O.C. Bargainista: How to prepare for warehouse sales

This is the time of year when all varieties of manufacturers begin opening their doors for public warehouse and sample sales, so get that gift list ready and start making your shopping plans.

First, a few tips

We'll focus on sales in Orange County in this column. More adventurous (and hard-core) bargain shoppers can visit sites like whsale.com and bargainsla.com for all of the Los Angeles-area sales, which include brands like BCBG, True Religion and Body Glove.

Some notes for savvy sample sale experiences: Wear layers like leggings and tank tops to facilitate impromptu try-ons, as many sales don't have dressing rooms; bring cash in case they don't take credit cards; and arrive early (with a book or magazine in hand) for the more major sales like BCBG, where line-ups can start hours in advance and wrap all the way around warehouse buildings in sketchy industrial parks.

EBay can fulfill your desires

Not up for battling hundreds women in stilettos for a designer tunic? There's always EBay! Find local sellers who offer pick up in Orange County by searching in the title and description for stores like "JustOCDeals" (designer bedding from stores like Bloomingdales; pick up in Capistrano Beach), "Netsellerz" (housewares and fixtures; pick up in Fullerton) and "Sugar Outlet" (designer clothes offered by the OC Bargainista herself; pick up in Irvine).

On to the deals …

EBay drops seller fee for new sellers

Freebie of the Week: Ever wanted to try selling on EBay, but didn't want to waste your money if your item didn't sell? The auction website is offering 100 free listings per new seller each calendar month through the first week of January. Pay a small percentage of the total price only if your item sells. Visit ebay.com.

Veterans get free admission to Knott's

Past and present U.S. armed forces personnel will be granted free admission to Knott's Berry Farm, along with a free guest, through Nov. 25 with military ID. Up to six additional tickets can be bought for $15 each. Visit knotts.com.

New stuff for new baby

Stock up on gifts or your own baby needs at the Joovy Warehouse Sale from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 15281 Barranca Pkwy No. H, Irvine. Products include open box, floor sample and refurbished strollers, joggers, play yards, high chairs and accessories, available at up to 70% off. Call (714) 450-6500 or visit joovy.com.

A maternity and baby product EBay retailer is holding a warehouse sale from 8 a.m. to noon Friday and 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at 15 Dry Creek Lane, Laguna Hills. Deals include cheeky T-shirts for mommy and baby starting at $1 and designer diaper bags that retail for $130, sold for $5 at the warehouse sale. Visit Information: meandmybabyboutique.com.

Have a hot sale tip, or know about a great local business that you think deserves a little attention? Contact the O.C. Bargainista at candicebaker@gmail.com. And remember — never pay retail!

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