For the very first (and sporadic) Saturday Shopping post, I’d like to share with you my experience with some, well two actually, “member only online shopping sites”. What are they, you might ask? Well, I’m not really sure what the exact term is but that’s what I call these sort of online shopping sites.
Basically, it’s an online shopping portal that you can access only if you’ve signed up to their site. You can only shop once you’ve logged in and access what’s in store, online.
These are sites that are like an online “sale” only directory for you to shop from. The site has numerous sales on there, from different stores and brands. Some you’ve heard of, some you haven’t. I’ll talk about that a little bit more later on. Each “event” or “sale” has a time limit, meaning they usually run for a limited time or until all of the stock are sold out. Usually the former.
The prices can be rather competitive, especially if you know how much the brand usually retails for. One thing to note though, some products might not look as “on-trend” as you’d expect them to be. I suspect these are pieces from older stock that couldn’t be shifted at their store. Not that it’s bad or anything, but you need to be aware that they might not be the hottest pieces on sale.
Some of these shopping sites have more than just fashion and accessories on sale. There are sites that also have sale events, which carry home and living, as well as beauty and electronics and technological gadgets.
There are actually quite a few that have popped up and like a moth to a flame, I’ve signed up to a few, so you can imagine my in-box! Here are some of those I’ve signed up to – not necessarily shopped from, just signed up to:
What do I think of these Members Only Online Shopping Sites?
I can get pretty awesome finds on there, for instance I’ve gotten a 20 pack velvet hanger for only $12.00 per pack. That to me was rather cheap.
Some of the sale events can feature rather decent brands like Zara, Ojay, Levis, Steve Madden, Ben Sherman, BCBGMAXAZARIA, Sheraton, Noritake and more. It all depends on which brand is trying to get rid of their stock really.
You get extra credit when you invite your friends to join these sites. The downside of course is that you COULD potentially lose your friends for sending them endless invitations. So tread carefully and only choose friends you know would appreciate the invitation.
While I’m a huge fan of big bargains, I also do not like waiting too long for my purchases. That’s my main gripe – the waiting. And sometimes the not knowing when to expect your purchases too.
I mentioned earlier that you might get sale events of stores or brands that you have never ever heard of – EVER. That’s what I call the “dodgy” brands. Not that the items are dodgy…ok, sometimes they are and this is where you need to exercise a lot of caution.
Looking at some of these “dodgy” names – seriously, having a French or some exotic sounding name does not mean they are amazing brands. This does not necessarily mean there is such a brand out there. In this case, do your research! Make Google your friend. See if such a name pops up. If the result only comes up with the shopping site you’re already on, then yeah…it’s a made up one. Why is it “dodgy”? The sizing. Not the quality but the sizing.
The checkered shirt I ordered from Ozsale – fit was just not quite right but I made it work.
You see I ordered a shirt from one of the sales events from a brand I have never heard of. I didn’t do my full research either. I did however do my measurements so that I would get the correct sizing. Alas, the shirt arrived was smaller than what I expected it to be. My initial measurements were correct, as was the size I chose, but the one that arrived, seemed smaller. No drama, I just turned it into a “shirt jacket”. These are the brands that remind me of those Asian online stores that are meant for super tiny humans, of which I am not. So be sure to do your research thoroughly on this one.
Sometimes the sales can be a hit or miss in terms of the design. They can be mighty FUGLY. I kid you not. Like I mentioned before, I suspect the sites are there for vendors to sell their off season items that were not selling.
Another annoying thing is that the good stuff gets sold out really quickly. So make sure you jump on the sale quickly once you get that email, check the stuff out and then make your purchases. There’s no such thing as, “Let me have a think first”, because it’ll be gone the next time you log on. Unless of course you really are unsure if you should get the item of course!
My final gripe is with their returns. My advice is to CHOOSE WISELY!! In most cases, each sales event will have their own unique returns policy and there is a time limit attached to it. Usually the time limit is rather short, especially if your order is no longer in their system and I think you usually get a credit note to use at another sales event and not an actual refund. Hence my advice to choose wisely.
That’s my low down on the Members Only Online Shopping sites. Are you a member of any of the names I’ve mentioned or maybe any others that I might not have? What were your experience like with them? Good, bad? Do you think it’s a great way to shop or just another way to look for bargains that sometimes aren’t necessarily bargains? Would love to hear your thoughts on this! 🙂
*Disclaimer: I was given a voucher to spend and try out how Ozsale worked. All comments are my own.