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Today, destiny brings us face to face with one of New York City's most serious bargain hunts—the Hermès sample sale at the Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th Street in Chelsea. Racked is reporting live from the scene all morning. Buckle up.
9:30am: The line is crazy— much worse than last year. I'd say there are a couple hundred people here. The sale is mid-block on 18th Street, and line goes all the way down 18th, wraps around the corner, and goes halfway up the block on Sixth Avenue. It's longer than any line I've ever seen at the Barneys Warehouse Sale. I didn't expect this at all— it's much crazier than the sale last March.
9:40am: In the last ten minutes, thirty more people have gotten in line behind me. Decent number of well-dressed men here.
9:47am: The back of the line now extends up Sixth Avenue all the way to 19th Street.
9:52am: Bags in front of me in line: Celine, Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Bottega Veneta. The line now wraps down 19th Street—never seen it this bad.
10:04am: There's a girl handing out membership cards for Gilt, the online sample sale site.
10:11am: Two guys in button-downs walking to the end of the line. One: "Guess we should have taken a cab." The other: "We should have gotten here last night.
10:15am: And we're moving! There's a man in a black sweatshirt next to me trying to cut the line. I'm predicting a fight.
10:28am: Oh look, another girl working the line for another sample sale.
10:35am: The first shoppers just emerged with bags. Ladies in front of me had a little freak-out. The line-cutter, by the way, seems to have made it into line behind me.
10:38am: Line-cutter update: He just dropped his Starbucks and splashed an older lady. No manners.
10:51am: The line-cutter saga ends: He left. Guess he was sick of waiting.
11:10am: This is really the worst sample sale line of all time. They're letting people in in groups. Girl just came around to register people for the Max Mara sale, happening in October. We're a perfect captive audience here.
11:12am: Surprisingly few people have tired of waiting and/or run out of time to be away from the office.
11:28am: Well-dressed shoppers now wilting under the hot sun in line. It's been an hour and a half since the sale opened, and maybe 100 people have entered. Hundreds are still waiting outside.
11:59am: Energy...fading...But the line is moving more rapidly now. I can see the door.
12:13am: Ahh god still waiting.
For the sweet, sweet moment when our correspondent finally made it through the door, plus pricing and selection news, click over to our continued Hermès sample sale coverage.