Thursday, April 10, 2014

Vera Bradley Outlet Sale in Fort Wayne, IN

Yesterday my daughter and I loaded up and headed on down to Fort Wayne, IN for the annual Vera Bradley Outlet Sale.  This was our first time.  Vera Bradley is a manufacturer of all kinds of bags made of quilted cotton, usually floral or paisley patterned.  Bags (purses, tote bags, travel bags, etc) are their main product but they also make other products too.  My daughter and I have several Vera bags.  Every April they have a big outlet sale at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Ft. Wayne, IN.  The sale runs yesterday, Wednesday,  April 9th through Sunday, April 13th.  The first three days are divided in 2.5 hour sessions which a ticket must be purchased.  Those sessions are limited to the number of people permitted to be in there at one time so that everyone is admitted at once at the start of the session.  I know, how silly to have to pay to go shopping! 
It was an easy two hour drive down I94 west to I69 south to Ft. Wayne.  We had lunch at a Red Robin right down the street from the Coliseum.  We had to wait twenty minutes to be seated.  It was crazy, the place was packed and most of the women in the restaurant were carrying Vera purses!! Our waiter told us that they are very busy during the sale every year.
After lunch we drove to the Coliseum; it was only 1:10 and our session time was 2:30.  We saw some people going in but we didn't go in until 1:45.  We didn't plan to go in until 2:00 but we began seeing a lot of people going in so we decided to go.  We couldn't see the front of the line but someone said that we weren't that far back.  Soon after we got in line the place really started to fill up.  They had a large area roped off in rows.  We walked past that but it wasn't long until they were filling the rows up.  A man came though at 2:25 and said that the doors would be opening right at 2:30 and that everyone should be in by 2:45.  We didn't start moving until after 2:45 and we were finally in the doors at 2:50.  We got a guide as we were entering the building.  It listed products and gave the section where they were located.
Everything was on tables with a sign with the sale price on the top:
The best deal I saw
As we entered the sale, each person is given a large pink bag to carry their items in.   The space was huge.  It was crowded but not so bad that you couldn't move.  I tried to get a picture of the crowd.  This doesn't really show what it was like since it was a huge space. You can see the pink bags.
Vera shoppers
The best deal that I got was a garment bag.  They were the biggest discount I saw.  Regular 135, on sale for 50 which is 63% off.  I found one to match the travel bag I have!  I was a bit disappointed in most of the prices.  I've heard people talk about this sale and the prices being so low.  They are selling retired styles and patterns at this sale; it's not the latest styles and patterns.  I did some googling last week and found some blog posts people made last year after the sale and they all said that the prices weren't as low as they used to be.  (These were people who had been going to this sale for years.)  One lady said she had went for seven years but probably wouldn't go again.  I know they can't give the stuff away but they promote on the website and in emails that prices are 40 - 60% off.  I was seeing things right away that were less than 40% off.  I even used the calculator on my phone to make sure my brain wasn't malfunctioning.  My daughter bought one of the duffel bags in the picture above.  The regular price is 85 and the sale is 55 which is only 35%.  It was the one thing that she really wanted and she found it in the pattern that she really wanted so she bought it. 
We found the things that we wanted to get and then we went up and down all the rows just looking at all the stuff.  After we did that, we were off to the checkouts which were in a different area.  We got in the line.  The line moved right along but it was nearly an hour before we checked out.
The checkout line:
I don't know how many checkouts they had but there were a lot of them.  We were finally at a checkout!
almost done!
After we left the checkout area there was a picture background.  My daughter took a picture of a couple of ladies and they took our picture for us.
Mother & Daughter at VBOS14 
We took pictures of each other pointing to our favorite pattern on the wall.  This is me pointing to my fave:
fave Vera pattern

So, that was our Vera Bradley Outlet Sale experience!  Geez, I'm as tired from typing this out as I was yesterday when we were leaving!   I'm glad we went and we had a good time but I'm not sure we will be in any hurry to go again next year.

Runner Nerd
attended #VBOS14

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