Brandy on a Budget

Buying clothes for less than 50 percent of retail price is a deal few would pass up. That is why warehouse sales have increased in popularity these past few years, especially among students.

Warehouse sales by trending brands such as Stussy and Brandy Melville have gained the attention of high schoolers, leading me to camp out for Brandy’s 2018 annual warehouse sale in September.

As its clothing ranges from $20-$50, much of the items Brandy offers is considered a luxury for high schoolers. But through its sale in September, Brandy has made it possible for students to indulge in a rare shopping spree.

The incredibly cheap prices of the warehouse sales— $5 to $15 per item— allow students to restock their closets, and resell the items for a much higher price. Because of this, the warehouse sales are known for their long lines, often taking up to seven hours to enter the store. Knowing that the lines for the sale would be insanely long, I decided to camp outside the store the night before.

At 9:30 p.m., I went to my friend’s house, where we packed essentials like sleeping bags and food. We arrived at the warehouse around an hour later on Friday night with five other friends. To my surprise, there were already around 30 to 40 people camped outside. We laid out our sleeping bags and tried to get cozy for the long night ahead. The night passed by like a normal sleepover; my friends and I watched Netflix, played card games and ate snacks.

I woke up around 6:30 a.m. the next morning and started to feel the excitement of the sale settling in. Suddenly, we noticed a couple girls from the back of the line dashing towards the middle of the line. This formed a chain reaction, causing many girls to run toward the front of the line. It was then that I realized some of the girls who arrived later than us were trying to cut the line. There was an outrage, and a group of angry teens marched up to the Brandy employees, demanding that they retain their rightful spot in line.

In an attempt to pacify the customers, the workers decided to check everyone’s phones for proof of what time they arrived at the warehouse. Luckily, we took a Snapchat photo with a timestamp at 10:40 p.m., and she realized we were one of the early comers. She gave us a white wristband, which meant we would enter the warehouse an hour after it opened.

We waited until around 10 a.m. before we finally entered the large warehouse. Endless rows of boxes lined the huge room, each box stocked with piles of random clothing, pants or accessories such as backpacks and hats. The amount of clothing never seemed to end, which was truly a shopping dream come true. There were many trendy items in the warehouse, but most of them contained defects.

The shopping experience itself was similar to thrifting, except in a less civilized manner. It was chaotic, with Teenage girls, and even their moms, pushing and shoving through the warehouse in order to find desired items. Since it was a first-come first-serve rule, some even sat in boxes filled with clothing to “claim it as their own.”

After two and a half hours of shopping, I spent thirty minutes standing in the checkout line. My total for the 11 items I purchased came up to $95, which I thought was an excellent deal. Normally, $95 would only cover around three to five items at a Brandy retail store.