If you know StyleDemocracy, you know that when we’re not throwing the best warehouse sales in Toronto, we’re on the hunt for sales, steals and deals! We round up some of the sales across Canada in our Weekend Sale Round-Up and our event calendar, but sometimes the sale lingo gets tricky. Below you’ll find a list of sale terms that you’ve probably come across before. We breakdown what they actually mean with the degree of discount, to help narrow down which sale is the best for you!

  • $ = This is not a sale
  • $$ = The sale is okay, but it could be better
  • $$$ = The sale is okay, but if you dig, you’ll find a a really good deal!
  • $$$$ = You’ll have to hunt for what you want, but when you find it, it’ll be dirt cheap! 

Outlet Store: A brick-and-mortar or online destination for off-season sale merchandise and lower priced made-for-outlet lines. It’s not uncommon for outlets to feature more than one designer or label. Rating: $$$ 

Factory Store: A brick-and-mortar or online destination for off-season sale merchandise, lower priced made-for-factory lines and manufacturer damaged/flawed goods. Typically factory stores only carry one designer or label. Rating: $$$

Warehouse Sale: A destination for off-season sale merchandise. Warehouse sales are often made-up of several seasons of merchandise. This merchandise has gone through a typical sale cycle in retail stores and has been consolidated into one location for a limited time. Warehouse sales are on the grander side of sales and prices are typically much lower than retail sale prices. These types of sales can feature one or multiple brands. Read our tips for how to shop a warehouse sale hereRating: $$$$

Clearance Sale: This type of sale often takes place in a regular retail environment. Stores often host clearance sales when they are trying to clear out merchandise to make room for next season’s merchandise. These markdowns are often final. Rating: $$

Consignment Sale: This type of sale features pre-owned merchandise sold by a third party. The profits of the sale are split between the third party and the consignee. Consignment stores stock multiple brands from multiple sellers. Sizes and styles will range. See our list of the best consignment stores in Toronto here. Rating: $$$

Sample Sale: This type of sale features one or multiple brands for a limited time. It is not unusual for them to only feature “sample” sizes, which will range between brands. “Sample” sizes are typically a women’s size small and men’s size medium. Merchandise in these sales are often one-offs that have been used in fashion shows or presentations by the brand. Rating: $$$ if you’re a sample size and $ if you’re not

Trunk Show: An exclusive limited-time event where the brand or retailer showcases their merchandise to a select group of people. Often times, trunk shows are invite only and allow customers to shop a line before it is made available to the public. Merchandise at these events is usually full price. Rating: $

Pop-Up Shop: A brick-and-mortar or online destination that appears for a limited time. Pop-up shops are often created to spread brand awareness or to test a location before setting up a permanent store. Merchandise in pop-up shops are usually full-priced, but can feature sale merchandise as well. StyleDemocracy hosts online pop-up shops that are filled exclusively with sale merchandise at our famous warehouse sale prices – learn moreRating: $ (Unless it’s a StyleDemocracy Sale, in that case it’s a $$$$!) 

Want to know what other sale terms mean? Comment below and we’ll find the answer!

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