What to expect at Toronto’s Brandy Melville Warehouse Sale

A Brandy Melville warehouse sale seems too good to be true. But I promise you it’s true, and boy is it good.

UPDATE #2: IT’S COMING BACK TO TORONTO! OCTOBER 11 BOOK YOUR CALENDARS LADIES!
If you’re already 10 steps ahead of me and have the day reserved for the sale, I did a video on some shopping tips to help prepare you:

UPDATE: I finally did a haul video! Prepare for your jaws to drop at the amazing steals I got!

Alright now where were we…

I went twice today; once in the morning around 9am and then later in the afternoon around 11 (I was taking my friends from work, is that a good enough excuse?). For those in the Greater Toronto Area, I highly recommend dropping in on this one day sale that’s open until 10:30pm tonight. It’s happening at the International Centre at 6900 Airport Road Mississauga, Ontario Canada. Parking and admission are all free!
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The sale is basically like a treasure hunt. Merchandise is spread throughout the large empty space on tables, in boxes and even on floor. Nothing is categorized, though they try. So make sure you give yourself plenty of time to look and dig through everything in order to find the gems you’re looking for. While the sale is advertised on Brandy’s Facebook event page as prices from $1-$40, you’re greeted to an ever better surprise: nothing I saw was over $20. I’m telling you, the prices are dirt cheap! The average prices are: jewelry for $1, bandeaus are $3, most mini skirts are $5, crop tops are $5, maxi skirts are $10, dresses are $10-15 and sweaters are $15-20. All items are marked with a colour and the price is based on that colour and is as follows: yellow for $1, orange for $3, black for $5, blue for $10, green for $15, and red and purple for $20.
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As for crowds, it really depends on the time you go. At 9am, the lineup for cash was at least an hour long, and when I went at 11am there was no line-up at all. Try to avoid going at peak times which I’m assuming will be rush hour after-work/after-school. So instead of going anytime from 5pm-7pm, opt for 8pm – 10pm.

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I’ll post my haul when I get home, but just to give you an idea I got a Jada dress for $10, and printed Heather skirts for $5! My friend was lucky enough to find a This Is T-Dot top for $20! I’d love to hear about your hauls if you go, leave me a comment telling me what you got below!

@Naomi_ML

Christmas Countdown: Tech Gift Guide

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For the technology fiend in your life, it’s not always necessary to spend hundreds of dollars. From smart phones to tablets to gaming systems, this year the choices are endless.

Fitbit Flex, $99.99
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Support your New Years resolution of getting healthy and in shape with this cool device that tracks how many steps you take in a day, total distance travelled and calories burned, as well as how much sleep you get at night. Using bluetooth technology it syncs to iOS and Android devices and even PCs and Macs. A simple and sleek design and lightweight and comfortable fit, the Fitbit Flex offers data that’s both informative and motivating.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, $119
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When it comes to e-readers you either love them or you don’t. Some people appreciate the ability to carry hundreds of books around while others prefer the feeling of turning physical page after page. However, there’s no denying that e-readers come with plenty of cons and the new 2013 kindle offers up a faster processor, more responsive touch screen, and a better integrated light that’s brighter and whiter and displays more evenly across the screen.

iPad Mini with Retina Display, $419
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With the iPad Air being released this same year, Apple fans are given a choice. But with a great high-resolution display, faster processor and better and improved battery life, the iPad Mini with Retina Display might just be your best, and cheapest bet. According to CNET: “This is not only the best version of the iPad so far but, thanks to its incredible apps options and robust media ecosystem, it’s the best small tablet, period.” Well that sure says a lot.

Vintage Polaroid 600, $180
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With smart phones offering up high quality photos, there’s hardly a need to carry around a separate camera, unless it’s a vintage Polaroid. Take a trip back in time and ride the wave of nostalgia that’ll come with every white bordered photo that pops out of it.

Casio Slim Series Projector, $999
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Hey big spender! This might be something cool to get for the person who has it all. Why limit yourself to watching movies and TV shows on a 90 inch LED television when you could fill your entire living room wall with video. Offering up Wi-Fi, with light bulbds that last longer than the traditional lamps you’ll find in most projectors, it also is more ecologically friendly by being mercury free.

