Most girls in New York know about a great shopping experience known as a sample sale. I talked about sample sales before in reference to the Gilt Group, an online sample sale. However, in the city you can actually go to sample sales. Picture a vast bare warehouse with legit designer merchandise at very discount prices (some smaller sample sales are held in designer's showrooms). Then picture women hoarding and fighting over the merchandise until they can walk away satisfied with their new purchases. Laws of finance tell us that great deals go fast, so you know when there is hair pulling going on that you have gone to a great sample sale. The recession also tells us that people will do anything for a deal, thus the increased popularity for these bargain brawls with lines sometimes down the block. The merchandise that ends up at a sample sale is either last season, such as at Doo.Ri, or is sometimes actual samples that were never put into production, as in J Crew's sale.
Designers, dates, and locations of sample sales can always be found on Daily Candy and NY Mag.
I made my most impulsive purchase this summer for a basic patent black tote at the Kate Spade sale on my lunch break, because when you see something you want at a sample sale, if you don't grab it that second, it will be gone in the blink of an eye. Good luck.