If you like this post, check out one of the most popular posts on Hello Foxy – a roundup of 100+ monthly subscription boxes like Birchbox and Julep. Also check out my post on a SECRET way to get up to 40% off online stores even when they don’t list a promo code! Last, check out one of the most popular posts on Hello Foxy – a roundup of websites where you can get cheap prescription glasses.
Flash Sale Websites
Are you looking for more websites like Gilt, Ideel, One Kings Lane and Groupon? Flash sale websites, group buying sites, private sales, sample sales – whatever you want to call them, hold on to your butts because I’m about to drop A LOT OF THEM ON YOU.
Fashion flash sale sites, travel flash sale sites, even pet flash sale sites – this post is a roundup of every single last collective buying website on the internet (or at least all the ones that I found).
In case you’re new to flash sale websites, the deal is that they’re all about THE DEAL. A new deal or deals is usually announced on a predefined schedule. Some sites have just one deal a day while others might have tens or even hundreds (I’m looking at you, Groupon). Some flash sale websites post new deals every day while others might post them weekly or even hourly.
Tips for Flash Sale Websites
If you see a good deal, snatch it up QUICKLY. Some sites will let you hold something in your cart for a set amount of time – usually 10 or 15 minutes – during which time no one else can buy it. A good idea is to add something to your cart the second you see it, THEN take a few minutes to research whether it’s actually a good deal. On sites like Gilt, One Kings Lane and Ideel, the best deals are gone literally minutes after the sale opens!
It’s also common for flash sale websites to offer a daily or even monthly shipping rate – that means that you pay a flat shipping fee, once and then you can place as many orders as you want during that period without paying for shipping again. This enables you to make a purchase quickly to secure a good deal, then continue shopping, without wasting repeat shipping charges on multiple orders.
Do your research.
I’m shocked how often I find a deal on a flash site only to google the item and find it CHEAPER somewhere else. There are legit good deals to be found but don’t assume that everything you see is one of them. There are three easy ways to research a flash sale deal to see if it’s really a deal:
Search by product name. This is obviously the easiest method, but sometimes flash sale websites don’t list the official product name, or they call the item something different than what it’s called on other sites.
Search by manufacturer/brand name. Some flash sale websites will post a brief blurb about the company that makes the product for sale. Sometimes you can search that company’s name to find the product for sale on other sites to do a price comparison.
Search by image. When all else fails, download the image (right-click on the picture and select “save image”) and then upload it to a reverse image search site like Tin Eye or Google Image Search. Often the image used on flash sale sites is a standard stock image from the manufacturer that’s used anywhere the product is sold.
But whatever you do, do it quickly! Make sure you put the item in your cart BEFORE doing this research.
Know when to hold ’em (and know when to fold ’em).
When it comes to local group buying sites like Groupon or Yelp Deals, you DEFINITELY want to research the business if you’re not familiar with it. The best way to do this is probably to read the business’s Yelp reviews.
Unfortunately, it’s often the case that the kind of businesses that offer group buying deals are businesses that are new, struggling, or poorly run, so while there are plenty of legitimately amazing deals out there, a quick glance at the company’s Yelp reviews could save you from a nightmare.
Luckily, local deals like massages, manicures, and sky diving lessons rarely sell out in minutes the way that items on other flash sale websites do, so you usually have time to do a thorough check on the company offering the deal.
However, if you do have a bad experience with one of these sites, I’ve had good success with both Groupon and Yelp’s customer service departments – a quick, polite email from me explaining the situation resulted in an immediate refund.
Also keep in mind that you may not want to use your deal right away – these businesses are often bombarded with customers in the days immediately following a promotion on a site like Groupon, so stock may be low and customer service could be lacking. Check the expiration date on the deal before you buy and consider waiting a few months to use the credit.
Sign up for reminders (or set them yourself).
The best deals are usually available for the sales that JUST started. Set a reminder on your calendar for 15 minutes before the sale starts to remind yourself to check when it goes live. The best deals go within MINUTES, literally! Flash sale websites usually have a set time when new deals are posted, such as 11 a.m. on weekdays.
Most of these sites will also let you sign up for email alerts; this is nice because you can skim the email to see if anything interests you before bothering to go to the site – sometimes they’ll even email you a teaser the day before so you can see whether tomorrow’s sales will be worth visiting. The downside is that if you sign up for more than a few of these newsletters, your inbox will quickly become a place of fear and loathing. You might consider setting a reminder on your calendar instead.
Master the art of search, filter and sort.
Most fashion flash sale sites will allow you to filter by size either at the top of the page or in the sidebar. Clothing items on these sites are often only available in a few sizes. Don’t waste your time sifting through deals that aren’t available in your size!
You can also usually sort by price – I like to sort low to high so that once I get to my cut off price, I know I can stop looking because everything after that is going to be out of my price range.
On sites like Groupon, you can often set preferences about what kind of deals you like and even specific neighborhoods if you live in a large city like Chicago or New York. If the site offers this feature, I recommend taking advantage of it.
Share the love.
Most of these sites have a referral program which gives you store credit on the site every time a friend buys something through your referral link. You can send these links via email or post them on Facebook or Twitter or even on a blog. Often your friend will get a discount (sometimes up to $25 off) on his or her first purchase through your link, and then you get a credit as well. It’s a win-win!
