Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sky High Mark-ups...Gilt-y or Not?

As you probably have gathered I love shopping and finding great deals on beautiful clothing. I mean, I don't mind getting down and dirty with the elbow flailing at an in-house sample sale but leading a busy life, I'm not always able to make it to a sale. Online sample sale shopping has now made this easier than ever and you can shop with the touch of a finger while sitting at your desk job during lunch. There are downsides can't always know what the fit is like, you can't feel the fabrics, you pay for shipping and I always suspected there was a bit of a mark-up for the convenience. But how much are you willing to pay for convenience?

Gilt Groupe has always been one of my favorite online sample sale websites, they have great pictures, great service and super fast shipping (sometimes it only takes a day!) and I always thought some pretty great deals. I mean I did get a pair of Habituals for a mere $34 once!

In January after buying a Cacharel Eiffel Tower Sweater for $25 at an in-house sale and then seeing it on Gilt for well over $200 (I wish I could remember the exact price and had a screen shot) shortly after I began to question if buying items on Gilt was really that great of a deal. I shrugged it off that with in person, perhaps you are just cutting out the middle man. Lately there has been a lot of controversy with Gilt's pricing over Sofia Cashmere aka "Scarfgate". And I understand that they work off the manufacturer's suggested retail price in most cases but today I had another revelation.

I was so excited that Gilt was selling Bensoni today as Bensoni is a young design team I love love love, but I was shocked when I saw they price that they were selling the Betty Flapper Dress for, $198. Why? Because last December at the Gen Art event they were selling the same dress for about $170, and this past March I picked up the same dress on's online sample sale for a $70. The reason the comparison is so jarring to me is that both are online sample sales! I am not comparing in-house to online but online to online!

The Savvy is not as user friendly, the photography not as thorough and shipping took quite a while but overall the savings were significant. Also to note, as time passes fashion clothing does not usually go up in value from the previous season, I will have already had 6 months of wear out of my dress before any of those who ordered from Gilt today will get their shipment.

I am assuming The Savvy Co made some form of profit selling the merch to me at $70, so that leads me to believe that Gilt made an additional $128 in mark-up. Is convenience and fast shipping really worth double the cost compared to another sample sale website? I work in the fashion industry too so I understand that mark-up is important but at what point does making mark-up become greed? Interestingly enough though the manufacturer's suggested price differed on the websites being $646 on Savvy's site and $561 on Gilt. What is the real MSRP?

Will I shop again on Gilt? Of this I am sure, but I also know that I'll be wary and proceed with caution. In the meantime I'll be watching you Gilt. Anyone else have any experiences to share?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about the Habituals! I got two glory jeans in different washes for $12 each! Completely new, 100% authentic, and from a very popular sample sale site.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...