How to Shop the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale like a Pro

The time is drawing near. Soon women (and a few men) from all over the country will be gathering in Fort Wayne, Indiana for one grand event. It’s an event like no other. An event that brings over 60,000 people to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. What is it that draws everyone in? The Vera Bradley Outlet Sale.

That’s right, Fort Wayne is expecting over 60,000 people to attend the Vera Bradley Sale April 9-14 at the Coliseum. Tickets for the event went on sale February 1.  f you want to attend the during the first three days of the event, you’ll need to purchase a $5 ticket. Or, you can save the $5 admission fee by attending the event between April 12-14 when it’s open to the public for free.

1 How to Shop the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale like a Pro

We’ve asked some veteran attendees for some tips on getting the most out of the sale.  Here are their tips:

There’s plenty of product, don’t worry.
“There’s plenty of product to go around, so try to be patient,” says Stephanie Jones of Valparaiso, IN.  Stephanie’s a veteran sale-goer who typically brings her mom with her to the sale each year, making it a fun mother daughter outing. Stephanie assures us there’s more than enough product for everyone so a little patience and a friendly smile can go along way when navigating 60,000 people.

Come with an open mind
The products available at the sale are not part of Vera Bradley’s current line.  They’re former favorites that will be available for a substantial discount (up to 65% in some cases).  This is your chance to find a pattern you love at a great price or discover one you had forgotten about.

Jennifer Daniels, a veteran sale shopper from Detroit, tells me that she makes a list and has an idea of what she wants. “While they don’t list the patterns that will be available or the types of bags, have a list of what bags you want and/or want to look for,” she says. “If you are going the second day or later, definitely check blogs and online forums. People will post what is available, prices, and often photos.”

Leave the strollers and little ones at home
The sale is very busy and very crowded. While Vera Bradley does not prohibit either one, strollers and little ones will make it hard to navigate the crowd. Leaving your favorite little people in the care of a loved one will provide you ample time to shop and enjoy yourself.

2 How to Shop the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale like a Pro

Bring a friend and plan to have fun
There’s nothing better than bragging about your bargains to your friends. Bring friends with you and plan to have fun!  ou’ll see fun groups of friends in matching t-shirts, decorated cars, and lots of creativity. A company as fun and beautiful as Vera Bradley is sure to inspire a little creativity among shoppers.  This is your chance to let loose and have a little shopping fun.

Dress comfortably, be hands free, and stay nourished
You’re going to be on your feet a lot at the sale. Whether you’re in line to get in (the wait could be up to 45 minutes) or you’re inside shopping you’re going to be on your feet. While Vera Bradley is all about fashion, fashionable comfort will give you the patience to go the distance at this event.

Don’t forget some high protein snacks too. Some nuts or a protein bar along with some water will help you stay focused on finding that deal you’ve been waiting all year for.

Consider your favorite Vera Bradley cross body bag instead of your standard large tote. This will leave you hands free and provide you with plenty of room for a cell, credit cards, and snacks.

Stay nearby and turn it in to a fun trip
While the sale is a main event in Fort Wayne that week, there’s lots of other things to do while you’re here. Consider staying at one of Fort Wayne’s great hotels, such as the Holiday Inn at the Coliseum just across the street from the sale. Many hotels will provide shuttle service to and from the sale making it easier than ever to relax. Opening day for the TinCaps is April 11, so you can also take in a ball game while you’re in town, or make reservations at Baker Street or Cork ‘n Cleaver for a great steak to refuel your energy after the sale.

Fort Wayne resident Katy Stafford-Cunningham hosts her family and friends who visit during the sale. “We go out to dinner and if the weather is nice we go and walk around Jefferson Pointe Mall.  Last year we saw a movie too.”

Attend the preview night
Know a company that supports the Vera Bradley Foundation?  If so, they might have tickets to the preview night. Preview night is open to partners and supporters of Vera Bradley and allows guests the best shopping.

For more tips and ideas, or to register for the sale, click here!



Michelle Merritt moved to Fort Wayne in 2008 and has found it to be one of the most warm and welcoming cities she's ever lived or worked in. She and her husband Jason live and work in downtown Fort Wayne. Together they are blending their big city urban experiences into life in America's biggest small town. Michelle writes and manages The Momish Blog and the Merrfeld Manor Blog. She is also a contributor to Moms Fort Wayne and The Paperblog where she writes about the joys and challenges of step parenting. Michelle also works as a professional career coach and recruiter.

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