TopButton has multiple “private” sales going on simultaneously for mainstream high-end brands like Missoni and Kenneth Cole. Thing is, they’re not really private. To check out the clothes you share your zip code, email, first name and create a password – information needed to process an online purchase at a super selective retailer like The Gap.
The difference is timing. Each TopButton sale lasts 1-3 days, creating artificial pressure to buy NOW! If you refer a friend and they make a purchase, you get a $25 credit. Don’t have an invite? Use invitation code TOPBUTTON. The site also runs a consignment shop for very used, high-end brands.
BillionDollarBabes went online in 2009 after years of hosting in-person events across the country. They hold three designer sales each week and each sale lasts 48 hours with prices slashed by up to 85 percent. The site requires you to register (for free) before peeking at the clothes. Pay $100 to become a VIP and you’ll get unlimited free shipping and get access to their online sales two hours early. For frequent shoppers VIP status will pay off. $10 referral credit. Brands include LA Made, EGG, and Ray-Ban.
The GiltGroupe guarantees that every designer label sold on its site is legit. You have to request a membership via email but the site reassures you that they have a few openings for new members everyday. I added myself to the list of wannabees and received an email about 23 hours later. Not too bad.
HauteLook is more receptive to newbies. Its homepage shouts “Sign Up For Free Instant Access” and does not require an invitation or referral email from someone already in the club. Get a $10 referral credit when a friend joins and makes a purchase. Sales are 36-72 hours long and you can choose to get sale info on specific categories – women, men, home, kids, or special offers. Brands include Kasil, Angel Deal, and Christian Audigier.
RetailHappyHour – is a new site that started with weekend sales, but it is currently not having any sales while they gear up for the holidays, according to the site. Make a note to check back later!
What online sample sites do you like?