreciate it if you use this EA affiliate link before adding the items!) Normally I’d also say check to see which stores have the items in stock now…but Anthro’s already turned off the store finder feature online.
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.
3. Be patient!
If you miss out an item at the beginning of the Tag Sale or when an extra % off promo first appears, RELAX. There’s an excellent chance that item will pop back into stock during the Tag Sale. The rate of returns is high during this period, as is the rate of purchases. Anthro’s much better at the quick turnaround now. This goes double for when you’re in store. Remember that Anthropologie’s employees want to help you! I see so many of them go above and beyond that it makes me so frustrated when I see an employee getting berated over something they can’t control. Treat them like you’d treat your dearest friend and you’re much more likely to get your way. (So long as what you’re asking is possible. Asking the impossible rarely works out well for anyone.)
MY TAG SALE WISHLIST
I would love it if Anthropologie blew our minds with a dress promo combined with Free Shipping during the Tag Sale!! But that seems highly unlikely. 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).
Avie Tunic ($98)
Castella Layered Necklace ($88)
Dip-Dyed Open Back Tank ($78)
Estella Pasta Bowl ($20)
Fluttered Flores Blouse ($118)
Halfshell Layered Necklace ($88)
Inscribed Arrow Necklace ($58)
Jasper & Jeera Azille Slides ($98)
Level 99 Cuffed Cargo Shorts ($68)
Mirrored Dresser ($1,300)
Mooreland Wall Art, Peacock ($298)
Peachtree Dress ($178)
Raphaella Booz Jeweled Prinnia Slingbacks ($128)
Sabado Dress ($138)
Scalloped Lacework Shorts ($88)
Scalloped Marble Frame ($30-$40)
Sightseer Cargo Shorts ($78)
Tropical Rain Drops ($118)
What’s on your Tag Sale wishlist? What are you hoping to see in the Tag Sale this week? Do we think Anthropologie will finally combine a Tag Sale and Free Shipping?!?!