Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Addiction or Competition?

Lately, I've had to let my fingers take a rest from the online flash sales. You probably all know about Rue La La, Gilt, and One Kings Lane by now. These secret members-only sites are not so secret any more have many members. The sites are so popular that there are now apps available for Android and iphone users, so that you can shop no matter where you are. I remember about 2 years ago when I first joined Rue La La, that it was closed to membership and the only way to join was through another member. Times have certainly changed.

If you're not a member of Rue La La, click here for your personal invitation. Expert shoppers know to have the website up and ready at 11:00 a.m. sharp to shop the newest sales of the day. Popular items sell out within minutes. The best strategy is to use the Quick! Buy it. button after setting up an account with your credit card information. Items that you put in your shopping cart will not be held and may not be there when you go to complete checkout. It's also helpful to check back on sales, because a recent Lilly Pulitzer sale was re-stocked on the second day! You'll only be charged once for shipping for all purchases made in one day, so you can use the "Quick!" button without paying extra shipping.

Gilt is another ball game. These sales start at 12 noon, so you have an hour to rest after the Rue La La frenzy! Gilt holds things in your shopping cart for 10 minutes, so that gives you time to complete checkout and browse all of the items. You can also add things that you want on a wish list, although I've never gotten anything that was on my wish list from Gilt.

These websites are some of my favorite places to shop. They offer fantastic bargains on designer items. In this economy, how can one pass up on the deal?

Lately, shopping seems more like gambling. There is the thrill of the competition. Scoping out the preview of the sale. Logging on exactly at 11:00 a.m. Clicking the "Quick!" button is so easy. At the last Lilly sale, I didn't know what my purchases totaled until I looked at all of the invoices. I just kept clicking the button. It kind of reminded me of pushing buttons on a slot machine.

It's also similar to gambling because the issue of actual money and cost is easy to forget. Credit card information is stored and purchases can be made with one click. Kind of like getting chips in a casino and not really knowing (or caring!) how much each one was worth. Even if you pay with a credit card at a store instead of cash, you're swiping the card, seeing a total on the cash register, and signing a slip for your purchases. None of this happens online with these sales.

And then, there's the competition. Admittedly, I'm a competitive person and get distressed when something I want is "in members' carts" on Gilt. On Rue La La, I'll see when there are only 2 or 3 of my size left. Friends brag about what they scored on the websites and lament what they missed. Sold out items are boldly labeled, almost tormenting those who weren't fast enough to snag the deal.

For now, I'm trying to behave and not buy anything that I certainly don't need. But, you all know that it is a difficult chore. Rumors have been flying around about Rue La La making a large Lilly Pulitzer purchase. I'll keep my ears open about that one.

Until then, this remains on my wish list...

Sign me up for the 12 step Rue La La program, please...



  1. I know what you mean. There's something about adding the competition to it that makes it so much more fun -- all of a sudden, a piece you mildly like becomes a piece you must have! XOXO

  2. Doesn't it give you such a rush as your heart beats and you pray that your size will be available? We may need to sign up for Shopaholics Anonymous. ;)

  3. Hhhmmm, I understand completely!!

  4. B.~

    I just purchased that shirt dress at my local Dillard's for 50% off, yeahhhhhhhhhh me!

    I just love love love the shirt dress!

    Best of luck scoring your wishlist items!

    Mrs. Kindergarten

  5. I love these sites. Check out this new one that's similar but offers high end hotel rooms at steep discounts:

  6. So interesting...I just made my first purchase today. It was from One Kings Lane. I can see that the really quick and easy can get carried away. I'll just have to peruse from the sidelines....or not!

  7. Oh B, how I feel your pain on this topic. Ugh, I've needed a 12 step program for many years now. But I can't seem to stop! (please don't tell DH) :-) XOXO



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