Score Big at the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale with These Tricks from an Ex Store Manager
by Sidney Burds
Before shopping the epic online event on Jan. 7-8, check out these tips on how to score the items on your wishlist — even the ones that got away
It’s the most wonderful time of the year — especially if you’re a Lilly lover. The cult-favorite brand is once again hosting its biggest event of the year, the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale! For those of you not among the initiated, the sale, which kicks off on Monday, Jan. 7, is epic, with savings of up to 80 percent off. In fact, in 2017, nearly 100,000 waited in a digital line to get access to the deals. Lucky for you all, my first job out of college was associate manager at a Lilly store, so I have the inside scoop on how to shop smart during this fast-moving sale, where items can sell out quickly.
When is the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale?
Mark your calendars and set your alarms. The After Party Sale, which is held twice a year, typically in January and August, kicks off online this year on Jan. 7 at 8AM ET and run through Jan. 8 at 11:59PM ET. If you live near a Lilly Pulitzer store, consider yourself lucky: You can shop the early access parties in store on Jan. 5 and 6, which means you get to purchase Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale items before they go live online!
What is on sale?
Everything and anything. The exact inventory list is top secret until the day of the sale, but during the winter event, most of the fall and early resort shipments will be on major markdown along with some leftover items from spring and summer shipments. Some items that are currently online right now will be on sale, so I highly encourage checking to see if that shift you’ve been eyeing drops in price come Monday morning.
Are the deals worth it?
Yes, honey! Shift and silk dresses that run around $200 will drop to around $49 to $89. Knit dresses that are typically in the $100 range will go as low as $39 to $29. Jewelry that was $50 can be had for less than $20. And don’t get me started on the steals you can score on bags, shoes, and more!
Insider tip: Throughout the year, Lilly Pulitzer occasionally gives away a gift with purchase (better known as a GWP) when customers reach spend levels of $500, $800, and $1,000+. Leftover GWPs — which have ranged from beach tents, bar carts, suitcases, and even bicycles all in custom Lilly prints — also go on sale during the After Party Sale! Last year, I saw the $3,000 GWP-spend level Lilly Pulitzer x Society Social bar cart on sale for $400, which is insanely good!
What’s the best way to shop?
If you’re lucky enough to live near a Lilly Pulitzer store, yay! Get in the physical line to shop in-store early. If you’re shopping online, create an online account here before the sale kicks off, if you don’t have an account already. This will save you time during checkout, since items in your cart are not reserved and could sell out while you’re busy typing your mailing address.
So, what are some tips and tricks for shopping effectively?
Glad you asked! Number one, take a scan online and in store now and create your wish list. That way you already know what styles and items you really want and don’t get overwhelmed with too many choices when the sale goes launches.
Know your Lilly Pulitzer sizes. Go in store and try styles on, read reviews, check the tags on pieces you already own. All sales are final, fitting rooms lines are long day of, and this will save you a whole lot of time when making decisions online.
If you lose out on an item online, try calling a store. On Monday, stores are likely to be pretty dead following the weekend rush. They might have that shift you’re hunting for in their shop or can search the inventory database to see if they can pull it from another store for you. They’ll even ship the items to your home.
What should I not do?
Lilly Pulitzer’s website will be closed hours before the 8AM ET start time on Monday, and when the clock finally strikes 8, you will automatically be placed in a virtual line and given a number and wait time. IMPORTANT: Do NOT refresh your page. This will bump you back further in line. Relax and sip your morning coffee. Once you’re in, you’re in and will not be placed back into the virtual line until you check out.
Also, remember that time is of the essence, so do not fill your cart with an excessive amount of items! Find the top two or three pieces you’ve been pining for and head to the checkout ASAP. You’ll avoid the disappointment of pieces selling out before you have time check out because you spent too much time browsing.
And in conclusion…
I wish you all the very best of luck! Remember to have fun during this amazing sale, be kind to your fellow shoppers and employees, and make sure to prep! Don’t be afraid to double dip, shopping online multiple times, and be ready for some jaw-dropping deals.
Now take a scroll down to see my must-have Lilly Pulitzer picks that will *fingers crossed* hopefully make the cut and be on sale come Monday morning. Don’t forget to set your alarms for 8AM ET on Jan. 7!
This incredibly flattering dress is sure to be snatched up in all sizes, so don’t wait!
Catie Shift Dress,
Swell bottle at 50% off, need we say more?
17 oz Swell Bottle,
This style is on sale in several prints.