To aid to consumers who were eager to make luxury purchases without hurting their wallets, Gilt.com was introduced in 2008. Since its inception, a number of other “online sample sites” have sprouted, carrying more than just apparel but home furnishings, travel packages and services. The concept of purchasing designer items within an allotted time at highly discounted prices was enticing and considering Gilt’s success, has proven to be very popular with consumers.
- What’s the Math?
For most of these sites, you can save UP TO 80% off the retail price. Does this mean you’ll be paying a finger for an entire body? No. It just means you’ll be paying a lot less than you would at regular retail price.
- Time Flies When You’re Saving Funds!
This is where ‘supply and demand’ plays a part because no matter what, these sites are still a business; they want and need to get rid of product. Make note that sales can last anywhere between 24-72 hours.
- Keeping up with the Jones’
High demand items (this is usually the case with popular brands) sell very quickly. If you want access to something in your particular size or color (based one whatever is available), make sure you are aware of when it sells. When you sign up for an account, you may opt-out of alerts for current and up-coming sales events but this would only mean that you end up picking up left-overs.
*TIP! – If you want an item, place it into your shopping cart immediately! Just claim your item(s) before anyone else does. It doesn’t hurt to add it and if you later decide that you do not want to purchase it, just remove it! Keep in mind that with most sites, holding an item in your shopping cart allots you to a maximum of 10 minutes.
- Share The Wealth
Aside from saving a ton of dough, these sites run on a “referral” system. You can receive either a discount code (to be entered at check out) or a credit toward your next purchase. Invite your friends and once they make a successful purchase, you are rewarded for your efforts. Some store credits expire, so make sure you check them.
- Blow-Out Sales!
Items that do not sell the first time around will eventually be re-posted and most likely be marked down although the allotted time for “Blow-out” sales is shorter.
- Read the fine print!
If your intentions are to order something because you need to wear it for a special occasion or wrap it up for an up-coming birthday, make sure you inquire about the shipping date and options. Some sites do not ship merchandise until the end of the month so make sure you plan well ahead.
For a list of some great flash sites, read “5 Great Designer Online Sample Sales To Bookmark: Part 2″