Flash sale sites have been popular for a couple of years now, but I've only recently jumped on the bandwagon. The thought behind flash sale sites is to offer a big discount on just a few items for just a short period of time, sometimes a few hours up to a few days. They're almost always members only, so you have to sign up or be referred, and then the sales are sent daily (or more) to your email.
- Often really steep discounts on really good items.
- Most sites make it really easy to buy and return.
- Shopping behind the computer is way quicker than hunting down sales all over town
- There are lots of tricks to make you buy, sometimes items are marked up before they're marked down, so the discount really isn't all that great.
- The items are not always current, they may be from last season, if that matters to you.
- Emails. Lots and lots of emails. Endless emails.
Any kind of online sale site is designed to make you think you're getting a great deal. Maybe you are and maybe you aren't, but would you have spent $100 on the purse if you saw it on the clearance rack? Or are you just so thrilled at the thought of saving 75% off a fancy brand name that you press purchase? I've had to force myself to weigh out these questions after I got a little click-happy, but even so I've scored some fabulous items on my favorite sale sites.
My current favorites:
Gilt Group. Gilt has very high end items, a huge part of their appeal. I've purchased Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs, etc. through this site, and been so happy with the process and the product. The one time I had to return something, it was painless. It's also a bonus to me that there is an easy iPad app.
Beware, though. I've noticed many times that Gilt marks the price way up and then pretends it's giving you a large discount, when in actuality the discount is closer to 10% from regular retail. Be sure before you buy that the price is fair.
Fab. Oh, I how I love Fab, the design-focused sale sight. The emphasis here is less on the amazing prices and more on unique and original items.
They are for the most part reasonably priced, but I especially love it because I've discovered some great artists and brands. I've bought cute prints for the kids rooms, hand-printed t-shirts, and even a brightly-colored umbrella.
One Kings Lane. I've been reading about OKL for a really long time, but I only decided recently to take the plunge and join.
I like One Kings Lane because it has a good mix of high and low items, and the pictures are just as satisfying as browsing Pinterest. I have yet to purchase anything from One Kings Lane, but I have seen so many things I like that I know I succumb soon.
Have you signed up for any of the flash sales sites? Which is your favorite?