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The Birthday Sale Origin Story

The Birthday Sale Origin Story

As it turns out, being born right after the beginning of the year is a really great way to routinely schedule a winter clearance sale. Nice planning, Mom!

In our first year at Here We Go Again, we were still getting our bearings, holding the occasional sale and seasonal clearances. In 1994, however, we had an epiphany (Chris’s birthday is January 6th, get it?)-Hold a sale to kick off the New Year and start it on Chris’s birthday! The sale continued to evolve over the next few years. Our first year was just a simple 3-day clearance, from Friday-Sunday, with an Insider’s Day on Thursday for anyone who was on our postal mailing list. It was tricky announcing a sale via bulk rate snail mail. We mailed our postcards a full 10 days before the sale, yet some unlucky recipients didn’t receive it until after the sale started. It was early in the days of desktop publishing, and before at-home laser printers; and there were many late-night visits to Kinkos to get the artwork printed from a 5 ¼” floppy disk.  Heaven forbid there was a typo we missed and had to start all over.

1995 was when we really kicked it up a notch. It was Chris’s 39th birthday, and we offered 39% off everything (except bridal, which we carried at the time). A sale was born! Thereafter, the sale became a one-day only crazy sale. Chris’s age was the discount, climbing year by year for 10 years. We always had a line at the door waiting to grab up the best designer labels, premium women’s resale treasures, designer handbags, shoes, and jewelry! In fact, it got to the point that we had to patrol the store in the days prior to re-hang all the things that shoppers had tried to hide away in strange places-so they could come in first thing and grab them all up. Cheating was not allowed and we were strict about no holds the week of the sale (still are!) and no retroactive discounts.

Everyone had so much fun and it was a rollicking good time! Over the years, the sale has continued to transform, and when we opened a second store on Carolina Street in 1997, we held the Birthday Sale simultaneously at both locations. Talk about madness! After a couple years of that insanity, we realized we just didn’t have sufficient staffing to run the sale concurrently, and moved the Johns Landing shop’s winter clearance until February. Everyone heaved a sigh of relief, especially the shoppers who had to decide which store to visit first in order to take advantage of the deep discounts on authentic designer clothing, great everyday women’s resale, and boots!

As we mentioned, this pattern went on until Chris turned 49. A 49% discount was huge, and there was understandably, some pushback from consignors. There were also more than a few good-natured remarks that people couldn’t wait until Chris turned 80! Complaints were also growing when the sale day fell on a weekday, and those with inflexible work hours (remember those?) couldn’t attend until late in the day, when they feared all the best resale shopping deals were gone. However, there were more than a few women who “scheduled” dental appointments that morning. (Wink, wink)

Since that year, the discount has stood steady at 29%, and we’ve expanded it to a 4-day sale, kicking off on Thursday. Unless January 1st falls late in the week, the sale is always the first weekend in January, regardless of what day the 6th falls on.

This year is special, because January 6th, Chris’s actual birthday falls on a Thursday, the same as the first year we held the Birthday Sale-pretty exciting!

Over the years, many people have remarked that Chris shouldn’t be working on her birthday, but there are few things she likes better than seeing all her peeps in the store having a great time and getting great deals! With masks still in place this year we can’t have cupcakes and champagne as we have done in the past, but we hope to return to those celebratory days for not-too-distant future sales. We miss those celebrations even more than we miss lipstick.

Will the sale this year include online shopping? We had to work to figure out that solution. Our recently revamped website is not as accommodating in the way it does discounts, which is disappointing. In-store we allow discounts on everything, but we do cap the discount per item, at $100. The website, for online shoppers, won’t allow us to do that. So, if you receive our weekly email there will be a code included, but handbags and jewelry will be exempted. If you have your heart set on an item in either of those categories, get in touch and we can customize a discount for you for online shopping. We want to offer a discount on all the wonderful consignment items we offer, but our authentic luxury goods cannot be discounted as heavily.

As you no doubt expect, other discounts do not apply during this sale. Hang onto those Resale Rewards coupons for the new merchandise we'll put out after the sale concludes. Hold tight to those Chinook Book coupons and other specials we offer. This sale is a better discount anyway!

We fully expect this to be a BIG sale, so don’t wait if there’s something you’ve been eyeing! See you January 6th, for our resale epiphany sale on Chris’s birthday!

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