What did you do this bank holiday weekend? Visit friends? Picnic in the park? I spent much of it reading the fantastic Freedom by Jonathan Franzen – and steering clear of the shops. See, I promised myself that until I sold all of my unwanted clothes culled during the Wardrobe Audit, there would be no new ones. And I’m not there yet.
One of my pals called me in a state of great excitement last night after using her bank holiday Monday to snag herself a cut-price designer handbag at an out-of-town discount outlet. These places are great for bargains – if you can call spending £400 on a handbag a bargain, that is. (Half-price or less, though – that’s got to count for something argued my mate).
For those who don’t want to venture to those massive shopping outlets (I’d rather stick pins in my eyes), I’ve been checking out some flash sale websites. Much more Skint’s thing – you can shop whilst sipping wine, without speaking to a soul. Flash sale sites are basically websites that advertise massive sales at very short notice for a limited time only, typically just 24-36 hours. So, you’ve got to be speedy to get what you want, but the savings can be massive.
You generally have to sign up first – often just your name and email address – then you’ll get notified before a sale starts. Brand Alley is one of the best known, bringing together quality fashion, homes and beauty brands, with big big discounts on well-known names. More and more luxury brands are getting in on the flash sale action too, using sites like Gilt and Achica to advertise their goods. There’s typically a 70% price reduction on flash sales of luxury brands – though remember that the goods will have been expensive to start with, so some of the prices may still seem quite steep. But, if you know you’re after some shoes to make Carrie Bradshaw green, or a top-of-the-range handbag at a knockdown price these sites are definitely worth checking out before you hit the town.