The June 2014 Anthropologie Tag Sale prep post

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Anthropologie's semi-annual Tag Sale is coming this week!

After what seems like forever, Anthropologie's Tag Sale returns on Thursday June 19, 2014. This semi-annual sale used to be a huge deal for Anthropologie fans because it brought the only steep discounts on Anthropologie goods for the year. These days sales and promotions are more frequent, so the Tag Sale isn't quite the huge deal it once was.

It's still a lot of fun though! Inside, What is the Tag Sale? And what can you expect? Explanations, rumors and guesses inside. Thanks as always to the generous employee tips that helped compile this post.



First an important disclaimer. Though this post consists of tips kindly provided to me by various Anthropologie employees and community members, everything in this post is UNOFFICIAL. None of the information here comes directly from Anthropologie's home office so it is subject to change or being just plain wrong. I've tried to fill in the knowledge gaps based on past experiences but we shall see what Thursday actually brings.

Jump to:
What is the Tag Sale // Frequently Asked Questions // Tips for a Successful Tag Sale // Tag Sale Wishlist


WHAT IS THE TAG SALE?
The Tag Sale is a semi-annual markdown period at Anthropologie where sale items are further discounted to clear out inventory. In the past, Anthropologie stores used to sort items by price, i.e. $59.95, $129.95 and use colored tags for each price group. Hence, Tag Sale. Some stores would move their sale section, normally in the back of store, up to the front. These days each store does it a little differently.

Here's what you can expect: primarily further markdowns on items already on sale, occasionally an extra % off clothing sale items (usually 20% or 25% off), rarely significant new cuts. The Tag Sale usually lasts about 4 weeks and there's sometimes fresh cuts during that period but those new sale items are the inventory Anthro has too much of -- usually not the items highest on our wish lists. The Tag Sale only applies to sale items, not full-priced ones. In my experience the biggest fresh cut sales of the year follow the Tag Sale. In 2012 and 2013 for example we got both Free Shipping and a huge markdown set two weeks after the Tag Sale ended. So you might want to save your pennies for that.

During the Tag Sale, Anthropologie has its online store search turned off. This means that you can't use the Anthropologie website to find sale items in-store. Additionally, Anthro's become excellent at managing their inventory levels. Their online sale section is consistently nearly empty these days which means that when the Tag Sale goes live there's going to be a rush of attempted orders for very few items online, followed by a possible rash of order cancellations.

So, let's quickly recap what happened in last year's summer tag sale: A HUGE sale kicked off the Tag Sale, which tons of fresh markdowns across all clothing and accessory categories, home as well. There was a glitch which caused some home items to show up as $20 (instead of 20% off). There was NO extra % off sale initially. Two weeks later on July 4th weekend, sale items were marked down to an extra 20% off.  (Note: I expect something along these lines for this year's summer Tag Sale.)

And last winter's tag sale: Anthropologie did a huge set of fresh markdowns the day before the Tag Sale began. The Tag Sale started with an extra 25% off all sale clothing and accessory items. A week later, home sale items went to an extra 50% off.



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TAG SALE
When does the tag sale begin?
Thursday, June 19, 2014.

Will there be any extra discounts during the tag sale?
It looks like there will be no extra % off sale on Thursday when the Tag Sale begins. Instead, a set of fresh markdowns will kick things off to try to drive customers into the store. Could there be a % off sale before the Tag Sale is over? Most likely.

Is the Tag Sale in-store only or online too?
The Tag Sale is both in-store and online. However there are sometimes price differences, with items being lower-priced in stores. Sometimes there will be an extra % off in-store only. In past years select stores with large sales inventories have had the extra % off. For example in the winter of 2012 the NYC stores had an extra % off sale due to inclement weather conditions. The Seattle stores seem to have secret % off sales more frequently than other areas. If your nearest store sale room is bursting at the seams an extra incentive could be on the way!

Can I use my birthday discount during the Tag Sale?
Anthropologie is making it harder and harder to use the birthday discount on promotional items. (This is so lame by the way.) If Anthropologie does an extra % off sale during the Tag Sale, that will be considered a promotion and you won't be able to use the birthday discount. If prices are as marked during the Tag Sale then yes, you can use your birthday discount. You cannot apply both a Tag Sale price adjustment and birthday discount. It's one or the other.

Will I be able to get price adjustments during the Tag Sale?
Yes. Anthropologie will honor price adjustments, including promotional markdowns, within the usual 14-day period. You cannot apply both a Tag Sale PA and birthday discount. It's one or the other.

