A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Flash Sales

Flash sales are a great way to save money on clothing, accessories, grooming supplies, and even furniture. However, they can be challenging to navigate and often have limited inventory. There’s also no guarantee that you are actually getting the best bang for your buck. So what’s the most efficient way to shop these sales without spending hours comparison shopping or accidentally ordering the wrong item? Just follow these guidelines, and you’ll be an expert flash sale shopper in a flash.

Where to shop

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

There are many flash sale websites, but I suggest only using a few of them. Otherwise, it’s overkill. In my opinion, if you have to pick one site, it should be Gilt. While the site offers a large range of items, it’s still incredibly well-curated, and you are probably familiar with most of the brands they sell.

Gilt City, which is part of Gilt, is similar to Groupon. I use this site all the time. While it doesn’t offer as large a range as Groupon does, what the site does offer are great prices on more upscale products and services like cleanses, botox, fine foods like steak, and wines.

Haute Look is owned by Nordstrom. This site offers a large variety of products and brands, some of which you might know and others you probably haven’t heard of. The merchandise attracts everyone from the Madison Avenue shopper to that guy who calls Target “Tar-jay.”

Rue La La is similar to Haute but also has a variety of other random stuff (er…junk) like Jets cuff links and a cooler with a 49ers logo. But Rue La La is also a great place to score deals on high-end accessories like Tumi luggage.

My Habit is owned by Amazon. It features many of the designer brands you know and really want discounts on, such as Gucci, Burberry, and Salvatore Ferragamo. As for the extent of the savings, it totally depends on the item, but you can save anywhere from a few dollars (not really worth it) to a few hundred dollars (score!).

The sales are always changing


Source: iStock

Remember, the purpose of a flash sale is to pressure the consumer to make the purchase immediately because it’s only available for a limited amount of time and in limited quantities. So if you’ve been less than thrilled with what a site has to offer, check back in a few days or even a few weeks. You’ll be surprised at what you can find.

Keep your eyes open

If you have been in the market for something in particular that you don’t need to purchase immediately, such as a new suit or watch, sign up for each website’s emails and actually read them. If you know you won’t bother, download the app and read the push notifications instead.

A little trick

Let’s say you really wanted that Paul Smith Blazer, but it sold out before you could check out. Many of these sites have the option to be notified if an item becomes available again. While there are no guarantees, it can’t hurt to check a box.

Avoiding returns

Moving, packing, box

Source: iStock

Every site has its own return policy, but even if you can be fully refunded, it’s still an inconvenience. Always review the policy prior to checkout. If you are worried about sizing, just stick to brands where you know your size is consistent, or take a look at the guidelines and measure.

How to know if you are getting the best deal

Before you check out, simply Google the item you are considering. Then click through the search results, and don’t forget about the shopping tab. This should only take a minute or two. While flash sales generally have great prices, sometimes another retailer will sell the same item for less.

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