Sunday, December 26, 2010

Room and Board Annual Clearance Sale

Edit: See 1/4/2011 update here
December 26 is my favorite and least favorite shopping day of the year.  The deals are amazing, but the occasional accompanying frustration can be maddening.  Last Christmas, I was up almost all night for the online launch of Room and Board's annual clearance sale, as I had been waiting all year for my coveted Reese sectional to go on sale.  Unfortunately, the website crashed and I was unable to place my order all night.  I had to wait until the phone lines opened at 10am est, in order to talk to a customer service representative.  Despite their terrible online snafus, they have excellent customer service and I was able to order the Reese sectional I wanted entirely at the sale price, even though one piece had to be custom made.  This year, I actually forgot about the sale launching at midnight.  I've been kicking myself all day, especially since I was up at midnight anyway, because they actually put the iconic Philippe Starck Louis Ghost Chair by Kartell on sale.  These chairs are classics and never go on sale;  I've been wanting a pair of these chairs forever as end chairs for our dining room table.  We have a Room & Board Portica zebrawood dining room table with fairly straightforward black leather chairs.  We need two more chairs, and our leather ones are discontinued anyways, so I thought the Philippe Starck Louis Ghost Chair would be a fun way to liven up and inject a little bit of humor into the dining room.  Of course, by the time I remembered the sale today, the chairs were long sold out.  They still had the Victoria Ghost Chairs (now sold out), but I prefer more of the arm chair and more substantive look of the Louis Ghost Chairs.  I called up my mom and begged her to head over to the Culver City Room & Board location to look for the chairs.  She's had some experience at going to the annual Room & Board sales for me, including last year when I couldn't get the Reese sectional due to the website crashing.  She arrived at Room & Board 5 minutes before the store opened, greeted with a long line.  As soon as the doors opened, she went to search for the Louis Ghost Chair.  After a few minutes of no luck, she finally got the attention of a sales rep and was directed to the lone Louis Ghost Chair in the entire showroom.  At the sales representatives suggestion, she sat right down on the chair to claim the chair, not moving until she was able to purchase it.  It was quite fortunate, as several people approached her asking her if she was going to purchase the chair.  Because it was a floor sample, she got an additional $50 off the online sale price, score! Unfortunately, it's only one chair and I still need to track down another one, but I don't want to pay full price... I may only have one chair for a long time...

Room & Board needs to definitely improve their website.  I heard it crashed again this year at midnight, which is just unacceptable for a retailer of their size and stature, particularly since it happens every year.  I was so frustrated last year, staying up all night after Christmas, dealing with their website.  There just should be no reason that their website should have glitches.  There's nothing more frustrating than finding an amazing deal and getting your hopes up, only to have technical issues get in the way.  In fact, the website is still a little glitchy now; if you search for Louis Ghost Chair, it still shows as available.  Only after you enter in your address information does it finally say that it's out of stock.  Too bad, it's a great company otherwise.
Hard-earned Reese sofa (from R&B website)
Portica Dining Room Table (from R&B website).  I think the Louis Ghost chairs will be a fun touch at the ends. Or just look weird.


  1. Hi , some questions for you (despite the fact that this was 3 years ago)
    I'm from seattle and room and board is relatively new to us so any input would be very helpful!
    1) do all items go on sale at the end of the year? How did you know that your couch was going to be on sale?
    2) was the discount steep?
    3) do they also have cyber monday sale you're aware of?
    thanks so much!

  2. Hi Susie,
    Not all items go on sale, mostly when they are just changing the stock fabric or discontinuing the line or changing out the floor sample (in store only). We've just gotten lucky over the years where the exact things we wanted went on sale. A few weeks before the sale, Room & Board sometimes puts a "discontinued" or "limited quantities" caption on some items. Discount is 33-50%. I think last few years it has been more like 33%. No cyber monday sale, they are usually very disciplined about their sales with just this sale once a year.



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