HTC Desire 601, $0 on a 2-year plan from Rogers or $300 outright

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I’ve coined the saying “once you go android, you never go back” ever since I switched over with my Moto X, and testing out this new device from HTC (which runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean) reinforced it. The sleek and ridiculously good looking (simple and clean is best) phone is targeted to “first time smartphone users” with a just-the-right-size 4.5 inch screen, 1.4GHz dual-core processor and a 5MP camera that captures 1080p HD amongst its long list of impressive features. Meaning it’d be a great transition phone for those cavemen in your life who are still using an old BlackBerry curve or heaven forbid a flip phone. Grandparents, dads and moms will love it.

But don’t be quick to categorize this phone as an “old people” device, because it’s far from it. Social media addicts will especially love the HTC BlinkFeed™ which combines all social media updates and news sources into one convenient stream. No need to open up a dozen apps and check different newsfeeds and dashboards; talk about convenience! And for those music lovers who appreciate good bass, they’ll love the BoomSound audio set-up. The phone has dual front-facing bass-friendly speakers. With Beats by Dr. Dre audio enhancement, you’ll hear nothing but the best and most crisp quality in sound. It’s perfect to blast those Christmas tunes during your holiday parties or for those karaoke sessions in the shower.  (Note: it’s NOT waterproof, keep it out of the shower and on the counter.)

Last but not least, one of the most attractive features that has your wallet breathing a huge sigh of relief is the incredible price tag. At just $300 with no contract, this mid-range phone is a steal compared to what most premium smart phones are selling at ($450 to $700; I’m looking at you iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy Note 3). There may be a difference in the specs like less RAM, but it’s still a phone that gives you quality for a great price.

GIVEAWAY: Your very own HTC Desire 601 (Just like good ol’ Saint Nick you can use nothing but the best and latest tech)
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Wish you could run to your closest Rogers Wireless store and grab an HTC Desire 601 immediately, but have a bank account telling you now’s not the right time? Well luckily for you, Rogers, HTC Canada and I have a brand spankin’ new one ready for a home. Thanks to Rogers and HTC Canada, one lucky reader receive their very own HTC Desire 601. To keep it or gift it, that will be up to you. Contest open to Canadian residents only, no purchase necessary, enter below: (Extra bonus entry if you retweet this tweet on Twitter).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

@Naomi_ML

Christmas Countdown: Beauty Gift Guide

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Know a girl who can tell the difference between a kabuki and a stippling brush or owns a whole makeup store at home? Well we’ve rounded up five items that are bound to be on her wish list this season. To save one lucky reader from a trip to the mall, I’ve got a giveaway for one of the most favored beauty brands: MAC! See below for the great prize pack you can win and how to enter.

Benefit Countdown To Love advent calendar, $68
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Enjoy the thrill of opening up a little cardboard door to find a surprise. While you’re 7-year-old self may have enjoyed the small piece of chocolate, this limited edition calender is filled with must-have beauty goodies. Containing Benefit’s bestsellers including BADgal lash mascara and ultra plush lipgloss, everyday will be an exciting one. The calendar includes 24 mini beauty products and also a charm necklace, bracelet and barrette. It’s available at benefit or sephora stores.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, $22.50

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For lips that are ready for kissing under the mistletoe, this Sugar Lip Treatment from Fresh is a best-seller known for its nourishing and protective benefits that glides on easily and stay on. This isn’t your regular drugstore chapstick, and it’s a rewarding investment that keeps lips moisturized for up to 6 weeks. A personal favorite of mine, it also comes in different tints to add some subtle color to your lips!

Marc Jacobs Beauty Showstopper 7-Piece Holiday Set, $107
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This is the first Christmas you’ll be able to give Marc Jacobs Beauty as a gift, the line having only been released earlier this year in August. This special holiday set gives you the best bang for your buck and the opportunity to get a taste of the different products. It’s a $261 value that comes with mascara, lipgloss, eyeliner, eyeshadow and the super chic Makeup bag. Good quality makeup for a great price!

Nicole by OPI Gumdrops nail lacquer, $7
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I’m not one for textured nail polish but these are beautiful. They are easy to apply and leave your nails looking dazzling. These give you the perfect chance to stray away from your usual colors and sparkle is perfect for the holiday season!

Vera Wang Pink Princess Eau de Parfum, $60
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I’ve always been a fan of Vera Wang fragrances, but it’s Pink Princess that has won my heart with its girly smells that combines the scents of raspberry sorbet, pink hibiscus and fluffy marshmallow. Perfumes are always a great gift to give during the holidays and it’s a safe bet they receiver will love it.

