A lot of people ask questions about sales/lucky packs, etc, so I thought I would try to explain some of it here 🙂
Lolita brands are infamous for being stingy with sales (though not as bad as major designer labels like Coach or Burberry, not even mentioning LV), generally having only two major sales per year: a New Year sale, and a mid-summer sale, both of which are for clearing out the previous season’s styles. All major stores in Japan have these sales, but to varying degrees. For the Lolita brands, discounts generally range from 20% off to 80% off, though of course the deeper discounts are applied later in the sale.
Some brands have a very short time in which these sales take place, maybe a week or two. Metamorphose’s sales seem to last forever (in fact, I think there are STILL some things on sale at the shop in Nagoya, a quarter of a year later…), but their prices don’t change dramatically once the sale has begun. Angelic Pretty and Baby, the Stars Shine Bright tend to allow their sales to run a month or so, and by the end of the sales you can get things for some ridiculously low prices.
example: I got my coat from AP for under 10,000 yen.
In these cases, its about luck… and perseverance! Sales periods often coincide with vacation periods so the bored and/or diligent brandslave can spend a lot of time visiting the stores repeatedly, waiting for prices to drop.
And while that may sound odd– as if the prices are going to change throughout the day– it’s true! Shops will often have an “exciting” hour or something, wherein discounts jump by 10% (so something that’s 50% off is now 60% off). Sometimes these are advertised in the blogs, and sometimes just on a little notice somewhere in the store.
Aside from the major sales that everyone knows about, there are also smaller sales throughout the year. “B” sales and “sample” sales are for when a brand wants to get rid of any damaged, defective, or “used” (as in, used for displays or in photoshoots) merchandise. Generally the so-called damage is so tiny you wouldn’t notice it anyway, like a tiny dot of discoloration on the underside of a collar; also, sometimes the brands just have an extra piece from an old collection that they want to get rid of. Regardless of this, the prices are almost always marked down at least 30%, usually closer to 50% or 60% off.
B sales are usually announced in advance on the brand’s website as well as on blogs, and the duration of the sale varies greatly. In my experience, Angelic Pretty B sales last only one weekend, so if you miss it, you’re out of luck.
Other sales throughout the year occur for various reasons– for example, for that particular shop’s anniversary. Other reasons are not as… expected. My region’s baseball team is exceptionally good, and last year they won the championship. As a result, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright had a 15%-off sale for most of their merchandise… plus all the bunny-bear bags were wearing little baseball caps, and that alone was worth going to see xD
Whew! So that’s all I can think of to say about sales. If you have any questions, feel free to ask 🙂
I’ll continue to talk about lucky packs and other incentives (novelties, point cards) later.