Gilt Groupe, Starting the Morning with Alexander Wang

Gilt Groupe is an online shopping website that offers new “sample sales” each day, lasting for only 36 hours at a time. Gilt Groupe has four different categories of its sales – Women’s, Gilt “Fuse,” Men’s, and “Jetsetter.” The website touts itself as being an exclusive, invitation-only group – I promise you it’s really not that elite. I’m a member and I’m not anyone too special; I even could send you an invitation to join!

I’ve never been to a Black Friday sale, but I think that the opening of a Gilt Groupe sale is probably quite similar. Instead of waiting outside Wal-Mart for in a lawn chair at ungodly hours of the morning, people sit in front of their computers waiting sales to begin so they can buy the luxury items that they just have to have. I had never actually made a purchase through Gilt Groupe until this past week when I discovered that their “Jetsetter” section offered hotel rooms at highly discounted prices – a room at the Standard Hotel downtown for almost $100 off!

I didn’t realize that any sort of obsession with the site existed until I logged on this morning. It was around 8:45am and I noticed that an Alexander Wang sale (clothing and accessories) would be starting at 9. At exactly 9:05, more than half of the products available were sold out. I like shopping just as much as the next person, and maybe even a little more, but I don’t understand why so many people desperately needed a pair of Alexander Wang pumps or a handbag this morning. By later this afternoon in the “Accessories” category only one handbag remained, out of 25 other items that had been available.

Gilt Groupe is a great website if you want to find high-end products significantly marked down from their original price. Yet, I think if you’re obsessively pressing the refresh button before the start of a new sale, you probably need to take a break from Gilt.

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