Despite the fact that I adore Vera Bradley products, I kept my distance, for the same reason that I avoid the shopping malls the day after Thanksgiving. I imagined shoppers racing into the sale to duke it out over the best bargains. Also, the idea of sifting through tables laden with a mix of Vera Bradley products sounded too much like a rummage sale to me. On top of that, being the impatient person that I am, I did not want to even think about the lines to check out.
As soon as I entered the sale, all preconceived notions I had regarding the sale vanished. I was greeted at the door by a pleasant lady, who handed me a large pink plastic bag and a list of the products available for purchase at the sale. The list, complete with pictures, included the discounted prices, as well as clearly identified where the products were located.
There were countless numbers of employees working to keep everything organized. If a customer picked up a Vera Bradley backpack and carelessly laid it down with the diaper bags, a worker was there to move it back to the backpack table. There were also several bins and carts placed around the sale, and customers were encouraged to place any castoffs in them, in order to keep the product tables organized.
Although the sale was crowded, most customers were upbeat and polite. Customers would fill up their pink plastic bags with their potential Vera Bradley purchases, and then move off to the perimeters of the sale to spread out the contents and make final decisions regarding what to keep.
To check out, I was redirected to another room. Sixty cash registers lined the room, and two to three employees worked at each cash register. One person would organize the purchases and hand them to the cashier, who would ring up the purchases, then hand them off to a third person, who would bag the purchases. All in all, the checkout process took only 10-15 minutes, which considering the number of attendees at the sale, was very quick.
The selection at the sale was decent. Most of the items were recently retired colors and discontinued styles. For shoppers looking for the new styles and colors, the pickings were slim, and I heard a few remarking that they were disappointed that they could not find their favorite bag in their favorite color. Although I attended the first night of the sale, there was plenty to choose from. The tables were continually restocked. I also overheard an employee who stated that they had several additional trucks that were yet to be unloaded.
For me, the biggest disappointment of the Vera Bradley sale was the prices. I knew the bags and accessories would be marked down 25% to 75%, however, my hope was that I could pick up a thousand dollars of product for a couple hundred bucks. Most items were reduced approximately 30-40%, but I have been able to pick up similar discount Vera Bradley bags online, without ever having to leave the comfort of my own home.