Lilly Pulitzer Online Sale (After Party Sale, APS) Tips
In a normal year, Lilly Pulitzer usually only puts sale items on their website twice a year - once in the late summer/early fall, once around/after New Years Day. These sales are called the After Party Sale (APS for short). Some stores have in person preview shopping days (Saturday, January 2nd and Sunday, January 3rd) before the online sale goes live, but this post only covers the online portion of the sale, since not all stores are participating in the in-person option because of Covid-19 restrictions. See if your local corporate store is participating in the sale here. If you plan to shop in person, check out this post from an old sale for tips! The online sale will go live on Monday, January 4th at 8am EST (ish - don't panic if nothing happens until 8:05 or so), and there is a virtual line to get into the website (it’s THAT popular!). Shipping can take up to 6 weeks after the sale. As an After Party Sale veteran, today I’ll be sharing the tips I’ve learned over the years.
1. Use multiple devices to shop the online sale. Once the clock hits 8:00am EST, everyone on the Lilly Pulitzer website gets placed in a virtual line. This allows them to limit the amount of people shopping at a time, which makes the website work better. Don’t be surprised if your wait time is an hour or more! Items in your cart are not reserved; they only become yours once you check out. Once you check out, you are usually placed in the back of the virtual line. Using multiple devices serves two purposes. 1. If you have multiple devices open to the page at exactly 8am, you will have multiple chances at a good place in line. No matter what my timing strategy is, my devices all seem to get random spots in line. I usually use 2-3 computers/tablets, and at least one will usually only have a short wait. 2. If you have multiple devices in line, you can shop again without going to the back of the line completely. Since items in your cart are not reserved, if you find something you really really want, your best bet is to check out immediately, and then go back in when your next device gets to the front of the virtual line.
2. Shop the signature store websites while you wait for your turn on the Lilly Pulitzer website. It's important to support the signature stores especially now, when small businesses are suffering because of Covid-19. Lots of signature stores have websites that have sale items at some point on the same morning as the Lilly Pulitzer website (most, but not all, go live at 8am EST, the same time as lillypulitzer.com). Most of these websites have no virtual line, so browse these websites while you wait for your turn on the main Lilly website. In addition, signature stores often ship APS orders within a week, so you’ll likely get your items faster than if you buy them from the main website. Not all signature stores have websites, but see the list at the bottom of the page for a few that do!
4. Check other websites that carry Lilly Pulitzer. Zappos, 6pm, Amazon, Saks, and Rue La La have been known to have sale Lilly Pulitzer merchandise during the After Party Sale. Not all of these websites will participate each sale, but make sure to check them all.
6. Be prepared for cancellations. Inevitably, every sale the Lilly Pulitzer website oversells merchandise, and some people do not get their items. Unfortunately, you might not learn that your item has been cancelled until you hit the 6 week mark. Lilly Pulitzer does NOT fulfill orders in the order in which they were placed, so it really is random who gets the item and whose order gets cancelled. For example if there is one item left, a person who ordered an item at 11am might get the item, while someone who ordered at 8:01am might get a cancellation email. Which leads me to…
7. If there is something you absolutely NEED, do not count on the sale. Things sell out, the website glitches, and orders get cancelled. It happens every time. Therefore, if your friend is using a Lilly Pulitzer dress as her bridesmaid dresses, don’t count on buying it during the sale. If there is a popover so beautiful that you’ll be devastated if you don’t get it, buy it before the sale. Better safe than sorry. In addition, lots of signature stores put APS items on sale earlier than the sale (just not as cheaply priced), so you might still be able to buy that certain item on sale.
What are your best tips for the sale?