GIVEAWAY: MAC Beauty Trio

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Add a pop of color this holiday season with this MAC eye shadow, lip pencil and metallic pigment set!
Contest is open worldwide and no purchase is necessary. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shopping Ettiquette 101

For retail employees, Thanksgiving and Christmas are not the most wonderful times of the year. As a sales associate who’s been folding clothes and cashing out items for the past four years of my life, I picture crowded malls, long lines, cranky customers and Hilary Duff’s version of “Last Christmas” playing 12 times in one day instead of the usual holiday cheer like chestnuts roasting by an open fire, jingle bells, and happiness. Now I’m pretty sure anyone who’s worked at the mall during this time can agree. If customers followed some simple rules that really are common courtesy, then maybe it can be a wonderful time for everyone. So I’ve put together a helpful and sarcastic (I’m not this mean people) list to help you shopaholics out.

1. Look, but try not to touch.

Sure, go ahead and unfold that graphic tee if you’re actually interested in purchasing it. But please, don’t walk down every aisle brushing your hand through clothes like you’re petting a row of puppies and unnecessarily making a mess. If you need a size, instead of pulling a pair of pants from the bottom as all others fly away, ask an associate to help you out. Also don’t try and use the “high reach poles” to get your own size from the rack (you need a license to handle that). It’s for your own safety, seriously.

2. Stay away from the table the employee is cleaning.
For the past hour that post-tornado of a table that once used to display nicely folded t-shirts stood untouched. Of course, as soon as a sales associate decides to tackle it and is one t-shirt away from achieving the impossible aka bringing the display back to its pristine shape, a swarm of customers come in like a pack of hungry bees.
Bottom line: If you see an employee working hard at cleaning something, don’t just come by and grab the item that they were about to fold out of their hand, or mess up the table right in front of them. Have the courtesy to at least try and pretend you’re not purposely trying to be the Tasmanian devil or ask them for the size you want.

3. If you drop something, pick it up.
Don’t think I didn’t see you knock over that sale sign with your giant suitcase purse, only to hear the sound of something crash behind you, look back, stare at the fallen object for a good five seconds, do a quick (and totally suspicious looking) scan making sure no one saw you and walk away. Seriously, just take the five seconds to bend down, pick up what you dropped and put it in it’s rightful place. Unless your clumsy self bumped over a mannequin, then run call a store employee over.

4. Find your manners and then use them.
Think of that old aunt you see every holiday that loves to pinch cheeks and say with a nasally voice, “Where’s your manners young lady/mister?” I’d recommend the golden rule of treating others the way you want to be treated but some people clearly like being a victim of Regina George. Say hello back to that overtly friendly employee greeting you at the front door, say thank you to the one who just climbed a really tall and scary ladder to get you your shoe size and say please when asking if you can have a fitting room. If you’re nice, I’ll definitely do my best to help you, but if you decide to get all Mean Girls on me then oops, I may or may not have charged you regular price for that belt that was secretly on sale.

5. Don’t ask for the employee discount if you’re not an employee.
This isn’t a car dealership where “everyone” gets the employee discount. This also isn’t a flea market or garage sale where you can bargain prices with me. I can’t and I definitely won’t give you 40% off just because you lean over the till and flash me a smile that tells me you haven’t been to the dentist in years. If you want to be cheap, I will gladly give you directions to the nearest dollar store.

6. Have your decisions made and your wallet ready when you reach the cash register.
Cashiers aren’t personal stylists who will spend hours with you deciding which color and size to get. The worst lines we hear sound something like this: “I don’t want this anymore, never mind I’ll get, wait can you get me a size small, actually I’ll take that medium, you know what I don’t want it, why’d you take that out I wanna get that.” If you haven’t made a final decision on what you do and do not want, get out of the line because you’re not only making the cashier upset but the dozen or so people lined up behind you. Also a great help would be having your method of payment out and ready, whether it’s cash, credit or debit. Am I the only one who hears the Jeopardy theme song playing while people take ten minutes to search through their purse to pull out a water bottle, makeup case, lotion bottle, pack of gum, teacup dog before actually finding their wallet?

So take a hint from some of these tips and help make this holiday season a jolly one for everyone!

Note: these are not the views of my employer, just mine, and every retail employee who suffers through the Black Friday/Christmas shopping season as well.

@Naomi_ML