Sample Sale sites- is the trend dying?

katran26

Bargain Hunter!
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Aug 25, 2008
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I'm curious how everyone feels about sample sale sites...a few years ago Gilt, Rue La La, Ideeli, Hautelook were all the rage. But lately most people I know buy mainly from established retailers or small boutiques.

I also find the "sample sale" aspect to be a little misleading...original prices are usually listed higher than they really are. Also, a lot of brands that were popular are now gone (Rue La La is a good example- their Sunday night Styleathon used to have a ton on big designer brands- now you're lucky to find a few contemporary brands, and the sale items that aren't bought are recycled from sale to sale).

Thoughts?
 

Littololi

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Jun 5, 2014
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Sunny San Diego
I was/still sorta am subscribed to 10+ sample sale sites. I've looked at the daily emails from them maybe once in the past year. The deals from the sites simply aren't that great anymore. You can find better deals at Nordstrom rack, saks off fifth, etc.
 

ticktickatick

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Jul 17, 2012
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Yes, the retail prices are ridiculously marked up. The sales on most of those sites don't really feel like much of a sale.
 

katran26

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Aug 25, 2008
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I was/still sorta am subscribed to 10+ sample sale sites. I've looked at the daily emails from them maybe once in the past year. The deals from the sites simply aren't that great anymore. You can find better deals at Nordstrom rack, saks off fifth, etc.
agreed; I just head to those sites, or place like Yoox, Outnet, etc.
 

kcarmona

Member
Feb 21, 2013
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I never shop on those sites, but I am still subscribed to a few of them. Sometimes I still get excited when I see their Louboutin or Celine "sales" but the prices are so high I never end up purchasing. The only one I like is Gilt for their city section. Sometimes they have pretty good Groupon-like deals and their Warehouse events seem to be fun.
 

gail13

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Dec 25, 2009
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I have a shopping biz in LA and agree those sites are ridiculously marked up....if people understood how retail worked they would not buy so much from them. I work with a few vendors who make things specifically for those sites and it is so misleading. They eliminate features to bring the price down, and then when it's not even returnable and you're disappointed-what a waste of money!!! It's kind of the same for TJ Maxx etc-all the same stuff.
 

katran26

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Aug 25, 2008
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I have a shopping biz in LA and agree those sites are ridiculously marked up....if people understood how retail worked they would not buy so much from them. I work with a few vendors who make things specifically for those sites and it is so misleading. They eliminate features to bring the price down, and then when it's not even returnable and you're disappointed-what a waste of money!!! It's kind of the same for TJ Maxx etc-all the same stuff.
oh wow! I had heard of that - i.e. for outlets, some brands make "outlet versions" of the original items - but they do that for sample sales too? Very interesting!
 

gail13

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Dec 25, 2009
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oh wow! I had heard of that - i.e. for outlets, some brands make "outlet versions" of the original items - but they do that for sample sales too? Very interesting!
Yes-there are several brands that you'll never find for sale anywhere else. They are made spec for Rue La La or Gilt etc That's when the compare at price becomes kind of suspicious. I mean, what are they comparing it too?

I have a vendor who was showing me specific items made for one of those sites that he was selling for 50% to anyone who walked into his little storefront-he is also a manufacturer. There was of course another label in it. So Gilt or Rue La La was doubling his price!

I've also noticed on many occasions One Kings Lane is alot more expensive than other places. I know now to look at their site to find interesting items, but then to google it to find it for less-and alot less. But I guess not alot of people check their pricing?

Doesn't seem like we are getting a good deal.:cool:
 

katran26

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Aug 25, 2008
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Yes-there are several brands that you'll never find for sale anywhere else. They are made spec for Rue La La or Gilt etc That's when the compare at price becomes kind of suspicious. I mean, what are they comparing it too?

I have a vendor who was showing me specific items made for one of those sites that he was selling for 50% to anyone who walked into his little storefront-he is also a manufacturer. There was of course another label in it. So Gilt or Rue La La was doubling his price!

I've also noticed on many occasions One Kings Lane is alot more expensive than other places. I know now to look at their site to find interesting items, but then to google it to find it for less-and alot less. But I guess not alot of people check their pricing?

Doesn't seem like we are getting a good deal.:cool:
That's amazing - thanks so much for posting and so good to know!! Makes so much sense when I think about it - there are some items that I see on the sample sale sites that I don't really see anywhere else, and I wonder why/how they have certain prices as their suggested retail price, when comparable items are much lower.
 

Michelle1x

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Mar 24, 2011
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Those sample sites used to list sales under brand name like "Dolce and Gabbana", "St John" etc, but now they have generic names like "Spring breakfast attire" with no brand names. This started a few years ago. I definitely think the trend is dying or dead.

Hautelook still is relevant as a spotlight sale site for Nordstrom Rack. As long as you know thats what it is, then fine.
 

katran26

Bargain Hunter!
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Aug 25, 2008
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How about sample sales of designers like Reiss, Charlotte Olympia, Jenny Packham, etc?
Good point! I should've said specifically just the online ones, but I'm wondering about the other kind too - the ones where you head to an undisclosed address, and wait in line, etc. I went to a few years ago in NY, but it's hard to get to them since I don't live there...and these tend to happen in only a few cities (to my knowledge).

Do the above designer have online sample sales?