How to Prepare for the 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale #NSale

So, there’s this little event coming up called the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. You may have heard of it?  😂

Right now half of you are clapping your hands together in glee while the other half are swearing off all blogs and social media until August 31st, when the earth is once again centered on its axis.

I understand, I really do. It can get a little bit crazy. I like to say the #NSale is half sport, half shopping extravaganza.

Even though it’s gone off the rails in the last few years, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is still the best time to stock up on cold weather basics and new fall trends at excellent prices.

As your self-proclaimed girlfriend who keeps you in the know about all things fashion, it would be wrong of me to ignore such an epic sale, so I’ll definitely be covering it again this year.

The sale is going to be a little different this year, due to COVID. I’ll explain more below, but first . . .

What Is the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?

First of all, this is NOT a summer clearance sale.

This is brand new fall 2020 merchandise, brought out specifically for this sale, and immediately reduced.

Savings are usually 30-40% off retail, which is pretty amazing.

This is the perfect time to stock up on quality basics and splurge items you may not find at a discount except at end of season when sizes are picked over.

My priorities go like this: shoes, denim, sweaters… in that order. After that, I may look at coats, dresses, jewelry, sleepwear, lingerie, and beauty. Oh, and it’s also a good time to pick up a quality handbag on sale!

For those of you who are new to this sale, you need a Nordstrom Card if you want to shop during the Early Access period.

Things get verrrrry picked over by the time it opens to the public. I’m not in the business of recommending credit cards, but if you aren’t opposed to opening another, this is one you may want to have.

When is the 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?

As I said, things are being run differently this year. The biggest change is, they moved it to August, which I personally think they should have done years ago. (In the past, it’s always started mid-July and run through the first week of August.)

I don’t know about you, but I am so not in the mood to think about fall fashion in July.

Dates To Know:

Anniversary Sale items will be available for online preview starting July 24th.

All cardmembers can shop in open stores during normal business hours and online (staring at 9:30am ET) starting August 13, and some can shop even earlier depending on their Nordy Club cardmember status. (You can follow this link and log-in to find out your status.)

The public can shop beginning August 19.

What’s Different This Year?

Everyone will have the ability to preview all #NSale items starting on July 24. This preview experience will replace the print catalog this year.

This is awesome because normally, the print catalog and online preview only shows a small portion of the items available. Plus, you will be able to save your favorites to your Wish List, so you can check out faster when it’s your time to shop. (That’s new this year as well.)

Nordy Club cardmembers with Icon, Ambassador or Influencer status will get even more time to shop Early Access. The higher your status, the earlier you shop. This is on top of the six days of Early Access all cardmembers get.

Icon members get to start shopping on August 4, and I already have an appointment at my local store. I always try to go as early as possible so I can be the best resource for you all.

In addition to being held in August for 2020, the #Nsale will feature about 50% of its normal stock. This is good news to me as well. I feel like in the past there has been waaaaay too much.

Hopefully this also means I will have a greater percentage of their total #NSale inventory available at my local store. If they dedicate the same amount of floor space as they usually do, that seems to be a reasonable assumption. The more I can share with you in person on day #1, the better prepared you will be to shop!

Shopping in-store is sure to be different (#pandemicproblems) but I always recommend shopping online anyway. See my How to Shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale section (below) for more on that.

And finally, some good news for my Canadian friends… The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is coming to Canada! You can shop the #NSale online at from August 19–September 3.

How to Shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

#1. Sign up for The Nordy Club.

As I said above, I highly recommend the credit card as well, if you aren’t opposed to having another card, because the credit card is your ticket to Early Access.

But at the very least, sign up for The Nordy Club so you can earn rewards as you shop.

#2. Schedule a Personal Double Points Day during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. 

Then be sure to make your biggest purchases that day to maximize your rewards points earning potential!

#3. Join my JLS Fashion Tribe on Facebook.

This is where I share of-the-moment information, restocks, etc. Plus, you have access to me and other members who are shopping the sale to give you insights into fit and sizing.

If you aren’t on Facebook, never fear! I will still be posting plenty of #NSale coverage here on the blog. See #4.

