Exclusive, members-only shopping sites are the lastet rage on the internet. Last month I wrote about Ideeli - a new on-line exclusive shopping club of which I have been enrolled for over a month but I haven’t bought a thing. Why? It’s not because I don’t like their merchandise – in fact I think they offer amazing deals on some really hot, high-end items. It’s their operating model. Working in the corporate world I am always running from meeting to meeting therefore I am hardly at my desk nor am I able to have my cell phone available for use and checking at all times. This makes taking advantage of Ideeli almost impossible for me (and I’m sure other busy women exec’s). My time is precious and I don’t have the luxury of sitting by my computer waiting for a sale to pop up (they are unannounced). By not being able to be glued to my cellphone I miss a majority of the opportunities for the free giveaways. The concept of Ideeli is great and the exclusivity of the membership and the merchandise does mean you will have some of the hottest trends at a fraction of the retail price but if you are like me are you really able to take advantage of these privileges given the way the site works?
Last week however, my friend Pam at work, sent me an invitation only membership to Gilt Groupe – also an online exclusive shopping community. Similar to Ideeli in concept but without a membership fee, Gilt Groupe, is a private online community dedicated to providing its members with access to trendy fashions and luxury lifestyle brands at sample sale prices. Membership is by invitation only and each Gilt Groupe shopping event is designer-specific and held over a one day period. This is much more appealing to me since members have a full day to take advantage of the sale. I can log on at my convenience during the day of the sale and see if there is anything I want. Another perk of Gilt Groupe is that for each friend you invite to join, you receive a $25 credit to your account. I definitely plan to give Gilt Groupe a try as I think this exclusive shopping site is one I can really take advantage of. Time will tell…..