We live in a world of instant gratification, and technology has turned budget fashionista’s into the ultimate #hautegeeks. We know our way around online stores like we know our way around Facebook and Gmail, and if the words “flash sale” and “free shipping” are music to your ears, then read on for tips and tricks to shopping some of the best online outlet stores on the web.
There aren’t many e-tailers out there offering 75% off their entire site, except, of course wonderkind Blue Fly. The designer discount site can be a mecca for all things fashion, and whether you’re casually browsing on your laid back Sunday afternoon or frantically shopping on your lunch hour, they’ve got you covered. Refine searches by size, color, and price range for the ultimate direct shop, and add a coupon code from the Blue Fly mailing list or budget fashionista favorite Retailmenot.com.
There’s some extra sense of refinement about Gilt Groupe that makes it stand out from others in the online sale site family. The brands offered aren’t any more obviously luxurious than the next e-tailer, but there’s something about seeing those gleaming gold letters upon entering the site that lends you the prestige of your admired designer boutique. If an item is sold out, you can opt to be added to a wait list in the hopes of Gilt restocking highly coveted items.
LA-based HauteLook is a members-only site dedicated to giving shoppers access to their favorite brands in fashion, beauty, decor and getaways in a pop-up sale format. Each morning HauteLook debuts new mini sales organized by designer or category, featuring luxury clothing, accessories, and travel at amazing discounted prices. As a member, you’ll get alerts a few days ahead of time letting you know what shops will be popping up next on the site.
Another typical flash sale site, Ideeli offers discount designer mini boutiques. Sales are organized by designer (i.e. Betsey Johnson) or by category (i.e.Stellar Skirts) and run a few days each. Aside from garments, Ideeli rounds out their site with jewelry and accessories, as well as home goods, toys, and even travel. Be sure to check the shipping schedule (each item can differ), and remember that returns can only be exchanged for store credit.
Upon first glance, Smart Bargains appears more like an Amazon or Overstock.com e-tailer. The site design doesn’t exactly scream luxury, but upon closer investigation, luxury you can find. New users can take 10% off their first purchase by signing up for the email newsletter. For $9.95 a year, the SMART Shoppers Club gives
you first access to site deals on new arrivals and markdowns, and you also score discounted shipping.
Zappos is an e-tailer that carries just about everything under the sun. The site now covers shoes, clothing, beauty, handbag and accessory needs for men, women and children alike. With so many brands and options to choose from, it’s important to utilize Zappos’ extensive search features to narrow down exactly what you’re looking for. Zappos company culture prides itself on amazing customer service and offers free shipping and returns on all purchases.