Will I be able to do a charge/send during the Tag Sale?
Stores often leave their phones off-hook when the Tag Sale store traffic gets really busy. I expect Anthropologie will turn off the store finder feature on its website for this week too. I've also been told that busier stores will not use their mobile inventory devices to check other stores either. So while it's possible to a charge/send I expect it will be challenging at the beginning of the Tag Sale. Be patient if you do get through! Remember stores will be dealing with higher traffic volume than normal.

Will stores be restocking sale during the Tag Sale? Or is everything put out at once?
Stores won't be hiding any sale inventory in the back during the Tag Sale -- everything will be out. But Anthropologie does shift sale stock from store to store and there maybe new markdowns in the second or third week of the Tag Sale. So it's worth more than one store visit.

Will my store open early on Tag Sale day?
Potentially. This tradition seems to be dying slowly. Anthropologie's website will likely have a page with store opening times if any stores are opening earlier. I'll update this post once the official email comes through.

What about Canada?? And the UK??
Online, the Tag Sale should start at the same time for everyone in the USA and Canada. In-store USA and Canada should both start Thursday. For Anthro lovers living abroad the Tag Sale usually comes about 4-6 weeks after the USA/Canada sale is over.



TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL BUT NOT BUDGET-BREAKING TAG SALE
1. Make a list of items you really, really want. 
We've all done it -- we buy items we don't really need or aren't even sure if we want them just because the deal is good. To avoid that, I usually make a list of items I'd buy if they go on sale or extra % off sale. Then I  pre-add them to my shopping cart before the sale starts if they are available online. (Note: if you do this I'd really appreciate it if you use this EA affiliate link before adding the items!) Normally I'd also say check to see which stores have the items in stock now...but Anthro's already turned off the store finder feature online.


2. Set a budget.
It's really easy to get caught up in the hype of "everyone is buying x item so I must need it too!" or "the deelz are so good I must spend $" or even "this hardly happens so it's worth the splurge". But one hard & fast rule for me these days is to ignore the pack mentality and buy the items that I need (or desperately want) and live vicariously through others for the rest. I've set 2 budgets for myself: the "well this really wasn't such a big deal after all" budget or the "holy crap 40 items I want went on sale, what the hell do I do budget". I will not be going over that 2nd number.


3. Be patient!
If you miss out an item at the beginning of the Tag Sale or when an extra % off promo first appears, RELAX. There's an excellent chance that item will pop back into stock during the Tag Sale. The rate of returns is high during this period, as is the rate of purchases. Anthro's much better at the quick turnaround now. This goes double for when you're in store. Remember that Anthropologie's employees want to help you! I see so many of them go above and beyond that it makes me so frustrated when I see an employee getting berated over something they can't control. Treat them like you'd treat your dearest friend and you're much more likely to get your way. (So long as what you're asking is possible. Asking the impossible rarely works out well for anyone.)



MY TAG SALE WISHLIST
I would love it if Anthropologie blew our minds with a dress promo combined with Free Shipping during the Tag Sale!! But that seems highly unlikely. Though I don't expect it I'd be delighted beyond belief if Anthropologie surprised us with discounts on some of their super-cute summer items! So my pie-in-the sky wishlist includes new arrivals (highly unlikely to get discounted), long-awaited items (slightly more likely) and further cuts on a few sale goodies (likely).

This is way more than I'd actually buy, to note. Just a list of possibilities that will be whittled down once I see what Anthro does.

Adan Satchel ($348)
Ajna Stitched Shift ($198)
Belmar Pullover (now $100)
Bennington Dress ($178)
Blanche Sliced Shift ($158)
Blush Gem Belt ($48)
Cambria Dress ($348)
Floral Pearl Pouch ($58)
Framed Lace Tank ($88)
Giedi Dress ($158)
Hera Draped Dress (now $90)
Magnolia Lace Dress ($298)
Perpetua Bib Necklace ($328, on promo for $262.40 through Wednesday morning at 3 AM ET)
Ribbon-Stripe Tunic Dress ($200)
Sonora Circle Belt ($48)
Starling Shift ($148)
Tabbed Leather Belt ($48)
Tilly Dress ($178)
Waltham Embroidered Dress ($198)

And because I'm seriously addicted to using Anthro's hairbands to keep my bangs back during runs and workouts....
Amabel Headband ($32)
Everglow Headband ($32)
Fiore Headband ($32)
Glimmer Wave Headband ($32)
Gremmer Headband ($32)
Juara Headband ($32)
Sparkled Chevron Headband ($32)


What's on your Tag Sale wish list? If you have any additional details that I've not provided here please feel free to share in the comments!!