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Shopping on Flash-Sale Sites

One Thing You Should Know Before Shopping on Flash-Sales Sites

Sometimes the deals on flash-sale sites like Gilt, Ideeli, and Rue LaLa seem too good to be true. We see amazing deals that give us more than 70 percent off brand-new designer apparel, but what's the catch? Turns out that we may not be receiving the quality product we're expecting from those high-end brands. Shauna Mei, the CEO of AHAlife, a site that sells goods recommended by industry trendsetters, shines a light on what goes on behind the deals in an interview with the New York Times:

"The dirty little secret of flash-sale sites is that brands now make cheaper products directly for the sites. You’re not actually getting inventory Saks couldn’t sell, and it’s not 80 percent off. They’re selling items that are cheaply made and cheaply priced, things Saks would never consider carrying. But these sites convince people they’re getting a deal, which attracts customers. So we have a harder time with customer acquisition. It’s harder for people to discover us."

Are you satisfied with purchases from sites like Gilt?

Join The Conversation
enginerdette enginerdette 6 years
I've purchased a few things from RueLala and Gilt... I think that the quality can go both ways. You can definitely tell that a lot of brand name denim feels cheaper (7 for all mankind, and R&R.) It's a very noticeable difference. But on the other hand, I bought some excellent KitchenAid pots and pans, a quality Kate Spade purse and some lucy exercise clothes that looked just as good as the stuff in the stores. Still, it's good to know that I'm really getting what I pay for. Now I wonder about the Hermes Birkin and Chanel reissue bags that they had awhile ago...
poizenisxkandee poizenisxkandee 6 years
well the same goes for outlet stores as well, some of the items at jcrew or coach are direct to outlet and some are overstock. some online sample sale sites have sold fake merchandise. caveat emptor. i am a member of about 15+ online sample sale sites and have never had a problem but i am well informed about the brands i buy from and tend not to impulse shop.
LilMissChttrBox LilMissChttrBox 6 years
I've purchased both clothing and kitchen items from RueLaLa, and I've been happy with all of my purchases so far. The clothing quality was definitely the same as other items from the same brand...I've had good luck so far!
testadura67 testadura67 6 years
I did buy a pair of sandals off Hautelook, and while I love them and wear them often, you can definitely tell they're cheaply made. For something that's supposed to be high end designer made, I've seen similar quality at Rack Room. Still love the sandals, but definitely wouldn't have paid what I did for them if I'd seen their quality in person.
shannrose shannrose 6 years
This is good to know! I've never bought any clothing off of these websites, though I have been tempted before.
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