tips for shopping the lilly pulitzer after party sale

It’s time to break out your wallets, Ladies. (And Mitch. Now you have two girls, hehe.) Because the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale officially starts this Monday, August 22nd… and shipping is free. (Eeee!) The sale will start at 8 a.m. ET and it’ll end at 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 23rd. In my opinion, it’s the best sale of the year, and it shouldn’t be missed. So, as always, I’m back with some tips and tricks for shopping the sale. If I missed anything, be sure to comment in the comment section below. I’d love to hear your thoughts and advice!

Before we start, though, a big FYI: Just like last year, the sale will feature a “virtual line” in an effort to avoid site crashes and ensure that everyone gets a chance to shop. When you arrive at the site, you’ll receive a number and a wait time. Once you’re in, you can shop until you decide to check out… at which time, you’ll be directed to the back of the line again so that another Lilly-Lover can have her turn.

I know, I know. It sounds a little stressful. But it worked pretty seamlessly last time. And I swear: the line went pretty quickly, despite the scary line number I received upon my prompt 8 a.m. arrival. The new system also kind of prevents you from going crazy. ;) For example, last time, I scored a couple of t-shirt dresses, and that was it. Nice for that old bank account!

…but on to the tips.

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Tips for Shopping the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale

Make sure your Lilly account is up to date before Monday. Look over your billing address, shipping address, and credit card/PayPal information ahead of time, and then double check them. (See Lilly’s guide to creating an account here.) As I hope I’ll never have to move again, I (of course) have moved yet again this year. Which is why it’s imperative that I update my account’s billing and shipping information before the sale goes live. The site will likely be down from 7 a.m. ET to about 8 a.m. ET for sale preparation, so best to set it all up the night before. I recommend pre-loading both your credit card and PayPal info, as it’s possible one payment method will work better than the other. (Though last year, both worked excellently!)

Remember to sign in before Monday. I recommend signing in the night before, that way you’re all set to go in the morning. Leave the window open, and simply hit “refresh”–over and over again, haha–right before 8 a.m. ET. Once you get in, don’t click out the browser, or else you’ll lose your spot in line!

Set a reminder and/or an alarm. The sale will start at 8 a.m. ET, so if you’re elsewhere in the country like I am, account for that. (Anyone else a monster in the morning? Thank goodness I have Emma. She’s slowly helping me come to kind of like mornings!)

Remember that you can use multiple devices. I had zero problems on my laptop last year (all hail the virtual line!), but you can also shop on any internet-capable device. If you can’t be at your computer at the time of the sale, for example, utilize that iPhone! :)

Narrow your search–quickly–by size and price. On the upper right-hand corner of Lilly’s site, you’ll probably see two options: “sort by” and “narrow by.” There’s no use in wasting your time looking at products that aren’t available in your size, so click “narrow by” and select “size” first. During online sales, I tend to then click on “sort by” and select “price – low to high” next. But everyone has her own method.

Know your size. Lilly sizing is pretty consistent, but from time to time, certain pieces–like the brand’s shifts, for example–run large or small. (FYI, I typically go one size down in Lilly shifts.) If you don’t own many Lilly pieces or are at a complete loss, do your research beforehand by reading product reviews and visiting fitting rooms. If you don’t live near a Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store, try department stores–like Nordstrom or Bloomingdales–that carry the brand. TrueFit is also a GREAT option. Click on an item and select “Find Your True Fit” right above the sizes options. (There’s a little red “T” to the left of it.) It works!

Act fast. Just because a product is in your cart doesn’t mean it’s yours. Sizes go quickly, and products sell out fast. If you’re over-the-moon in love with a particular item and you have to have it, check out immediately. Shipping is free, so you can place multiple orders guilt-free. (BUT REMEMBER: Once you check out, you’re placed at the back of the virtual line. So that particular item needs to be really awesome.)

Realize that the site might experience problems. Like I said, Lilly will likely be working to prepare the site from 7 a.m. ET to 8 a.m. ET, and this virtual line thing helps a LOT. But stuff happens. If you see the cute “Oh Shift” message or a notification that you’re “in line,” it’s probable that a good deal of other people are seeing that, too. Checkout issues and late e-mail order confirmations are totally normal as well. An influx of traffic will do that to any site. Be patient and understanding. No need to get ugly and send nasty Tweets or post mean comments on Lilly’s Facebook… it’s super nice that the company is doing this in the first place! :)

Understand that particular stages of the ordering process might be running slowly. In the past, this is how it’s worked: After you order, you should receive a confirmation e-mail. Next, your order will appear as “processing” as it’s being selected and packed up. After that, the order is marked as “shipped.” While this process normally takes two to three days, it might be completed faster or much slower during the sale. Some people receive order confirmation emails immediately, while others see them a few hours later… and some people receive their products within a day or two, while others see their orders two or three weeks later. It’s normal! You can check your order status here.

Be aware of what you’re looking for, and set a budget. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the excitement of a really good sale, but it’s also important that you don’t empty your bank account and buy things you don’t need. (For example, I personally had a TON of house renovations to pay for this year, so I’m trying to be good. A few t-shirt dresses for me, and a few infant dresses for Emma. Possibly matching? #omg) Need a dress for an upcoming event, and that’s it? Then stick to that. Would you have serious regret if you spent over a certain amount of money? Then know what that number is, and don’t go over it.

Follow Lilly’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for “Fan-Only Flash Sales,” and check the site regularly for new products. Typically, Lilly adds a few new products throughout the sale, and provides a link to them–along with updates about the sale–through the brand’s social media accounts. Use ’em!

Check Lilly Pulitzer Signature Stores for products. They’re allowed to participate in the sale as well, but Lilly fans often forget to check in with them. Because of this, they often have some of the best stuff, long after products sell out online! Signature Stores open at 10 a.m.

See Lilly’s tips for shopping the sale. They’re pretty good, too. ;)

Do the right thing. I’m not a huge fan of people buying up a ton of stuff during these sales just to turn around and sell it all on eBay for a profit. If something doesn’t fit you, fine. Sell or trade it. (Re-Lilly is a great option.) But it kind of takes the fun out of the sale when people use it simply to make money. Just think of the joy you got out of your first Lilly dress. Don’t you want some girl out there to have that same magical experience?

Don’t be crazy. If you can’t be at your computer or on a mobile device at the start time, it’s not the end of the world. (I’ve actually scored some great pieces toward the end of the sale!) I’m certainly not going to judge if you feel compelled to call out of work so that you can have first pick or employ your family members and friends to “divide and conquer,” but remember to stay grounded. ;) It’s just a sale. While they’re rare, this one won’t be the last. Like I mentioned before, there’s typically another one that occurs in January. Plus, there are other ways to find deals on Lilly! RueLaLa will likely have a sale shortly after the After Party Sale, too.

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Good luck!