UPDATES: Next Mini Boden online sample sale starts DEC 4th, 9am east coast time, here, on discount kids' site Zulily. They happen about once per season, and you can also watch out for Hanna Andersson, Tea Collection and other good brands. You can also try searching in their search bar for "mini boden" any time as they sometimes have isolated items on sale at around 50% off the catalog prices.
This is a review of the Boden & Mini Boden clearance sale at the Hynes convention center, Boston – February 16, 2013. If you'd like to read updates on Boden sales both in Boston and Pennsylvania, please see my website here and like my facebook page here. I will post $5 off coupons for the sales on my facebook page (at least for the Boston sales)
This will be a short review since I did a "targeted strike" and spent a very short time inside the sale. To get a more thorough idea of what the Boden clearance sales are like, check out my post on the previous one here.
I got to the sale around 8 am and was pleased to find under 100 people in line ahead of me. The line behind me (see pic above) was hundreds long by the time the sale opened. To be clear - all your waiting will be done indoors - you do NOT have to wait out on the street! I'm thrilled that I got in early because the Mini Boden stuff seemed to sell out much faster this time, there was less of it than at the last sale, and it was heavily weighted to the larger sizes (11, 12 and 13).
If this had been the first time I'd ever been to a Boden sample sale, I would have left happy. But I was really disappointed to find out that since the previous sale, Boden had raised their prices. I primarily come to the sales for Mini Boden, and the majority of items were $10 at the last sale. This time they were $15 to $25. Here is the new pricing sheet for the Boston sample sales:
For some items, these are great prices. A women's coat for $50 is fantastic if it's normally a $178 coat. But $30 for tops (including light summer tops) or $15 kids' t-shirts seemed excessive to me - sometimes you can get them at this price right on the website!
I first hit the boys table and picked up 11 items, most of which are pictured above. The majority of the items I got were heavy, winter items (*love* Mini Boden lined pants for boys) By the time I was finished, everything under a size 12 had been snapped up. I looked briefly at the shoes and women's coats sections and didn't find anything I wanted. I was about to head over to the women's tables and look at the sweaters and dresses when I got a call from my husband asking me to come home (one of the kids had scratched him in the eye - he's fine now). If the prices had been lower I would have stayed anyway, but I was very concerned about getting stuck in the gigantic line to pay again... at August's sale I had waited for 2 hours and 20 minutes to get out. So I decided to get home and skip the women's stuff. In hindsight I probably should have stayed longer.
I parked at the Prudential Center parking garage and only paid $12 for my parking since I had my ticket validated (you're supposted to make a purchase at a store in the Pru. mall of $10+, but I just bought a coffee at Dunkin Donuts and they stamped it for me)
I ended up spending $167 at the sale. I was able to use my discount coupon only once - apparently they've cracked down on people using multiple coupons. Some of my facebook fans have told me that in all the craziness, they were overcharged for their purchases, or knew others who were - so if you go to an upcoming sale, CAREFULLY check over your receipt before you leave the hall.
Although I was somewhat disappointed in the Mini Boden selection and higher prices at this sale, I will certainly go back for the next one, which will likely be in August 2013. I am also very, very excited that Mini Boden is now occasionally being featured for sale on discount site Zulily. In mid-January they had a great Mini Boden sale which, unfortunately, sold out in about 10 minutes. But I managed to snap up a few things - and they were the new line, this upcoming season's stuff. The live sample sales are selling catalog returns, so they do not normally have the very newest catalog items. Today (Feb 18th) I found that Zulily had some girls' spring clothing on sale for 50% off, but it was not announced - I found it by searching - so it never hurts to search in their search bar for Mini Boden. So far they have not featured Boden women's but I am keeping my fingers crossed!!
If you went to the Boden sale please leave a comment with any useful information I may have missed, or tell us how you did!