How to survive the Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale

The Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale is currently happening in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Colorful totes, wallets, lanyards, and pretty much everything else Vera Bradley is marked down 40-60%. While I wouldn’t call myself a Vera Bradley fanatic, I gave in to temptation and joined my mom and grandma on a short road trip to this huge annual sale.

How to survive the Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale
Here's what I learned from my first time shopping the huge Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale. Trust me, you'll want to bring snacks.

Register and buy tickets 

The first three days of the sale are ticketed events, and for $5 a person you can shop the sale for two and a half hours. You, also, receive a coupon for $5 off your purchase. Tickets went on sale in February, and they sell out fast. (More info here.)

Get in line early

Despite having tickets, there is a long line for the door. For our 11 a.m. shopping session, we were in line by 9:45 a.m., and there were already a lot of people in front of us. Definitely be in line at least an hour early.

Here's what I learned from my first time shopping the huge Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale. Trust me, you'll want to bring snacks.

Don’t bring a lot of stuff with you but do bring snacks

A crossbody bag is perfect for keeping your hands free while you shop. Now is not the time for big bags, strollers, or anything else that will get in your way or in the way of other shoppers. I recommend bringing a snack though because waiting always makes me hungry… as does serious shopping.

Create a battle plan

When you get in line, you’re handed a brochure that lists the styles for sale and their locations. This is great if you are shopping for particular items. Sadly, prices were not listed on the brochure.

Here's what I learned from my first time shopping the huge Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale. Trust me, you'll want to bring snacks.

Grab what you like, sort later

I’m not saying be a crazy person and grab everything you see, but if you like something, don’t wait and come back for it. When you enter the conference hall, you are handed a large, pink, garbage bag to put your items in. Fill it up then step to the sidelines to sort. There are gray bins scattered around the hall, so you can dump what you don’t want in there. There aren’t designated sorting areas, which is something I think they need, and you’re not allowed to sit on the floor at any time (fire hazard), which can make sorting tricky. There aren’t any chairs in the hall, which was a difficulty for my grandma since she needs to sit down quite often. So, that’s something to keep in mind if you are shopping with an elderly person.

Plan for checkout  

It took my mom and I about half an hour to checkout, so this is another good reason to have snacks on hand.

Here's what I learned from my first time shopping the huge Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale. Trust me, you'll want to bring snacks.

Thoughts on the Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale…

This was our first time going to the sale, and it was a fun trip to do with my mom and grandma. We each scored some good deals, so we left happy shoppers. The event is well organized, and for the most part, people weren’t crazy, aggressive shoppers. While it was often difficult to get to certain items, I didn’t see any Black Friday level craziness. Shopping the annual sale is a fun thing to do once, and it’s not something I would mind doing again.

What I bought…

I went slightly over my hundred dollar budget for the sale, but I was over by less than five dollars. I think my wallet will forgive me since I scored some amazing deals. One of the first things I grabbed was the Cozy Flannel Pajama Pant in Kiev Paisley (Retail: $34, Outlet: $6.99). The roomy Keep Charged Vera Tote in Bohemian Blooms (Retail: $128, Outlet: $49.99), also, came home with me. My last minute purchase was the leather Morgan Satchel Bag in Burnt Orange (Retail: $198, Outlet: $44.99). Proof that Vera Bradley has awesome customer service: At checkout, they couldn’t find the correct tag for the satchel, so instead of holding up the line, they gave me the satchel at the non-leather price. That totally made my day.

Here's what I learned from my first time shopping the huge Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale. Trust me, you'll want to bring snacks.

P.S. Don’t miss 5 Things To Know Before Doing The Color Run!

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28 comments

  1. I just bought my first Vera Bradley bag at a consignment shop. I used to not really get it, but I found a pattern I loved and have been carrying it for a few days and now I kind of do get it. I wish I was close to the outlet!
    Beth recently posted..What’s Up Weekend 4.21.17My Profile

  2. We have a Vera outlet near us and around the holidays the line wraps around the building outside just to get in! Crazy sometimes, but the deals are fabulous!

  3. Why have I never heard of Vera Bradley?? I think I’ve been living under a rock. I like to shop alone and I don’t mind crowds, I don’t like them but crowds never shy me away from a good sale. I love all these tips! Thanks for sharing Ashley, those pajama pants are adorable

  4. Wow, ya’ll are some serious shoppers. I think it’s great you took your grandma. My grandma was the same way – needed to be able to sit frequently. The only thing I think I’d stay in line that long for though would be food and plants. My grandma always said though if we were all alike what a dull world this would be.

    Fun to connect with you via Eli. Hey from the other end of Indiana!
    Jaime Haney -artist recently posted..Hit the Ground Running in my Spring GardensMy Profile

  5. I adore that you wrote this. My aunt loves Vera Bradley and we went into the store at Disney Springs. It wasn’t an outlet, though. I can only imagine!