Confessions of a Flash Sale Worrier

24 October 2011

There are dozens of high-fashion flash sale sites to choose from, but a trio of top sites from the selection are first to come to mind. Gilt Groupe, the originator of the price-friendly, high fashion noon flash sale is arguably the best, with Rue La La and Ideeli right on its heels. Sites such as these can be frustrating to navigate through quickly enough to assure you leave with your top choice. A few quick tips should be an easy solution to the madness that is: flash sale shopping. Fall Must Haves: The Riding Boot at The key is to have a price point along with specific need or want in mind before attacking the sales head on; know what your closet needs for your Fall 2011 wardrobe to be complete. My goal for Monday, October 24th? To snag myself a pair of mid-calf brown boots with a maximum spending allowance in the range of $100-$150.

10:00AM – The only good cure for a case of the Mondays is remembering an afternoon of flash sales lies ahead. Around ten is when I begin gearing up for the 11AM and Noon sales on Rue La La, Ideeli, and Gilt. I start by aimlessly browsing their previews, jotting down the titles of sections that will be my first stop since they hold the most promise in containing an array of boots for me to choose from. I haven’t found a match within the preview photos, but each site certainly has potential, causing me to grow excited at the possibility of landing land the perfect boot today! Gilt even has a section titled “Fall Must Haves: The Riding Boot” – amazing!

11:00AM – Get to Rue La La! Be sure not to get distracted by phrases like 50% off, you have a mission to complete! I fight the urge to make a beeline for a section selling Stitch’s “Fox” jeans at an insane mark down and revert my attention to the Chocolat Blu tab. Here, I immediately find the Amelia Leather Ankle Boot at, which matches my desired color and price point ($99.90), except they are a bit too short. I contemplate for a bit and hit refresh – they don’t seem to be a popular item considering all sizes are still in stock, so I will keep these on my radar and think about it. Be sure not to settle either, there’s still Rue La La and Gilt!

Time Out Tip: Beforehand, get a jump on things, make sure you have already stored your credit card and shipping information, this will allow you to use Rue La La’s handy QUICKBUY option, which will snag you the designer duds before the next lady in line can even type the abbreviation “Mrs.” Don’t fret over impulse buys, Rue La La implemented a very lenient return policy. In addition, if you purchase from the site frequently enough, it is highly advised you pay the $9.95 flat shipping fee – this entitles you to a 30-day free (well, for $9.95) shipping pass on as many items as your hearts desire!

Boots at Ideeli.comNOON – Bring it on Ideeli and Gilt! Double trouble action – this is time to put your lightning speed mouse clicking talents to work! Since Ideeli gives you more of a preview than Gilt, I already am aware there is more of a black boot assortment than brown on Ideeli in their Black Beauties Collection. Although I haven’t completely nixed the idea of purchasing a black leather boot in place of brown, that is if the right style presents itself, I decide instead to devote my first few minutes attention within Gilt’s “Fall Must Haves: The Riding Boot” assortment.

12:03PM – I find a great match. The color is darker than I had envisioned but the Ursula Mid-Calf Flat Boot is stunning. One problem, they don’t have my size! My heart slows and my excitement is deflated. I grow frustrated and cross my fingers, hoping they will soon become available. In the meantime I race over to Ideeli. I scroll through their Black Beauties selection and the Rocket Dog Chomper catches my eye. This edgy, lace up boot would go great with skinny jeans – I like them! I am quickly faced with the same trouble: my size is sold out!

Time Out Tip: For the serious Ideeli shoppers out there, Ideeli offers an “Early Sales Pass” for $7.95 a month. This pass entitles you to begin shopping stress-free before the masses, almost guaranteeing your choice of the lot.

At this point I am discouraged and ready to give up empty handed. I begin pouting at my desk and taking my frustration out on the refresh button. I return to Gilt Group and revisitHouse of Harlow’s Wally Mid-Calf Flat Boot at the Ursula boot, only to find nearly every size is now sold out. I let out a loud sigh and place myself on the Wait List. Wait a second, what’s that? In the Wait List pop-up Gilt kindly suggests I check out House of Harlow’s Wally Mid-Calf Flat Boot, I love that brand! I love these boots! I arrive at the page and hover over the image to enlarge. They are perfect: a light brown, mid-calf leather and suede boot with the intention of looking good while remaining comfortable and warm! I squeal as I see my size highlighted and available! I place them immediately in my cart and head for the check out. I don’t even bother to continue shopping – my mission has been accomplished! I enter my credit card number and am gloriously informed that my boots will quickly be shipped with an approximate deliver of Monday, October 31st. I can’t wait!

Time Out Tip: The biggest suggestion there is on Gilt is PUT IT IN YOUR CART! Even if you’re not 100% sold on an item, toss it in there and decide later! The beauty of the site is Gilt allows you to reserve the fashions you love, keeping it from other potential buyers and giving you a 10-minute window to decide yay or nay.

Some people get their adrenaline pumping by biking, rock climbing, or pressing the pedal to the floor of their Porsche, but until you have participated in a high-fashion flash sale you don’t know what you’re missing! Some may choose to nix the tips and approach the sales bare knuckled, but for those of you who have had your fair share of disappointment, after not being able to land the handbag of your dreams, apply these easy tips and watch as fashion miracles happen!

By Caitlin Colford

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Posted by Bindra at 02:15 PM
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