FASHION Flash Sale Sites
Fashion flash sale sites are the ones that started it all. Websites like Gilt, HauteLook and Ideel are popping up faster than we can keep track of them. Here’s a list of all the fashion flash sale sites I could find.
Jane is a daily deal site that focuses on fashion for women and children. There is a LOT of chevron going on. Prices are also insanely low on this site – we’re talking crazy, crazy cheap clothes and accessories. Dresses for $23.99, necklaces for $6.99, ultra hip iPhone cases for $9 – it’s bonkers. Get in there.
MYHABIT is a flash sale site owned by Amazon. This flash sale site has truly high quality, designer clothing, accessories and home goods for women, men, and children. I think this one has some of the highest quality items and the best deals, though it’s definitely not the cheapest.
Zulily is a flash sale site for women and children. You’ll find deals on women’s clothing and accessories, including plus size clothing, plus children’s clothes, toys, and books. I’ve bought stuff from them several times and had great experiences.
Belle & Clive is a flash sale site that ships worldwide, unlike many of the options on this list. They have designer (and not-so-designer) shoes, clothes, and accessories for men, women, and children.
Beyond the Rack is another mid-range to higher-end fashion flash sale site with a home decor section. They also have an entire section called “My Curvy Closet” which is a mini plus size fashion flash sale site within the website.
Everybody knows Gilt. Gilt is the one that started it all. Stuff on this site can be HELLA expensive, but if you find a deal, SNATCH THAT UP. Because they do have really nice stuff.
Ideel (formerly Ideeli) is probably the site on this page (other than Groupon) that I have purchased from the most. They have a great selection. They also do a thing where you pay shipping once and then it covers anything you buy for the next 30 days. Their shipping can be kind of slow but they warn you what delivery estimates will be before you buy.
Rue La La was one of the early arrivals on the fashion flash sale site scene. Beautiful site and they. have. it. all.
PLNDR is a super hip urban / streetwear fashion flash sale site. Sales usually last 48-72 hours and are pretty much guaranteed to be awesome. Almost a little TOO awesome.
What’s cool about Shop It To Me is that in addition to having great deals on awesome brands, it’s also personalized – you tell them up front what designers and sizes you’re looking for and then the site is tailored to your preferences. You’ll get email alerts about new sale items at stores like Anthropologie and J. Crew, which is great because you know the best sale stuff goes quickly. You can also choose which days you receive sale alert emails so that you’re not being bombarded 24/7 with notifications.
End of Retail is certainly not the prettiest site on this list and the deals tend to be much lower quality – you’re not going to see any Gucci here, is all I’m saying. BUT it’s like Groupon in that if you can wade through the garbage, there will occasionally be a diamond in the rough and it will be a REALLY cheap diamond. Well, cubic zirconia.
You’ll also get $5 off your first purchase, which makes it even MORE crazy cheap.
New deals are posted every day at 11 a.m. EST.
HOME Flash Sale Sites
Dot & Bo is my absolute favorite of these sites for home goods. I actually look forward to their emails. I’ve bought a few things from them and have been really pleased.
In addition to their fashion flash sale site, Belle & Clive also offers home decor daily deals.
Joss & Main is a little less edgy, a little more suburban, but it’s, like, NICE suburban. They have some really nice stuff sometimes. Like that weird antler chandelier thing on the homepage. I’d buy that.
You’ve probably read about Fab.com since it’s been written up in Fast Company, the New York Times, and basically everywhere ever. It’s the flash sale site to end them all – the coolest, the hippest, the most ridiculous. They have a million mini stores within their big store and if you sign up for their mailing list, YOU WILL BE OVERWHELMED because they have so many freaking deals. But it’s great!
If this is your first purchase on Fab.com and you use this link, you’ll get $25 off your purchase of $75 or more. That’s, like, 33% off. Deals upon deals!
We already covered Rue La La as a fashion flash sale site but they have a home goods site as well.
TRAVEL Flash Sale Sites
LivingSocial is well known for their Groupon-like local daily deals, but they also have a travel section with flash sales on boutique hotels and the like.
In addition to their successful fashion and home decor flash sale websites, Rue La La also has a travel deals site.
FOOD & WINE Flash Sale Sites
Wine flash sale sites are definitely the new kid in town and are TAKING OVER. There are so many of them now! There are also a few sites where you can get daily deals on food and even cigars. I’ll be adding more to this list soon!
Invino’s flash sales feature a select number of hand-selected wines and last 24 to 72 hours. Wines are typically 40-70% off retail and are guaranteed to be at least 10% less than the lowest price online.
LOCAL Flash Sale Sites
PETS Flash Sale Sites
Coupaw is another large pet flash sale site, but this one caters to both dogs and cats (but separately – don’t worry).
As the name suggests, DoggyLoot is all dogs, all the time. When you sign up you tell them if your dog is small, medium or large, and then I assume they personalize your sales for that. I’m not sure what you should do if you have more than one dog of varying sizes. This one has a LOT of sales and it’s solid, practical stuff more so than cutesy chevron doggie sweaters or whatever. Not that there’s anything wrong with a dog in a cute sweater.
MISC Flash Sale Sites
E-books, gadgets, craft supplies, t-shirts – this is where all the miscellaneous flash sale websites are listed.