With the economy in its current condition everyone is looking for bargains. Most people don’t have a lot of extra money to buy designer clothing or home furnishings, so they are turning to discount department stores like Walmart and Kmart. But you don’t have to give up on your love for designer brands. Sample sales have been around for years but are now gaining a great deal of popularity online.
These online sample sales are offered by numerous companies such as HauteLook, Ideeli, Rue La La, Zulily, Gilt, Swirl, and Billion Dollar babes, just to name a few.
Online Sample Sales are also known as “Private Sale Sites” or “Invite-Only Sites”. The Online Sample Sales are generally members-only sites, or by invite only. However, joining these sites is generally free and just requires you to enter a little bit of your information. Some may require a small monthly fee usually $5-$10. After joining the site you will be able to take advantage of special sales from a slew of different designers. Some of these sales can save you up to 80% without even leaving the comfort of your own home.
Most sales on these Online Sample Sale sites are open anywhere from 24-72 hours. Allowing you time to browse and find the items that you are most interested in. Once you are a member, you can sign up to receive notification of these sales by email, so you never miss out on your favorite designers’ sales. These sales can be a fantastic way to update a sad wardrobe, add some flair to your home décor, or find amazing deals on school clothes for kids.
Some of these sample-sites will also offer you store credits for referring other members. Generally referral bonuses or store-credits, range anywhere from $5-$20. These credits can be used to purchase goods for yourself or your family. When joining a site that offers store credits for referrals, be sure to read about their particular policies, as all sites are different. Also, remember to look for the expiration date of these credits as well, so you don’t miss out.
When purchasing from online sample sales, always read about their refund or exchange policies, as some sales are final. If in doubt about purchasing an item, it is usually best to wait on the purchase. Some sites have sales to clear out inventory and you may be able to find the item even less than what it was advertised at the last sale. Just as department stores do, they offer a product for a certain price and when the product does not sale, they mark it down. If it still doesn’t sale, they make it down more, and so on.
Another important thing to watch out for is shipping. Some sites have hefty shipping charges, and some are very reasonable. In addition to shipping charges, be sure to pay attention to shipping times. Some sites may take over a month to send out goods. If you are shopping for a particular occasion be sure the item will be shipped to you in time.
If you are just starting out in the sample sale world, try joining a free site to make sure you like this new way of shopping before committing to a paid site. Make a small purchase your first time or two; to make sure it is what you thought. If you don’t like it, you can always close a free account and you are out nothing.
If you are not big on boutique shopping for designer brands, this is definitely a fabulous new way to shop. You get the luxury of quality products at huge discounts, and you can do it from home. Just remember to read the fine print and you will know exactly what to expect.
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