The Indiana Insider Blog

Insider Tips for Navigating the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale

If you’re a Vera Bradley fan, you probably already have April 13-17 marked on your calendar. Those are the dates for this year’s Vera Bradley Outlet Sale in Fort Wayne, where shoppers can snap up handbags, luggage, stationery and accessories at 40-60% off retail prices.

Admission to the sale on Wednesday, April 13 and Thursday, April 14 is by advanced ticket purchase only. All shopping sessions on these two days are sold out, with the exception of 6:30-9:00pm on April 14. There is no cost to attend the sale, which will be held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I’m excited to be attending the sale for the first time this year. I wanted to know just what to expect, so I got some insider tips from Kristen Guthrie, a veteran of the sale and a representative of the Fort Wayne Convention and Visitors Bureau. Here is the advice Kristen had for me:

  1. Wear comfortable shoes.  The Coliseum is big and you’ll be walking quite a bit of it in order to see everything.
  2. Plan for the elements. You may have to stand in line outside to get in. Be prepared for the weather.
  3. Do bring your wish list, a cell phone, and your method of payment (cash, check or credit).
  4. Don’t bring a tote bag for purchases. You’ll be given a large pink trash bag to carry your finds in.
  5. Go hands free. It’s best to have a purse you can sling across your chest, so you can have both hands available for searching through merchandise.
  6. Make a wish list based on styles first. Then choose up to five patterns you like. Not every style is available in every pattern. Plan ahead to make Christmas and far-off birthday purchases now while the deals are great.
  7. Don’t look for the newest patterns. You won’t find them. This sale showcases Vera Bradley’s older, yet still loved, patterns.
  8. Be prepared to wait. In the past, there have been 40-60 registers for checking out, so things do move at a reasonable pace, but there still might be some waiting involved.
  9. Leave the strollers and the little ones at home. The large crowds that attend the sale make navigating a stroller tough and the lines for getting in and waiting to pay can be frustrating for children.
  10. Bring a girlfriend or two or 10. Having friends with you can make the waiting more fun. Plus, they can help you decide between two different patterns or styles.
  11. Pick a place and time to meet up with your girlfriends to sort through your finds.
  12. Do plan on going out to lunch or dinner after the sale. There are plenty of restaurants near the Coliseum where you can enjoy your shopping victories and compare deals with friends.

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Written by : Amy moved to Indiana for college in 1988 (Go Bulldogs!) and has never left. Married with three children, she's always on the lookout for fun and affordable things to do in Indiana. Elsewhere on the web, you can find Amy at The Fourth Frog Blog and All Things Aging. Amy receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.