Sites like Giltman – The Pros and Cons of Each
Sample sale, flash sale, timed online designer clearance. A million different names, seemingly a million different sites, and they’re all really the same concept. A bunch of people sign up at a website, the website coordinates limited time discount sales between higher end retailers and the site’s members, and merchandise that needed to be cleared gets moved.
You used to either have to live in a big city and fight wild crowds at in-store sample sales… or go to a sprawling outlet mall to get deals like 50 – 70% off. And the brands at outlets usually aren’t that great. These sites let you browse from the comfort of your own home (or cubicle), with hard to find designers available, all while not having to fight your way past the lumbering folks who just have to get to Big Dogs or Dress Barn.
Now it’s not all sunshine and lollipops. All of these sites have restrictions, pitfalls, and sometimes the deals just aren’t that good. Gilt and the oft-mentioned Giltman haven’t been the same lately. Limited merchandise, exaggerated sale descriptions, etc. Here’s a breakdown of your alternatives…
#1 Beyond the Rack – Beyondtherack.com
Mainly deals in: Women and Men, but women are the noticeable priority.
One week sample of men’s brands: French Connection watches, Designer Ties, Fragrance Event
Return Policy: 14 days. Store credit minus the $9.95 shipping cost.
Sales Launch: Varies. Morning and afternoon
Sale Duration: 48 hours
Pros: Pretty clean layout of the site.
Cons: Not a ton there for the guys. And what is there, feels more outlet-like than gilt. Almost all accessories.
#2 Rue La La – RueLaLa.com
Mainly deals in: Women. Men’s sales are extremely scarce.
One week sample of men’s brands: Portolano hats & scarves, Rock and Republic
Return Policy: 30 days. Full refund minus shipping costs, or store credit & free return shipping.
Sales Launch: 11am ET daily
Sale Duration: 48 – 72 hours
Pros: You can actually return an item and get your money back. What a concept.
Cons: Men are almost all but ignored. Here’s how they start their welcome to Rue La La email: “You’ve arrived, and we couldn’t be happier. We wanted to welcome you with chocolate chip cookies and ice cold milk or maybe a big pink lei.” Holy sh*t. Anybody else feel like they need to drink a cosmo?
#3 HauteLook – HauteLook.com
Mainly deals in: Women. It’s almost all about women.
One week sample of brands for men: English Laundry, Arnold Zimberg shirts, Sturhling watches, Joy to the world Christmas Ornaments. Seriously? Christmas ornaments?
Sales Launch: 11am Eastern Monday – Thursday
Sale Duration: Usually 48 hours
Return Policy: 21 days for only apparel & footwear for store credit. Costs you $4.95 to ship it back.
Pros: Nice looking site, not overly-cluttered, easy to navigate
Cons: Like Rue La La, there’s not a lot of men’s stuff. Unlike Rue La La, you can’t get your money back.
#4 Jack Threads – jackthreads.com
Mainly deals in: Men’s clothes, shoes, and accessories that are more casual, more city.
One week sample of brands for men: Bed Stu, Ben Sherman accessories, J Shoes.
Sales Launch: “Everyday at Noon ET”
Sale Duration: Usually 72 hours
Return Policy: 30 days for store credit only. Shipping is non-refundable.
Pros: Just stuff for guys
Cons: Leans a little young and sporty. Use of the word “sickest” Store credit only returns.
#5 Still the Champ: Gilt Group’s Giltman – Giltman.com
Mainly deals in: Giltman is for the guys. Gilt is for women, plus Gilt Home is for decor.
One week sample of brands for men: Tommy Hilfiger Suiting, Cole Haan, Jack Spade, Swiss Legend Watches, DKNY, electronics by LG and Pioneer, and on and on and on…
Sales Launch: Mainly weekdays at Noon ET with special after-hours and weekend sales.
Sale Duration: 36 hours
Return Policy: 21 days for store credit and only available on shoes and clothes. Gilt pays for the return shipping.
Pros: The variety of brands is pretty incredible. Plus their customer service can be very accommodating.
Cons: Size selection can be embarrassingly poor. Sale descriptions can feel misleading. Gilt is starting to look more like a liquidator. But even with all that, they’re still head & shoulders above the rest, and there have been some recent signs of improvement (like the Cole Haan and Hilfiger sales from this week)
Agreements, disagreements, and other suggestions for sample sites go in the comments below.
*Not sure what Giltman.com is? Click here for the full Story
**Full Disclosure as usual. Click here for how we benefit from you joining any of these through Dappered.
***Don’t want to join through Dappered? You don’t have to. Click here to go directly to Gilt, or click for Beyond The Rack, Rue La La, Haute Look, and Jack Threads without the Dappered invite.