Flash Sale Sites

by Farra

For those of you who have heard of Gilt Groupe and/or Hautelook but don’t know what they are other than online shopping destinations, 1. you’ve been living under a rock apparently, and 2. I’m here to help. They are known as flash sale websites. Buyers for these sites purchase overstock and last season merchandise from designers who are looking to unload their extra product. Then they hold 24-hour sales of a specific designer, trend, or classification (in retail terminology, a classification is a category, like jewelry) during which you can purchase these designer duds at a fraction of what standard retail mark-up would be. Gilt Groupe and Hautelook are perhaps the most well-know, but similar-concept sights pop up almost daily. Rue La La, ideeli, Swirl by Daily Candy, and MYHABIT are some other popular ones, and for the interior design enthusiasts out there, One Kings Lane is a great option.

How it works: visit the site of your choice (or all of them if you love a good bargain like me), sign up and create an account, and you’ll automatically be notified via e-mail of all upcoming sales. If you don’t like receiving dailies in your inbox, I suggest setting up a separate e-mail account only for your flash sale site subscriptions. The best part is it’s not just for us girls looking to add to our closets… flash sale sites are now offering merchandise for men and children, home goods, and even vacations.

My best purchase from a flash sale website were these Fiona Paxton earrings:

I had been eyeing them on Shopbop for a while but couldn’t seem to justify the $140 price tag for a funky pair of statement earrings. Imagine my excitement when they popped up on MYHABIT, Amazon’s fashion-focused flash sale site, for $50. I’ve since worn them to my brother and sister-in-law’s rehearsal dinner (and elsewhere) and have gotten a ton of compliments. With the holidays right around the corner, these websites can be a great place to score lust-worthy gifts while saving yourself some dough: a major win-win.

Happy flash sale shopping!