#4. Sign up for my email newsletter.

This way you’ll be the first to know when my #NSale posts go live on the blog.

I’ll be posting my #NSale Preview as soon as the preview period starts on July 24, and of course, I’ll be updating my Guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and #NSale Dressing Room Try-On Haul posts for 2020.

I’m already familiar with their brands and pricing structure, so my goal is to help you navigate the #NSale without getting overwhelmed. I know this sale well, and I can let you know what the truly good deals are and what not to miss out on.

I really try to be a resource for you all during this sale, so if there’s anything I can do to help make it easier for you, let me know.

#5. Make a shopping list, and have a plan to shop the most popular items first.

This is the time to go through your fall/winter wardrobe — and summer too, because there are always some great wear now-and-later pieces that are part of the sale — and make a list of things you need or want to add to your closet.

One big difference this year is the online preview beginning on July 24th. I plan to be up bright and early to comb through the entire #NSale section, and compile a roundup of my top picks, which I will post to the blog. You can add items to your Wish List, to purchase when you get access to the sale.

#6. Shop early and often.

Popular items sell out quickly, and they can disappear from your cart while you’re making up your mind. I always recommend checking out multiple times. If you KNOW you want something, purchase that first. Then go back and take your time and start sorting through the rest.

#7. Shop online and choose the Contactless Curbside Pickup option.

This is the best way to avoid the chaos and crowds AND get the things you want immediately. It also is the safest way to shop in this COVID world we’re living in.

If you have a store that’s local to you, you can place and order and pick it up same day. Of course, not all stores carry the full #NSale inventory, so you may have to wait for some items to ship.

#8. Buy 2 sizes.

If ever in doubt, buy two sizes and return the one that doesn’t work for you. I promise you, you will thank me later for this advice.

The hottest items will sell out within the first few hours (no joke), and if you wait to get your order, find out you need a different size, and go to re-order, it may not be available.

#9. Pay for expedited shipping. 

This is a new tip to me, but it makes sense.

In recent years, this sale has become so popular that the computers can’t always keep up with how fast the inventory is moving, and sometimes people will check out and then later on receive an email that items from their order were canceled.

So, if there are any items you really want and are worried that they’ll sell out before your order is processed, pay for the next day or two-day shipping. Your order will get processed more quickly, and it is less likely to get canceled.

Obviously, this cuts into your savings, but if it’s a high ticket item, or you have a few things in your cart, it may be worth paying a little bit more to ensure you get your order.

#10. Finally, have fun!

You guys, this is a sale. My best advice is to look at it like a game.

You may not get all the pieces you want, and yes, those with higher cardholder statuses get first dibs… whether or not you agree with that, it is what it is. There will be more sales, more clothes, more boots, more bargains.

Go in with a positive attitude, have fun with it, and at the end of the day, you may walk away with a few great deals on new fall items.

Former Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Best-Sellers

I thought it might be fun to round up some of my best selling items from past years, along with some of the items that quickly became some of my tried-and-true.

I still have and love all of these.

Jeffrey Campbell boots (similar) // AG jeans (similar) // Rebecca Minkoff bag (similar)

Madewell cardigan (similar) // Vince Camuto sandals (at the Rack) // The North Face coat (similar)

Vince sweater // teddy coat // Chelsea28 cowl neck sweater

AG jeans // Vince sweater & AG jeans // leather jacket and AG jeans and rag & bone booties

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020.

Stick with me, kid. I’ve gotcha covered!

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34 thoughts on “How to Prepare for the 2020 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale #NSale

  1. I’m really looking forward to the NSale! I love it! I always pick up some really good things. Yes, I also send a lot back, but I get enough really good things, it’s completely worth it to me. The tip about buying two sizes is so on point. The first year I bought, I missed out on a couple of things I really wanted because the size was wrong, and I couldn’t reorder.

    I do have a question. Last year, I’d already used my double points day, but this year I ‘m definitely using a double points day. So is it good for the whole day, even multiple orders, or do we need to designate a specific order as “double points?”

  2. Wow, who knew. Thanks for such a great informative post. I’m a newby to the sale as we don’t have a Nordstrom near us. Let the sale begin!

