Even though I haven't been in a position to buy much of anything lately -- broke like a joke, if you haven't noticed! -- I've persisted in staying in touch with my flash-sale sites. It's a little form of torture, I guess, or maybe inspiration: Keep on plugging and when things get better, I'll be able to indulge my shopping jones again!
Gilt Groupe started the flash-sale craze in 2007. The idea was to bring very short-term sales to a national audience. Daily email alerts announce new sales, and if you want it, you have to act fast.
Tons of other companies jumped on the bandwagon, and now there are many flash sale sites -- but only a few for home decor. Two new contenders have just joined the market. See what you think about this modern-day way to shop smart.
Please note: These sites don't let you browse until you've signed up, so clicking through is going to be frustrating. That's just how they work, though. That's why I scouted ahead for you!
MyHabit -- At first, it seemed like that online behemoth known as Amazon.com would miss the boat on flash sales. Turned out they were just waiting till the perfect time. They started alerting customers to early-bird specials on their vendors' sales earlier this year, and as of a few days ago, they entered the home-decor fray. They sell out fast: the beautiful Bodum double-wall glass with silicone grip for $15 instead of $40 was gone by the time I found them. New deals seem to go up at 9 a.m. daily. Oh, and there's a 20% off promotion going on until August 20. Wow.
Gilt Groupe -- Yep, the original contenders expanded into home decor almost immediately, and this year they acquired the site Decorati as a way to expand their presence beyond flash sales. JC Penney it's not -- you have to be willing to spend a thousand dollars on a couch, and I'm not sure I've ever done that. But if you're looking for special signature pieces, well, you can't do better than this amazing Stella & Worthington seven-foot-tall spotlight lamp. Yeah, it costs a grand, but it used to cost four grand. And I looooove it. (Oh hey! They just sent me a special access link so The Stir readers can browse!)
The Foundary -- There's this mega-furnishings site called Hayneedle that I'm not such a fan of. How can I love a place that can't find me a result when I search for "couch"? But their flash site, launched earlier this year, does have some great bargains, like this absolutely delicious looking chair for $450 instead of $1440. There's also a lot of weird crap that hurts my eyes, but that's what you get for looking for a bargain.
Joss & Main -- This seems to be the "oldest" contender -- it launched waaaay back in January. Their login page helpfully lets you know the exact time each day when new items come in, but, interestingly, my sign-up wouldn't go through, so I can't tell you what I found there. Still, their design is so fresh, I feel compelled to include it here. Let me know if you have better luck.
Would you shop for home decor this way, or does it seem entirely too risky?