In recognition of Tax Day, we bring you some of our favorite online ways to save money. Grab your coffee and give yourself a few minutes to digest all the deals:
Sample Sale Sites
Three beautiful s’s all in a row….let’s say it again, Sample Sale Sites. There are quite a few of these out there. They used to require a member to “sponsor” you to get in. Not any more. Just sign up….some may say you are on a “wait list” for the very few spots that open up daily. That’s BS. You’ll be in by tomorrow, if not by day’s end. Do check the return policy on these sites as the discounts are great, but if you don’t like what you get, you are usually stuck with it. Some offer a store credit.
Gilt Groupe: Provides designer discounts at up to 70% off. Each sale runs for 36 hours. Products sell out quickly. Jewelry, shoes and clothing for men, women and kids are all found here. Last Fall the site launched a travel side, called jetsetter, on which you can find amazing travel deals for both domestic and international travel.
Rue La La: Rue La La has a cult following and the site is very easy to navigate. Just sign up to be a member. Many of my friends will throw their vote behind Rue la La as the favored fashion “sample sale” site. The sales last 2 – 3 days and the products, categorized in a Boutiques tab, cover men’s and women’s clothing, accessories and travel. The Rue La La BLOG is a fun read and usually corresponds to a current Boutique sale offering. For example, a blog last week had an interview with an Elle style editor about her obsession with black and white dressing and at the same time had an Elle Black and White Boutique Sale with offerings like a Catherine Malandrino top, normally $495, for $179.
Ideeli: Not only is this my favorite of the sample sale sites, I like a site that shows smart business sense and this one fits the bill. If you sign up to shop, you get to start shopping an hour after the sale starts, ‘cuz you are a “2nd row member”. But, if you pay just $6.99 a month, you’ll get “First Row” status and get to shop first. I like this model as it allows everyone to shop, but if you keep getting annoyed that your favorite things are sold out, then you’ll pay the $6.99 for shopping privileges. The Ideeli blog is one of my favorites. It’s just fun stuff that may correlate to an online sale or be about something random like a high-end boutique hotel in Australia that is actually a trailer park. A fun read to be sure. And, free stuff. Yes, I love free and they offer plenty of give away contests. One day I will win!!
Haute Look: I see this one advertised a bunch and it seems to fit right in with these other three. Same prototype. Great deals, no returns….they all follow this diagram. Sign up here to be a member.
One Kings Lane: dedicated to home decor, this site can lure me in for quite some time. It’s also just a dang pretty site to linger on. Currey Company had a lighting sale last weekend with chandeliers and 50-66% off. I am now on the search for a cheap, great looking outdoor rug for my porch and I’m scouring this site every few days. Sales here last for 72 hours and you will find gift ideas as well as furniture, rugs, tableware, lighting and more.
Lucky Chic: similar in offerings, but Luckychic has this very confusing bidding process where the chips cost 60 cents and each time you bid it adds 10 cents to the item and 20 seconds to the time. If that made sense to you, you need to join this site. If it didn’t, join me in declaring that I don’t have time to figure it out. As I say that, I keep looking at the site and seeing a $250 Coach gift certificate being bid on. It’s at $34.10 now and the count down – which keeps having bids and thus 20 seconds added to it – is strangely memorizing. This site could suck time away like nothing else. Another reason I need to stay away.
Other Sample Sale Sites to try:
The Top Secret.com
Billion Dollar Babes.com
There are other great money saving sites out there and these are my favorites:
Groupon: Sign up for these daily emails as they are fun to read and provide really great LOCAL discounts – and the range of businesses is crazy good. The deal proves the purchasing power of the group – thus the name Groupon – as a certain number of people have to sign up in order to activate the coupon for everyone else. So, you’re incentivized to spread the love to your friends to make the deal happen. Brilliant. The merchant has to hand over a pretty penny to play ball with these folks: the coupon needs to be at least 50% off and then Groupon gets a large % of the left over funds. But, Groupon is THE hotter than hot marketing tool and their daily emails are expertly written. Really. They have side deals on the right column as well. This marketing tool drives business to stores and I’m sure, just like silent auctions, the stores have a nice % of people who buy the deal and then don’t show up to use it, thus somewhat negating the Groupon fees (well – that’s just my educated guess.)
Blue Fly: This site is stocked full of last season’s and last years designer lines which didn’t sell. Since designers have lots of unsold goods in this economy, this site is a gold mine. It has men’s, women’s, and housewares. It’s not rock bottom cheap, as everything is designer. But, if designer is your taste and prices 30-75% off are your way of shopping, this is your site. I also enjoy shopping this site as unlike most of the previously mentioned sites, Bluefly is set up like a store – with customer service and a return policy. If you don’t like something, send it back.
6pm: Zappos clearing house. Donald Pliners for $25; Stuart Wietzman for $40; yes, it is possible and this is where I start my online look for shoes. I’m not always successful, but I like to start here and hope that I find something that sings to me. You have 30 days to return your shoes, not the 360 days that Zappos gives you. Each weekend they run extra sales on certain brands, so be sure to check back often.
Kmart Online: I thought it was crazy as well, but just so you know, it’s worth checking out. High-end perfumes, not available in their bricks and mortar store (and where is one in Nashville?) are available here. I know you think I am pulling your leg, but try this out: they sell Annick Goutal Perfumes. Yes, the same line we did an entire post about last year (read here) and it is available at Kmart online – at 15% off! Blow me over; I had no idea.
Woot: Woot brings you just one deal a day, usually electronic is nature. Simple and sweet. If that appeals to you, try Gomatta Girls as well – just one featured product, or designer line, each day. When it sells out, it’s gone.
LuxuryLink.com: if you travel, you must take 5 minutes to check out this site. No other words need be said.
Face Card: Great budgeting tool with deals to boot. Not exactly a shopping site per se, but you could use this card to shop all these other sites and it would cut you off before you found yourself in a sea of debt. To read more, click here.
Read tomorrow’s post- about a Nashville company who sells exclusively online- and get a special 5 day 10 % discount to the site. This should make all of our out-of-Nashville readers and our in-town readers happy!