Monday, February 8, 2010

Online Designer Sample Sales

So, nothing is really new as far as the institution of the online sample sale goes. Gilt Groupe was the first online sample sale company to really make it big, and now there are a bunch of others popping up, like HauteLook and Rue La La. The story is the same pretty much everywhere -- you have to be invited by an existing user to get a login, there are set start and end times for each sale, and you have to either love what you get or send it back for store credit only (no credit card refunds). This isn't any different than a traditional sample sale, except that it's online and not in-store.

This way, you don't have to play that little game with the other shoppers where you both want the same pair of jeans and you keep an eye on each other so that when one person puts down the jeans, the other makes a quick move to pick them up. I may seem like a fairly amiable person, but I've been known to get a little territorial at a sample sale. Be forewarned.

While some of these sites do offer great discounts on clothing, accessories and cosmetics, sometimes the prices are still really high. If you think about it, a $1,000 Zac Posen dress is still $500 at 50% off. Luckily, Gilt just launched a great sister site called Gilt Fuse, which focuses on up-and-coming and young designers, subsequently making the prices a little more manageable. You can find some pretty awesome shoes for around $50 and dresses under $100, depending on the day. This week the site is featuring some of my favorites, like French Connection, Dolce Vita, and Torn by Ronny Kobo.

Recently, I was able to get a top that retailed for $50 for $5 after I used a Gilt credit that I got at Fashion's  Night Out last September! Credits are another great initiative that these sites are using -- if you send someone an invite to join and they make their first purchase, you get a $25 credit!

For more information, visit the individual sites. And if anyone needs an invite for any of these sites, I'd be more than happy to send you one :)


  1. Very informative, I have to check out Gilt Fuse (it is the only one I haven't checked out yet.) Though I do personally enjoy the fight for an item in real life...

  2. Gilt Groupe flooooods my email, BUT they do have pretty good deals. Gilt fuse is great!!