  3. Great post and fun to read! Thanks so much for all the excellent tips! 
    I too am Icon and you raised a point I wanted to confirm… all purchases, even those outside of Nordstrom, contribute to your status? I believe that’s what you referenced. I wasn’t aware of that! I’ve been buying less this year and have been a little “concerned” about keeping status…. but if this is accurate then I can start using my card outside the store. Help? 

    1. Yes, if you have the Visa, you earn 3 points per dollar spent in stores or online at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook and Trunk Club. Plus, 2 points per dollar on dining, entertainment and travel, and 1 point per dollar everywhere else Visa credit cards are accepted.

      1. So interesting- I didn’t know Nordstrom had an Visa card option! Does it earn you points for traveling too? 

  4. Nsale has been my favorite time of year since I was a teenager 🙂 We used to drive 200 miles to the nearest Nordstrom to shop it… my how life has changed with the Internet! Do you know if the online sale starts at midnight on the first days of the various early access periods? I feel like that has been the case in the past (pacific time) but can’t remember for sure.

    1. They changed that last year. I believe it starts online at the same time it starts in-store, but I’m not positive. When I get confirmation, I’ll update the post.

  5. Thank you for letting us Canadians know about the Nordstrom sale now being for Canada too!  I am no where near a store, now I just need to confirm that it is being shipped from Canada, I really hate the surprise duties, willing to pay if I know in advance but the surprise and then the FedEx charge for collecting the duties etc are not fun.  Thanks… I think 😉 

    1. Yes it is shipped from Canada, free shipping and returns! I order shortly after the Canadian site was up in the worst of COVID and was surprised how quickly my order arrived.

      1. Catherine, just want to be sure you know that is the Canadian site not the same site as the US one.

        1. Lynn F: If the Canadian site site was new in March 2020 this means that they have never had a nordstrom sale event from the site. Is the merchandize on .ca and .com usually the same? Is there some kind of weird membership/status thing for the .ca site? Some companies treat their .ca and .com sites the same…..some it is VERY different…..what is your experience so far?

          1. Lauren, I don’t know if the sites are exactly the same I haven’t checked to see if an item is on both sites in all colours, etc. Because the .ca site is new they have not hosted the sale before. If you go to the website there is some information there.

  6. Thanks for this post, Jo-Lynne. I love this sale because I always treat myself to an item or two that I wouldn’t ordinarily buy– something spendy and/or an item that’s very “in” right now that I know I won’t wear for years. Last year I bought a dark green teddy coat. Such a fun piece! And the sale is just plain fun for me. I usually order a lot of items and send a lot back. One of the best reasons to shop at Nordstrom is their great return policy. I think that last fall I returned a couple of items I couldn’t decide on in July.

  7. THANK GOODNESS!!!  I love your n-sale posts.  Frankly, YOU are why/how I started shopping at Nordstrom and why I have a card with them now (my husband sends his thanks).

    But, you’ve been introducing fall when I’m still trying to clean up on the summa deals!  SO….I LOVE that they moved it.  Now I can take advantage of the trends you ID for me at a time i am better prepared to spend.

    I wonder if they usually start early bc back-to-school is so spendy for parents.  I mean, that would’ve been an issue in the past for me, but now that my kiddos are older it’s my turn, haha!

  8. Oh wow. That gave me anxiety just reading it. Ha Ha. You do such a great job preparing and helping navigate through this sale. It really has changed over the years and it’s a lot. Last year I just gave up and didn’t do it. I didn’t have the credit card and so of course just having the Nordy club status didnt give me a chance. I don’t like the idea that the system can’t handle all the computers on at same time and yes, frustrating when you put something in your cart and then it’s gone etc. Anyway, I’m trying to decide what I want to do this year. I wonder how Covid will change this sale with people working from home and not going out much. Thanks for all you do to help those like me know what do do. Lol. Rainy here too. Feels like Fall today, it’s so grey. PS best thing they did is change the sale to August. 

