RWH

Health & Beauty

Members Only

Looking for a great deal on your favorite designer duds? Better flash your VIP card first! Introducing members-only shopping sites. Perhaps you’re already familiar with this online trend, but if not, read on to learn the ins and outs of the four most popular yet private web-based boutiques. If you don’t have regular access to New York sample sales, this concept may just quench your craving for a fashion treasure hunt. (Note: it’s not as hard as it sounds to snag an invitation – ask your friends or read the fine print on each site for details!)

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The Lowdown: Gilt Group offers up to 75% off retail prices on women’s, men’s, and even children’s collections. They post beautifully created previews of each event to give you a feel for the designer’s line, and have sales that suit a range of budgets.

Pros: You’ll earn a generous $25 credit when a friend you’ve invited places their first order.

Cons: Sales last only 36 hours and the best buys go quickly – shop on your lunch hour for the best selection. The return policy is also a bit rigid with a 14 day limit for credit only, even if the item arrived damaged.

Tips + Tricks: Be sure to hit up the next ‘Final Sale’ to save up to 90% off leftovers from their previous events!

Favorite Find: Felix Ray “Michelle” Clutch – $78 (Originally $220)

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The Lowdown: Rue La La prides itself on offering a well-edited selection of designer goods and first-class customer service. Sales last between two and three days.

Pros: You’ll earn a $10 credit when a friend you’ve invited places their first order and in line with their goal of strong customer service, returns are accepted up to 30 days after purchase for a full refund.

Cons: Shipping is a bit steep at $9.95 per order.

Tips + Tricks: Sort by category and price (I prefer low to high) to stay organized as you scroll through the dozens of deals.

Favorite Find: Theory “Angie” Honey Strap Wooden Pumps – $99 (Originally $285)

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The Lowdown: HauteLook offers premium brands for up to 75% off so you can score your favorite ‘celebrity look’ on far less than a ‘celebrity budget.’ Sales last from 12-48 hours and members are notified in advance by e-mail.

Pros: While membership is required, it’s free and offered to everyone instantly. You’ll also earn a $10 credit when a friend you’ve invited places their first order.

Cons: Returns are limited to just 10 days from when the item is shipped and for credit only.

Tips + Tricks: Beware – sale ending countdowns are based on the Pacific Standard Time Zone.

Favorite Find: Alice + Olivia Organza Flower Top – $88 (Originally $220)

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The Lowdown: ideeli offers up to 90% off luxury clothing and accessories for ‘trendsetting women.’

Pros: Weekly giveaways sweeten the pot at this sale site (though you can only enter by phone) and you’ll earn a $25 credit when a friend you’ve invited places their first order.

Cons: You have to upgrade to a paid membership for earliest access to a sale and start times are inconsistent.

Tips + Tricks: Their e-mails show off each item for sale, so there’s no need to click through to the site if you don’t see anything you love.

Favorite Find: Sonia Rykiel ‘Retro’ Sandal – $215 (Originally $800)

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Have fun perusing the private sales and let me know what you find. If you need an invitation to join one, I’m happy to help – just e-mail me your info (allison@PolishedAdvising.com)!

*Stay Stylish*

Ally

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