Monday, July 12, 2010

Invitation-only shopping.

The sample sale is a cherished ritual of the urban fashionista.  Luxury brands hold these events, usually by invitation only, to unload inventory at discounts of 50% to 70%.  In Paris they call it the vente privée.  In New York the semiannual Barney's Warehouse Sale has them lined up around the block.  Sales are always final, so shoppers strip down to their skivvies between the rack to make sure a $3,000 dress is a good fit at $600.

The Web has given luxury closeouts a new life.  The granddaddy of the bargain-luxe Web is France's, which in six years has amassed 5 million members. C'est bon!

The top US versions include Gilt and Hautelook.  Both sites provide a reminder email approximately 15 minutes before the sales open.  It is a surreal experience.  Some items sell out within the first few minutes! You can literally spend a mere 30 seconds considering a bag and then, poof, it's gone. I admit:  I may have made a few impulse purchases simply because the clock was ticking!  But honestly, who can blame me?!

This is certainly not a casual shopping experience.  If, however, you cannot stand the thought of missing out on a $1,200 Vera Wang gown marked down to $400, well you better sign up and sit at the ready.

Of course, it goes without saying that some tech and fashion savvy individual would have the ingenuity to organize all our invitation-only shopping options! Mais bien sûr. Enter: Luxe Choice, a site which not only rates your various invitation-only shopping option, but also provides you with an open invitation!

I say it again:  C'est bon!

If you prefer a personal invitation, I am happy to personally invite you to join the madness. Simply say the word.

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