You don’t have to live in New York or L.A. to experience the wonder of a sample sale. Even if you do live in the Big Apple, it’s probably still more agreeable to do your shopping online.
Shopping from home is less violent (no fighting over the last Rag & Bone cashmere scarf). And, you don’t have to worry about clinging to your new Marc Jacobs purse like it’s a newborn baby while trek back home on the subway.
Thanks, but we’ll pass on all that. Pour yourself a glass of wine and get ready for a big evening of shopping from home. Here are our fav flash sample sale sites to keep you busy.
I feel so chic every time I visit Gilt. The layout, the imagery and, of course, the luxury brands available make us feel like we’ve just walked into Barney’s — only everything is 60 percent off.
Granted, 60 percent off $900 is still not affordable for the budget fashionista. But I have found some reasonable picks at Gilt, especially in the dresses category. For that reason, I’d recommend Gilt when you have a special occasion on the calendar.
Hand-selected styles are available for just 36 hours, so you have to work fast. But it’s worth it when you’re dealing with a company that can guarantee that D&G bag is the real thing.
2. The Outnet
The Outnet made a big splash in its early days with ridiculous sales. On its first birthday, the site featured designer duds for just $1. And the next year, you could pick up premiere handbags and shoes for — you guessed it — $2.
When there isn’t a big sale happening, you can still pick up designer goods for up to 75 percent off. Look for the first-time buyer coupon code (firsttime15) that’ll get you an extra 15 percent in savings, too.
The catalog includes more than 350 designers, including your favorites like Christian Louboutin, Versace and more. See our full review of The Outnet here.
Dresses, makeup, home, kids, men’s — you can spend hours browsing all the categories on HauteLook. Even better, HauteLook tells you in advance what’s going on sale that week. So you can put that Rebecca Minkoff sale on your calendar (and cancel any work meetings that conflict of course).
4. Rue La La
The self-proclaimed “destination for a life of style” totally lives up to its word. Members discover premiere-brand, private-sale boutiques, so you’ll feel more like a member of an elite club than an obssessive coupon cutter. We love Rue la la because it introduces us to new brands we wouldn’t find otherwise, and the service is fantastic.
Modnique one of the most comprehensive sample sale sites, set to appeal to all members of the family with its wide range of items. We’re talking discounts on jewelry, accessories and clothes.
The designer selection isn’t what we’d call A list, but that mostly means the prices are lower. Instead of browsing 70-percent-off deals you can’t afford, you’ll be browsing 30-percent-off deals you can afford.
Scroll down on the homepage to see a list of upcoming events — right now, I’m eyeballing a “diamond studs from $49 event” that’s coming up next week.
6. Beyond the Rack
Beyond the Rack is a members-only site featuring 48-hour designer flash sales in women’s wear, menswear and home decor. They run several sales concurrently, and provide a preview of what’s next on the calendar. Designers include Prada, Fendi, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton and more.
Last, but not least, there’s Zulily. Consider it a more down-to-earth flash sale destination. You’re not going to find a Chanel bag at Zulily, but you may snag a deeply discounted pair of Frye boots.
The thing to know about Zulily is the timing. The sale starts and you shop. Zulily puts its order in with the manufacturer once the sale ends — and that’s when your stuff gets shipped.
So yes, you have to wait eight or 10 days. But in return, you can save up to 70% off retail.
What’s your favorite flash sale site? Let us know in the comments.
This post about flash sale sites was originally published in 2011 and rewritten in February, 2019.