I should screenshot my inbox. If I didn’t worry what I might accidentally give away I’d do it just to show how many promotional emails I get every day from shopping sites. I have the usual emails from stores telling me they’re having a sale, and that’s great. If it’s J. Crew, chances are that’s my cue to navigate right on over and see if the café capris are on sale (they never are… le sigh), but what I didn’t realize was piling up are the “flash-sale” sites — presenting a sale on limited inventory at a supposedly crazy discount for a short time — and now that it’s been at least two years since I signed up for a lot of them I’m wondering, does anyone really buy stuff from them?
OK, to be fair, someone must be buying things from sale sites like Ideeli and Shopittome, but I never have. I think I bought one Marc Jacobs dress off Gilt about three years ago and still haven’t worn it because it was too big. Got it altered, it still was never right. I took away from that experience the notion that these sites are a great idea in theory, but in practice they don’t make a lot of sense. Maybe for jewelry, sure. I’m not a big jewelry buyer so they’re not making much money off of me — although I’m always tempted by the emails that I get from Send The Trend — but other than that, I can’t seem to press “buy” in time to get something I would actually wear.
Which brings me to my next point: On sites like Gilt, you might as well be putting an iPad up for a dollar the way people snatch the stuff up! You’d have to arrange your whole morning around catching the next Gilt sale to compete with these shoppers. So then, someone is buying, but who? Is it you? I think the Mint sites make it even less enticing: “Wanna buy this? Well, if yah do, we’re gonna put yah on a list and keep charging your credit card every month for crap you didn’t mean to buy.” Enrolling in a shopping subscription is not the way to keep my budget balanced, that’s all. I can’t imagine not canceling after each purchase.
The one site that I have actually bought a lot of things from is Fab.com. Granted, they’re not a clothing store; they’re a home furnishing store with stuff by up-and-coming designers, and they’re a great place to find cool gifts (if you can sniff out a good price). But I’ve still only bought a handful of things. I can’t explain why, maybe just that there’s nothing I have to have for my house. Either way, it’s times like these I admittedly use the amazing group of readers we have to my own personal advantage by asking:
Are you an online flash-sale buyer? Am I the only one getting these emails and not doing a thing but browsing (or deleting) them? Which ones, if any, are worth it?