Gilt Groupe: The Not-So-Guilty Pleasure

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Gilt Groupe: The Not-So-Guilty Pleasure

In the old days, bargain-hunting fashionistas used to form lines down the block for invitation-only samples sales to snag their favorite brands for 50% to 70% off retail prices. Today, thanks to Gilt.com, almost anyone with access to a computer and a valid credit card can score items from top luxury brands or up-and-coming designers’, and exotic vacations at lavish resorts for up to 70% off original retail prices. This incredible (and highly addictive) website is accessible through current member invitations or membership requests through customer service.

When Gilt.com went live in November 2007, Gilt featured three sales per week. Fast forward to 2010 and at any given moment Gilt offers around 15 sample sales for clothing, accessories and jewelry, simultaneously running separate sample sales for books, hotels, furniture or children’s clothing. Daily Gilt.com emails notify members when new sales will start, and which brands will be featured.

Since its merchandise comes directly from fashion houses, you can expect the best quality for great deals. You can buy a Marc Jacobs St. Mark’s pebbled leather shoulder discounted from $1,495 to $749, or a Kate Spade Griffen black leather tote for $199 that retails for $425. The options are limitless.

-Sarah Ribner

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