While the retail industry in general has seen a decline in sales over the past year, one particular format, online sample sale sites are doing relatively well in this recessionary climate, as shopaholic women and men with a taste for designer items are drawn to this online guilty pleasure.
The deep discounts on designer fashions and accessories, the aura of exclusivity and the convenience of online shopping appeals to both men and women, who are signing up by the millions to join these cool websites. They have become the “club” to which every person wants to belong.
The bargains are hidden from the public eye; only members can view them — although becoming a member is usually not difficult. It varies from invitation only sites to ones which accept anyone who registers. The sales are up for short periods of time and qualities are limited. Returns and exchanges tend to be restricted. Discounts can run as high as 80 percent off.
With all of these “exclusive” online sales, now it’s even easier to recession proof your men’s wardrobe without having to skimp on style. Most sample sales sites offer women’s designer clothes and accessories, however there are now a few top sites which have gotten into the men’s market.
Here are my top eight websites for men where membership definitely has its privileges:
- Gilt Groupe created in 2007, savings up to 70% off, runs 36-hour sales on Men’s, Women’s, and Children’s fashion, and other high-end goods. A partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) secures their merchandise supply chain directly from the designer, therefore your orders ship almost immediately. Opt for low-cost shipping ($4.95) Added bonuses include a free wait list on items that sell out. Membership to Gilt is by invitation only. Join Gilt Groupe with this invitation link: http://www.giltgroupe.com/invite/lisa103
- Rue La La, created in 2008, hosts 2-day designer brand boutiques, with savings up to 30-80% off retail. Membership is also by invitation only, but you can also put your name on the waiting list. Join Rue LA LA with this invitation code: This Company has also revolutionized ecommerce with the introduction of the first mobile website for private sale shopping. The launch of m.ruelala.com takes the convenience of online shopping to an entirely new level by allowing consumers to shop private sales from the convenience of their iPhones. Join RueLaLa with this invitation link: http://www.ruelala.com/invite/lmartin377
- Haute Look, launched in December 2007, organizes exclusive 12-48 hour online private sales and has quickly become a must-shop destination with its varied selection of both indie designers and high-end brands, as well as the up to 75% off savings. Membership is free and prior to each sale, members are sent an email notice announcing the brand and start date/time of the sale. Join HauteLook with this invitation link: http://www.hautelook.com/invite/8922
- Ideeli, one of the first invitation-only shopping communities, offers daily sales events, with prices up to 80% off retail. This site features mostly men’s accessories, and occasionally includes men’s resources. For $7.99 per month, you can become a 1st Row Member and shop the site an hour earlier than 2nd Row Members, and will also receive mobile alerts (depending on your carrier). Join Ideeli with this invitation link: www.ideeli.com/invite/lisa9
Four other websites, which are smaller and contain limited and/or offer unique selections, are Beyond The Rack , The Top Secret, Jackthreads – “invite only”site for street/skate community, and for guys in NY area – TheChoosybeggar.
Merchandise moves quickly on these websites, so if something catches your eye, make sure to snap it up before it’s gone!
Do you have a favorite men’s private sample sale site not mentioned here? Share it with StealthStyling by posting a comment below.