Disclosure: Budget Fashionista content contains affiliate links. Learn more.
A fashionista gets excited about the small things when she’s shopping– the gilded lettering above the front door of a designer boutique, that first to-die-for ensemble featured in the window, the way that the sales associates somehow managed to group things together so that you find exactly what you’re looking for within seconds (but not without first finding something you never knew you needed). Ah, yes, these are the serendipity moments of shopping that one often misses when shopping online– unless you’re shopping at Gilt Groupe.
From the moment you first see that black and gold homepage, you feel like you’re in a designer boutique. The only difference: everything’s on sale. But before you get carried away by the gilt and glitter, there are a few things you should know.
How to Shop Gilt Groupe
It’s more than clothes.
Chances are, you joined Gilt Groupe out of the undying hope that you will, someday, find a pair of Louboutins for $100. But not everything on the site is for wearing. There are children’s toys, housewares, travel, and even meat. Not all wearable (unless you’re Lady Gaga), but all stylish.
You must invite friends.
When you join, you’re probably tempted to skip the “invite friends” page and get straight to the good stuff, but simmer down and type in a few e-mail addresses, because if one of those friends makes a purchase, you get $50. And with so many gorgeous offerings for women, men and kids, chances are, you friends will make a purchase.
Keep your eye on the prize.
Remember, you’re a budget fashionista, so you shouldn’t just go throwing everything that slightly interests you into your cart. If it’s really a DVF wrap dress or a Proenza Schouler satchel you want, wait it out. Gilt Group tells you what to expect in upcoming sales, and also lets you know how long you have left to snag a certain item, so you’re never playing with chance. That said, be patient and wait for the perfect piece to come along.
Gilt can be a bit of a tease.
Don’t you hate it when you fall in love with an item, only to discover it’s not in stock in your size– or that it’s not in stock at all? When scrolling through perfect black sandals, you may find a gorgeous pair of McQueens that are sold out completely, or a D&G pair that is available in every size but yours. It happens, but it’s not always final. Gilt Groupe can often snag more of an item, and if you put yourself on the wait list, you score a decent chance of getting it the second time around– but no promises.
It’s the real deal.
Yes, that Marni bag is 50% off, but it’s still $600 (ouch). At times like this, it’s good to know that, at least, you can count on Gilt Groupe’s guarantee of authenticity. An authorized retailer of every brand it sells, Gilt swears that every item is the label it promises to be.
The rules of returns.
Gilt Groupe only accepts returns on apparel, footwear, handbags, sunglasses, hats, scarves, ties, belts, cufflinks, and jewelry unless otherwise stated on the product detail page. And from time to time, even some of those will be final sale. If you’re not completely certain about a purchase, check the return policy on it before buying, and know that you’ll never be able to return items for the home or (obviously) food. For items that are returnable, Gilt Groupe gives you 21 days to return it for a refund or store credit.