Everyone loves a good sample sale, right? Even though they’re a great way to save money on designer brands, I’ve come to find some extra anxiety involved shopping a sample sale. Just read these tips from about.com, and you’ll have a good idea of how sample sale shopping compares to a regular trip to the mall.
That’s why sample sale websites are my godsend, and have been becoming more and more popular in the last few years. These websites, just like a regular sample sale, feature items from popular brands, at extreme discounts. Item quantities are limited and the sales usually only last for a few days at the most.
Some sample sale sites are “invite only,” mimicking the exclusivity of an in-person sale by, but many of these sites are revamping so anyone can join. It would be redundant to write about all of the sample sale sites out there, so here is a summary of the three I check every day:
- Ideeli – I find myself ordering most from Ideeli. Membership is free for “second row.” New sales start at noon each day, but if you upgrade to a first row membership you pay a small fee to shop the sales an hour earlier. They also have weekly giveaways. Sales are available for men, women, kids and home. A newer feature is IdealACCESS, which features local sales for Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.
- Gilt Groupe – These invitation only sales last for 36 hours. I love what they have for women, but this is my go-to site when I want to search for a gift for the boyfriend. They have Diesel often, and he loves Diesel. They also have children, home and travel sections. Most recently they opened a separate site called Gilt City (http://www.giltcity.com) which features local sales for Boston, Chicago, LA, Miami, New York and San Francisco.
- Rue La La – Membership to Rue La La is free and invite-only. Their “boutiques” are typically open from two to three days and feature all the same categories as Ideeli and Gilt Groupe. Their Local Picks are currently available in Boston and Seattle. And I just found out they have an Android and iPhone app (this may be a later blog post)!
The sites I check occasionally when the aforementioned three are not suiting my needs are:
I also just registered for Swirl by Daily Candy (http://www.dailycandy.com). Pleasant surprise: they send you a $20 credit when you join!
And other sites I know of but have not looked into yet include:
If you’re brave, in NYC and looking to go to a sample sale, check out NY Mag’s Calendar to help locate some good ones.
Ok, this entry was superlong. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Any questions? Any comments/advice on the sites? I would especially love to hear about the ones I haven’t checked out yet. Also, did I miss any?