Staying fabulous comes at a cost. There is the trendy hairstylist you must tip generously to squeeze you in for “hair emergencies”, fabulous events that needs fabulous frocks to complement, and of course, the accessories to match. As if we haven’t heard the word “recession” enough, it is undoubtedly harder to keep up without feeling the pinch.
Luckily, designers and luxury retailers have been responsive to the current economic climate by creating online opportunities to sell their out of season stock at generous discounted prices. Ten years ago, marketers would’ve probably cringed at the idea of selling luxury goods at a discounted price as it devalues its market value, but today, it is probably the best business idea yet.
The early adopter? Gilt Groupe. Gilt is an invitation-only shopping site filled with coveted luxury goods at up to 70% off. Masterminds Alexis and Alexandra started working together by throwing an invite-only sample sale in New York and taken up their business idea to a notch with e-commerce. On Gilt Groupe, you can find Rock and Republic jeans for $110, and Giambattista Valli evening gowns for $1800, from the original retail price of $7998. Like all good things, it doesn’t last forever. Members receive an email notification of the upcoming 72 hour sale a couple days in advance. Once the opens, items are usually picked up within the first 10 minutes. Buy now or forever hold your peace. To be a member, you must be invited. Please feel free to send me a message and I will send you an invite.
If Gilt Groupe’s items are out of your price range, visit Ideeli. Ideeli is similar to Gilt Groupe with its membership-only policy but has items in multiple categories: household, bedding, jewellery and clothing in various price ranges. In general, they carry items that are in a more affordable price range. Something worth noting is the Mackage coats on sale for half price. I’m still kicking myself for not visiting the sale when it opened.
Other websites that have joined the Gilt Groupe bandwagon is the theOutnet. Since closing eLuxury.com due to its declining sales, the Outnet.com was born. Yes, the clouds parted and the sun came out. It was a pivotal moment for all shopaholics and fashionistas. The Outnet is an online designer goods outlet. Unlike Gilt Groupe, outnet.com does not require membership nor have time-sensitive sales. What motivates you to sign up as a member (don’t worry, there isn’t a membership fee), you are eligible to participate in their Going, Going Gone sales. Each week, theOutnet features a product that will be opened for a small window of time. Going Going Gone uses a reverse bidding method – the price drops as the clock ticks; be wary that there is only a limited number of these items. The items will be sold to the buyer who has the highest perceived value of the item. Oh very smart.
So just when you thought your red-soled Louboutin days are over, life showers you with new opportunities to explore. Good things comes to those who wait… just not in the world of fashion. Our closets will be very happy to be rescued from economic mayhem.