Confessions of a Lilly-aholic.
OK, I’ll admit it. I might have a bit of a Lilly addiction. My husband thinks I need to be on the show “My Strange Addiction”. I did indeed drive 8 hours from Central Ohio to Eastern Pennsylvania only stand in line for another hour. To get a number. To get up at 4am. To get in line again. All for one purpose – SHOPPING!!! Not just any shopping, mind you – Lilly shopping. My friends thought I was crazy and my mom, who drove with me, just laughed. I suppose it could be worse. We’ve all got our passions. This is mine.
I’m a newbie when it comes to these sales; this was my first one. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I had a feeling it would be a good story, and it didn’t disappoint.
Thankfully, the 8 hour drive was uneventful. Smooth, sunny, and hot (the temps reached into the high 90s on Wednesday afternoon). We arrived at the Valley Forge Convention Center at 5:20pm and proceeded to Level 2 to get in line for a number. This is the sight we saw:
My jaw dropped at first. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Did this many people REALLY have my passion? I live in Columbus, Ohio. NO ONE knows Lilly. Hurriedly, we got in line; I couldn’t let any more people in front of me! After standing for a few minutes, I looked around a noticed several women I’ve “seen” on Facebook. They recognized me too and we exchanged pleasantries. And talked some more. And laughed a lot. And asked questions about each other’s lives. I knew a lot about them but had never actually met them. They were from New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington DC, and Virginia.
At 6pm, the line started to move. Numbers were being handed out. 2 girls in Lilly garb – one holding a box and another handing people cards – walked along the line. 20 minutes later they got to us. I was #383 and my mom was #384. Not bad for only standing in line 1 hour. We were told to be in the Lobby at 4:30 tomorrow morning. Thankfully, we stayed on site - which I would recommend. 4am comes EARLY!!
At 4:30 the next morning, we head down to the Lobby to get in line. We were greeted by Lilly employees holding signs with numbers on them. We got into the 300 – 399 line (I should note that I saw signs up to 1000). Because we were in the same order as the previous evening, we already knew everyone around us. The excitement was clear. After a few minutes we were paraded in the basement to stand behind the first 299. The 400’s, 500’s and 600’s were behind us and after that, a continuous line of those without a number. It was a happy time with lots of talking, giggling, and laughing. I knew I was meant to be here!
At 5am, the line swelled and the doors opened. People were let in a few at a time. Being #383, I got in at around 5:45am. They stopped me just before entering; I had to wait a minute for the people ahead of me to clear. TORTURE!! But at least I got to scope out the place, come up with a quick game plan and snap this picture:
Finally being allowed in, I was handed a pink mesh bag. I swear I heard angels singing. Directly ahead of me were tables of knit shirts, all organized by size. Dresses to the left and shoes to the far left. I headed to shoes first. I got there only to find them fairly ransacked. I was a little disappointed to see boxes strewn about and people tossing the paper stuffing to the floor. A quick scan showed only Wedge McKims for $49. A good deal but not was I was hoping for, so I moved on.
Totes and accessories were next. There were tables of See and Be Seen totes but only in one print and not one of my favorites. I checked the mesh bags of the people ahead of me and saw many other prints that had already been claimed. Hmmm… This wasn’t going to be easy.
So I quickly moved to dresses. I located my size rack and saw a few I liked and grabbed them (prices were $69 - $119). By now, people had plenty of time to shop and they certainly did. Girls were dragging mesh bags FILLED TO THE BRIM with dresses, totes, shoes and accessories across the floor to find more. I must admit, I was a little appalled. Several others were in the corners of the room stripped down to bathing suits (and some just in their skivvies – ew!) trying things on and tossing their unwanted items on the floor. Lilly employees scooped up the unwanted and whisked them behind the curtains in the back. A few minutes later, the discarded would reappear on hanging racks with employees attempting to return them to their proper place. However, the vultures (as mom and I called them) were trying to pull things off that wheeled rack before the employee could walk a few feet. It was clear to me now that this was every Lilly-girl for herself…
We moved on the scarves, which were in a much calmer area. All boxed up neatly, these were $39 - $49. Mom grabbed 3 and I got 1 for my sister.
We checked out the knit tops too. I was hoping to grab some basic polos and tanks but was not so impressed by the prices - $39 for polos and $29 for tanks. I’ve gotten a better price at retail stores so I passed on these as well.
There were lots of girls dresses all priced around $29. I got one for my Minnie.
The Samples section was INSANE. Clothes piled everywhere. It was like a messy Old Navy. I didn’t even bother…
We lingered a while longer. Mom managed to snag a tote that was in someone’s discard pile. I grabbed a Key To Your Heart necklace for $19 and a bunch of coveted Lilly magnets. In total, we spent probably 3 hours in the sale. I got 3 dresses (Kiki, Adelson & Finn), a Jonni top, a Murfee for my sister, necklace, magnets, and some things for my Minnie. I was hoping the prices, especially for the knits would’ve been better and that there would’ve been a better shoe selection. Others who had been before told me this was one of the best in years, so I shouldn’t complain. After we paid, we were given a 10% coupon to the KOP Mall Lilly store (which did have Jillie dresses cheaper than the Warehouse sale). Here’s our haul:
I did go down on Thursday morning to check out the scene. I got in a short line at 6:45am and was in by 7:15. There was MUCH less merchandise and the sale floor sized had been reduced significantly. There were still some fairly full racks of dresses and skirts but it was dwindling quickly. I don’t think there were any new items from Wednesday restocked.
In all, the sale was fun but the best part was the people. You meet the nicest people in line at the Lilly Warehouse sale! It was nice to meet people in the world like me. I was a bit taken aback by the hoarding as well as people changing in public, but I asked myself if I would do it again. Myself said, “YES!”. I think the employee’s t-shirt sums up my experience the best:
Thank you, Andrea, for your fabulous recommendations! I love hearing about your warehouse sale experience.
Did you go to the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale last week? What did you find? What did you think?