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Sample Sale Ethics: Our Rules for Coverage

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Image via <a href="">Chic City Life</a>
Image via Chic City Life

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Sample sale season is upon us, and for the next three months we'll be devoting a good chunk of our coverage to the sales—from where the best deals are to which aren't worth your time. To kick things off, we've decided to spell out all of our policies. Racked reporters have been following these guidelines internally for years, and now we'd like to share them with you.

1. First, the goal of our sample sale coverage is to provide a useful and comprehensive guide to one of the most unique, most entertaining parts of shopping in New York City. Every effort is made to ensure accurate coverage. If you spot a factual error, please let us know:

2. Sales appear on the site based on our understanding of reader interest. We never accept payment for editorial listings.

3. We do accept advertising, but all ads and sponsored posts are clearly marked.
If we feel a sale isn't worth your time, we'll tell you, no exceptions. There's only one way to secure positive coverage: Have a really good sale.

4. Racked reporters sometimes get offered early access to sales. This access allows us to post reviews of sales before they begin, so we usually accept it, much the way that film critics accept tickets to movie previews and TV critics accept screener DVDs. If we got in early, we'll tell you, and when possible we'll follow up by waiting in line to see how the sale has changed once it's open to the public.

5. In the past, we have been offered VIP access to certain sales on the condition that we don't cover them. We do not accept those invitations.

6. Our reporters do not accept freebies or personal discounts at sample sales.

Any questions? Shoot us an email at, or fire away in the comments section.