Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Members Only

I have to admit that I am quite the sale-hawk and a self-anointed outlet queen. I just get very excited about the thought of getting something for less. At some point this was almost a problem as I would buy anything if it was on sale..thinking that I was getting a good deal..even if I did not need or even like the product (usually shoes, bags, clothes, accessories) very much. I have a $5 Gucci scarf in my closet still that is uglier than hell! And the load of Marc Jacobs shoes that were 90% off (I mean seriously - who could NOT buy MJ shoes for 90% off??). But both the scarf and the shoes (about 5 pairs including boots) have never been used and take up valuable space in my closet. I hear someone say eBay - but I have tried it and it is just too much work for not much profit.

So, to the topic of the title --> Members Only. I was very excited when about a year or two ago I got invited to a couple of Members Only discount shopping sites, namely Ideeli and Gilt. These are sites that sell higher end overstock at a reasonable discount, usually about half off the original price. The sites send you an email about the upcoming sale and what they have in inventory, and you have to place an order at the specified time when the particular product that you want is on sale. A great idea I thought - and could not wait to start getting the emails and snagging up the best deals. Two years later I have purchased NOTHING from these sites. My inbox is overflowing with the constant emails and I have had to designate the emails as junk because they crowd out the really important emails. One of the biggest turn-offs for me is that the sales are final sales and cannot be returned. When you are buying online it is really important that you be able to return as you cannot properly assess the color, quality and fit of the product based on the picture on the screen. Another thing that bugs me is the Members Only aspect. Just as fashion has been democratized by outlets and cheap chic collections, these members only sites just rub me the wrong way.

 I have to admit that I may have grown out of the sale and outlet craze - and graduated into a mature, considering consumer. Makes me proud to say! But I am still wondering whether I should keep the MJ shoes as we move in the summer - or just admit defeat and donate to goodwill?

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