Sfdoubletake's Blog

Sssshhhh It’s a Secret. | September 16, 2009

We all know how crazy the economy has gotten to be in the last year. People are on the hunt for a bargain and when they find it, it becomes a well kept secret in hopes that this special treasure last. In the past year there has been a great increase in online “secret” shopping. Websites that are based on an exclusive membership that you must “apply” to get. It takes days, weeks, or even months until you get excepted into the holy grail of discounted designer merch. Many of the websites feature pieces that were taken from the sale racks at Bloomies, Barney’s and any where else that didn’t have 100% sell through. It’s tough for retailers to make plan and achieve LY figures so when an e-tailer offers a small price for their last season merch. (which is sitting in a warehouse) they jump at the opportunity. Welcome to the community of “secret” online shopping.

As far as secrets go, I am not one for keeping them, so lucky for you I know some really good websites that can save you a tone when shopping.

1.) Gilt Groupe

This has gained popularity in the last few months or so, but it’s still a great place to go to get some good designer merch. (apparell, shoes, watches, home, etc.) up to 70% off of what you paid for in their boutiques. They have been so successful that they launched a sister website called Gilt Fuse, which is only for women (at the moment) but it feature even CHEAPER DESIGNER CLOTHING.

2.) Beyond the Rack

This is not as designer driven as Gilt is. Although they do feature designers they are more based on department store designers rather than specialty boutiques. They have a mixture of apparel and accessory items at any given sale but their prices are pretty cheap for what they offer, plus just for signing up you get a $10 credit to use towards your first purchase.

3.) The Fairest

This website has the beauty conscious shopper in mind. It is all driven by beauty, from hair care, skin care and makeup this website has a great designer selection of beauty products. Caring brands like: Clarks Botanicals, Bodyography and Panpuri may seem a little strange to the average shopper, but all the products that are featured are professional choices and are used in the industry everyday in photo shoots and t.v. appearances. Bottom line, this website is great to go into if you are really into beauty, they have a great selection and great brands featured.They even have a blog where real people go to post their favorite brands and talk about their purchases.

4. Shop it to me

Ok so this last one is not an e-tailer but they are a great resource to use to know when an e-tailer puts your favorite designer on sale. There are so many customizable aspects about this website, from the days you want to receive mail and which designer you want to know about, to the shoe, shirt and pants sizes you specifically are looking for. This is a great resource to know when major department stores (Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bloomies) is marking things down because out of all the 150+ designers/brands featured on the website many of them pull the sales from those major websites. Just call this site your free personal shopper.

So now you have an idea of the hundreds of “secret” online shops out there just waiting to be discovered. Hopefully now you really will think twice before you pay full price again.

-Chris C.


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