The Bottom Line
- Great introduction to sample sales
- Knowledgable, friendly guides
- Access to private designers and sales
- Tours can be customized to the group's interests
- It's easy to spend a bundle shopping
- A Few Sample Stops:
- designer coat showroom
- perfume retailer
- amber retailer
- accessories sample sale
- Shop Gotham offers private tours and will customize the stores to the group's interests.
- Shop Gotham Garment Center Tour Price: $70 for the small group walking tour
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- Eat a big breakfast -- the three hour tour covers a lot of ground and you won't want to stop to eat.
- Wear comfortable shoes -- there's no time to rest when you're shopping up a storm.
- Some stores don't have changing rooms, so be prepared to change in public.
- While many sample sales accept credit cards, some only take cash, so bring some along.
- The Garment Center tour is typically offered on Thursdays and Fridays.
Guide Review - Shop Gotham Garment District Walking Tour
Through the tour, we were able to gain access to designer show rooms that would not have been accessible on our own, as well as several sample sales. Our guide, Halle, also brought us to a store that has an ever-changing array of items, including cashmere sweaters, Michael Kors coats and Free People skirts at deep discounts.
Halle was cheerful, friendly and knowledgeable -- as well as a great bargain shopper. When we were tipped off to the a $10 sample sale by an elevator operator in the building we were visiting to buy discount fragrances, she added a stop to our tour, emphasizing how the tour is always full of surprises.
I must admit, I'm not much of a shopper, so I was surprised by the success of the trip -- I scored a wool coat from Linda Richards for just $30 (full retail $260). (Sure, it needed some buttons sewn on, but that's a breeze.) I got a great pair of pants for just $10, a Michael Kors rain coat for $59 and a beautiful amber necklace for a friend for 1/3 of the retail price.