  9. So I just replied to a comment above and it says “awaiting moderation” (not sure why, but I’ll comment again separately here.) 
    I didn’t know Nordstrom had a Visa card option that could be used at other retailers. My Ann Taylor/LOFT MasterCard is like that although I only use it at those stores. Does the Nordstrom Visa earn you points for travel? My current Visa is tied to travel points which someday I will do again in our post-COVID world (I hope!!) 🤣

    I love shopping the #NSale but not super motivated  this year due to the fact that I no longer go anywhere. Even my job is going to be different when we return next month so there’s a lot of unknowns. BUT, with that said, I am STILL curious to see the fall fashion trends for this year. AND I know you are the greatest at filtering through the merchandise for us, so for that I WILL be following. I’ll probably be shopping for shoes and jewelry. 

    Last night, ABC showed the very first Bachelor episode which originally aired in 2002 and it was so fun to watch just to see fashion and beauty from back then! Spaghetti straps on the dresses, butterfly clips in every girl’s hair, acrylic French tip nails, spice colored lipstick with a darker lip liner, boot cut jeans (skinny jeans weren’t  a “thing“ yet), and really, really thin eyebrows! I had forgotten how much has changed in the last 15+ years! Oh and the men wore those oversized suit jackets and baggy pants! It was hilarious to watch!

    1. That’s hilarious! I never watched that show much, but it would be fun to see how the trends have changed.

      I don’t think you get travel points b/c you are getting Nordstrom points. Here are more details:

      And I checked your comment that’s being held hostage in the moderation folder, and I have no idea why except that you misspelled Heather, and maybe that flagged it, even though your email address should have cleared the filter b/c you use it a lot. Sometimes these spam filters are too smart for their own good. lol!

      1. Hahahaha…..I typed that previous comment without my glasses on. 🤪 
        Thanks for the instant link for more Nordstrom info. Their Visa is definitely worth considering. BTW- I just got my LOFT tie front sweater in the mail and I LOVE it! I got it in the navy print and it’s so pretty. I put it on right away with my white shorts as I have the air conditioning on and it’s a little chilly inside. Not going anywhere, but I’ll look cute while I make homemade white turkey chili for dinner. 😁

  10. Thanks for that informative post about my favorite Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!  I always buy waaaay too much, and return a ton. Nordstrom’s return policy is amazing. Sadly, I think I’m only an Influencer right now … so I like your suggestion of using the card on other clothing purchases as well. I’ll look forward to seeing your suggestions and thoughts!  Oh, and I love that it’s in August instead of mid-July… and that you can have a Wish List!  That sounds so helpful!  

  11. So glad this is moved to Aug!  Wondering if the high end designer bags (YSL, Gucci, Chloe) ever go on Anniversary sale??

  12. Perfect information. I am so glad we have Nordstrom Canada on line  this time around. Here’s hoping we get some awesome deals! Thanks for this:) 

  13. Great information, Jo-Lynne! I have a question: how do I select a sale day to be a double points day? Can I schedule that NOW for my first available shopping day?

  14. I have never done this so much talked Nordstrom big sale, but you got me so excited that I’m in. I will follow your expertise advice and hopefully will find something good. 
    Thanks 😊 

  15. SO happy the sale is later this year. It just makes sense. I’m always looking for a good pair of black pants that are long enough, and bras that actually fit. This may be the year!! : )

  16. I would love to see a guide to AG jeans before the Nordstrom sale to better understand the different fits. Thanks!

    1. Sure! Here’s a link:

      The Farrah is my go-to right now. It’s their traditional higher rise skinny, I like the ankle length. They also come in full length. The AG legging ankle was popular for a while, but it’s quite low rise for today’s trends. They’re usually an ankle length.

      The Prima is a cigarette leg, and they come in ankle, crop, and full lengths. I have 2 pairs of those, they’re good.

      The Angel is their bootcut, and they’re really good.

      Then they have an ex-boyfriend jean that is popular, and the Mari is a high waist straight. I tried it and it’s just okay on me, but my eye may change as styles continue to move that direction. Isabelle is also a straight, and I’m not sure the difference between that and Mari.

      Jodi is a high waist crop flare, which I tried once and didn’t love. I think that’s it. 🙂

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