unlike most engineers, i love shopping, and am pretty much obsessed with sales. sample sales are generally a good deal if you care to weed through all the variety. however, they do have expensive shipping, occasionally overinflated "original price", and generally the same sales at different times. then again, i love looking at all things purveyed by the interwebs whether clothes, jewelry, bedding, household furnishings, cooking utensils, travel accessories, or makeup.
as an engineer i also like charts. charts make things pretty and understandable. or at least that is their intended purpose. click to enlarge:
my personal ranking of these sites is as follows:
1. ideeli: very good deals and a wide variety of sales with size explanations as needed. the blog is both fun and informative and covers all things fashion related. the "ideeli red" sales give some amazing deals, up to 90% off, but sell out in a matter of hours. overall, ideeli was the first sample site i joined and is still my favorite.
2. rue la la: this is my newest membership and my latest purchase was a set of heys spinner luggage. long sought by asians in airports, spinner luggage is the most convenient to travel with, plus the heys line is hard sided. and i bought zebra. its distinctive without being hideously gaudy [a la leopard] and really, its black and white. where could you go wrong? the homepage itself is a bit busy but the limited number of sales helps keep it easier to navigate. as both a marketing technique and a gauge of popular items, rue la la tells the number of remaining items after 10 or so. this says "this item is frikkin awesome and is selling out while youre looking at this page" or something thereabout. also, the "lookbook" of upcoming events is very chic.
3. gilt: all i ever do is look at gilt, gilt fuse, gilt man, and jetsetter. look and admire, and wish i was paid twice my salary. while most of the gilt line is more highbrow than i ever aspire to, the website is well organized and classy. but just cos something is pretty and 85% off...doesnt mean $359 is a good deal. ITS STILL EXPENSIVE. however, the blog is less about their current products and more about relevant fashion events, history, and people.
4. the fairest: once in awhile there is a brand on here that i actually recognize. my only purchases have been from stila and butter of london, and they were both more than 75% off. definitely worth it.
5. billion dollar babes: i really like how the site limits itself to 3 sales a day. and usually they are all similar. [the days the sales are for moms and children ...i ignore them] plus who doesnt like the name?
6./7. beyond the rack & hautelook: these sites are essentially the same. layout is a tad different, but generally i see the same sales on both, several days apart or even overlapping. the prices are reasonable sale-wise, and the inventory is decent.
8. zabachic: site is currently down for maintenance and for some reason the site always came up as "untrusted connection". i havent ordered anything from here and may not ever.