Image via HauteLook
Dear reader, the daily deal model may be declining, but flash sale websites still have a lot to offer the bride on a budget. Last week, while browsing for dresses for my sister to check out, I stumbled across a healthy selection of Sue Wong white evening dresses (read: wedding dresses) on luxury flash sale websites Ideeli and HauteLook. When I saw that they were selling at more than half-off, my deal-loving heart quickened! I told my sister and she purchased the two dresses below to try on.
Curious to see what other flash sale websites were offering, I signed up for every “invitation only” site known to man. Much to my surprise and delight, I discovered that deeply discounted evening and bridal gowns are widely available on this shopping platform, at least at this time of year.
Why hadn’t I thought about sourcing wedding dresses on flash sale sites like Gilt and Rue La La before? I think it’s mostly because of the flash sale model itself. Unless you’re already a member of the site, you’re unlikely to hear about the sales — which typically last only 36 to 48 hours — until it’s too late. For this same reason, online shopping tools don’t seem to pick up on these sales either. But by becoming a member, you’ll be emailed daily with a list of upcoming deals, or what the retailers call “events.” All of this means that shopping the flash sales can be really rewarding… and really annoying.
The other downside to the flash sale is that it requires immediate action. “Buy now or forever miss out on this deal” doesn’t work for every consumer, and for the budget-conscious bride, it can be even more unnerving. What made it easier for my sister to buy those lovely Sue Wong numbers was the return policy. Had either of these dresses been final sale, I don’t think “buy now” would have been quite so appealing, even at 50%+ off.
My advice: stay away from flash sales if you are bad at making quick decisions and hate being bombarded with promotional emails. Otherwise, if you love a good bargain and don’t mind staying on top of your inbox, flash sale websites are a great (and unexpected) source for deeply discounted wedding dresses. Here are the sites I’d recommend: