Hi everyone! This post is covering a pretty popular topic, one that many people are curious about, and have questions on. I'm going to try and answer questions as best I can, and give you all the information I have about my experience at the Lilly Warehouse Sale! Enjoy!
So, this was my first year attending the sale. I had a little bit of knowledge from blog posts, and pictures I found on the internet going into the event, but in all honesty, I wasn't fully prepared or fully aware of the craziness I was getting myself into. YES, what you have heard is correct; people do camp days in advance, but a good chunk of the really intense Lilly lovers decide to line up from late afternoon to early evening on the day before the sale. This is not what I did, and I still felt extremely successful overall. I would say that the majority of people came sometime through the night (or morning? Can we really tell in Lilly Warehouse time?) The timeline of our trip went a little like this......
Around 2 pm we arrived in Philly, and we decided to check out the scene at the warehouse (to size up the competition.... obviously...). At this point the line was reaching the tent, but not filling it up. The line into the sale runs from the main door in a straight line until it hits the tent where the line is coiled up similar to a line for an amusement park ride. We came to the conclusion that there wasn't a dire need to get in line yet. So we decided to do some sightseeing, went to bed early, and headed back to get in line around 2 am. We arrived at the sale a little later, to complete chaos. People were running everywhere carrying chairs and shoving them in their cars. We asked someone what was going on and she said that the front of the line started to pack up their stuff, so naturally everyone else had to as well. Lilly logic. Nice. We continued to drive around the building finding that the line surrounded the perimeter of the building and so did the chaos. Even more nice.
We sat in our car for a bit and realized that the craziness wasn't stopping anytime soon, so we got in line. There were big groups of people rushing to get in line all at once, because it had basically reformed as a result of the people leaving their original campsites. We were a little ways from the tent when we lined up, and it was a comfortable wait. We met some really nice and fun people who kept us company until we got inside the sale!
Here's a glimpse at where we started in line when we got out of our car at about 3. You can see a little bit of the tent in the background, and around that corner is the straight shot into main door.
Around 4, a surprise came our way. Lilly employees were rushing around attempting to give out waivers to sign. They were the pass to get in. Here's a picture of the waiver, I would say it speaks for itself.
So we waited a little more, until around 4:30 (the sale begins at 5 am) when people began to filter into the line inside (yes I know another line gah), and the DJ began to play! Coffee was available, and the DJ really helped us ready ourselves for some intense shopping! Our wait was about an hour from the time when the sale officially began. Comparing our wait time to the wait times that other people have talked about from past years, this was pretty good.
We entered the sale with giant bags given to us by the employees, and we were very ready to go! We split up, hitting the dresses, shoes, accessories, and sample section. For those of you who don't know, the sample section is a section of clothes/other pieces that in some cases have malfunctions (rarely noticeable), or sometimes they are just a rare print in general. These go so incredibly fast, and are a target of the day(s) before campers for sure. As the waiver says, the dressing room is the only option for trying on. I would say this is false, if you choose to dress appropriately. Wearing a tank top and fitted shorts is an easy way to ensure that you can try on any piece of clothing that you may stumble upon. Stripping down to minimal clothing is not smart, but if you can pull off slipping on shift dresses over your clothes, you are golden. The dressing room lines are insanely long, and will cause you to miss out on the employees replenishing the floor with new clothes in different sizes!
A snapshot of the floor and all of its bright fun craziness:
You might notice the balloons hanging around the warehouse. Each color signifies a different area to shop! Below I've listed the different colors and meanings:
Pink - Women's
Yellow - Samples
Blue - Accessories
Green - Children
Many girls will wait by the door that the employees bring the racks of clothing out of in order to get certain pieces of clothing that aren't available currently on the floor, since they are replenishing items all day. This is smart, but can also be chaotic. There is a time in the sale where so many people are waiting for new racks that security has to step in to ensure the safety of the employees as they are putting out new clothes. This is how the sale can turn crazy, so shop at your own risk!
I went the first day of the sale, and being inside somewhat early was super beneficial to my overall haul. We also went the second morning, with no line outside, only a small one inside. Although the wait time was cut in half, there was significantly less clothing. This year the crowd was extremely large, and I can definitely see this increasing in the coming years. This is a picture of some of mine and my mom/sisters items we got! (as seen on my instagram @adash_ofclass)
Overall, I had a positive experience, and the prices and merchandise were well worth the trip and lack of sleep. I love Lilly, and it was so wonderful to see so many people who shared this same love. I would highly suggest going in the future if you haven't already! This post was solely about my experience, but I'm going to be doing another post with all the clothes I got, along with their original and sale prices. If you would like to see some additional tips I picked up, or some questions answered in that post, comment below and let me know!
Some other posts I enjoyed about the sale:
Amy Believes in Pink 1, 2, and 3 (she's an expert!)
Some tips from a Philly website
The Preppy Leopard's reviews and tips
Thanks for Reading!