Websites such as Hautelook, RueLaLa, Ideeli, Beyond the Rack, Editor’s Closet and Gilt Groupe sell designer clothing, handbags, accessories and more at inexpensive, discounted prices. There are some important facts that an effective designer-loving shopper must know to effectively shop at these sample sales. The sales typically last around three days, feature only a limited number of items and sell out in the blink of an eye, so it’s important to shop fast.
- Understand that these sales are called sample sales, but in many cases, you actually aren’t buying samples. You’re buying clothing from the lines that your favorite designers create. Online sample sales are attractive to designers because they gets their brand name out there and let them sell out when there is a surplus of certain items. Or, a designer can use these sample sales to get rid of last season’s merchandise.
- Get invitation codes. To participate in these designer clothing sales, you’ll need to be invited. The benefit to needing an invitation code to join is that only a limited number of people are users of the sites.
- Sign up for daily designer sale reminders. Each site allows you to sign up for daily reminders so you know which sales will be starting each day. This is great for fashionistas who want to grab their items immediately when designer sales begin. Don’t be alarmed by your inbox filling up with email; each site has an email address that clearly identifies what site it is (One Kings Lane, Row Nine, One Kings Lane, etc. will show up in your from line) and what the daily sales are. You won’t even have to click in to most emails to know what’s on sale that day.
- Shop as soon as each sale begins. Popular items, especially Juicy Couture, Gucci, Coach and Fendi, sell out fast. As soon as a sale starts, log on. If you want an item, put it in your cart. You can always put it back if you don’t want it. You just need to claim your items before anyone else does.
- Understand the differences between each sample sale site. Gilt features women’s clothing, men’s clothing, travel destinations and more. Beyond the Rack features a lot of accessories such as bags and sunglasses. One King’s Lane features only home decor. Ideeli allows you to pay a yearly fee and receive early access to sample sales.
- Invite friends to join the sample sale websites. When each person you invite makes a purchase, you get a credit between $10 and $50 — depending on the site — toward a future purchase of your own. You will receive $25 when each referral to Ideeli makes her first purchase and $50 with Row Nine.