kimair, did you receive the skirt OK? I just ordered a Viv Tam tee using my AmEx, figured that would cover any risk...at first I almost backed out because the default choice for shipping was $15.95 but than I realized that you can check below for $4.95.
yep, i got the skirt just fine...
i noticed that with the shipping too...weird...
Hi! I'm new here and just found this thread through google. Just wanted to share my experience with Gilt.
First, I ordered a pair of Alejandro Ingelmo pumps, BUT they sold out before my order was processed. They apologized by putting a $50 credit in my account. That was nice.
Bought an Alexis Bittar necklace and it arrived super fast and packaged very carefully. No problems there. =)
Then, my 3rd purchase was a pair of Banfi Zambrelli shoes. Extremely happy to yet again, receive something so fast! Here's the problem though...*dun dun dunnnn*
They turned out to be defected. The left heel was bent and the right heel was straight...and no, it's not 'cause I'm fat or anything, incase any of you were guessing. =)
After being worn and reading the return policy, I was sad that I got robbed so I emailed customer service well after the 10 day policy and they made an exception and refunded me even after I wore them once!
I must say I'm impressed. I tried calling Banfi myself and the rep "Sarah", flat out told me "There's nothing I can do."
Count me as another online sample sale lover. I've made it a habit to checkout Gilt, Hautelook, and Ruelala during my lunch hour. It's my daily window-shopping opportunity.
I have bought from Gilt, Hautelook, and Ruelala. Below is a quick & dirty comparison for these 3 sites. Hope it's helpful to the newbies!
Site Design: Gilt has the best presentation, photos, and models. It looks even better than Neiman Marcus and Net-A-Porter, which is amazing because both NM and NAP sell in-season merchandise whereas Gilt doesn't.
Merchandise Selection: Even though you can find Marc by Marc Jacobs on all three sites, Gilt has the upperhand when it comes to uber-designers. Alexander McQueen, Oscar de la Renta, and Carolina Herrera have appeared on Gilt exclusively. Hautelook and Ruelala for the most part do mid-price lines that you can find on Shopbop.com or RevolveClothing.com. The good news is that popular sizes actually can make it to these sample sales, though they are typically gone within the first 10 minutes or so.
Customer Service: This is where Gilt is inconsistent. The shipping is fast and the packaging is classy, but it charges a high handling fee and allows store credit only. Hautelook is the same way. You have about 10 to 14 days to return an item. Ruelala does refunds for returns made within 30 days.
Now, an important feature of online sample sale sites is their waitlist. Online sample sales follow a strict schedule: subscribers know at least one week in advance which sale will happen on which day, and site traffic can be incredibly heavy during the first five minutes after the sale starts. Given the competition, a site's capacity to hold an item for you is key. As far as I know, Gilt is the only one that reserves an item for you for 10 minutes, and it starts a waitlist for temporarily unavailable items (items which are in someone else's shopping cart). If the sale does not go through in due time, Gilt sends a notification to waitlisted shoppers. They also do the same for a sold item which has been returned. On the other hand, Hautelook will show the item is on hold for someone else but the burden to check its availability is on the shopper herself.
My own experience with Gilt so far started with 2 Walter cashmere dresses which I promptly exchanged for another Walter sweater dress and a high-waisted skirt from Mint. I think the grace period for returns is a little short and I do not like getting store credit (I really believe that, psychologically, store credit makes shoppers more inclined to 'settle' and buy something they like but may not completely love because we don't know what the future line-up looks like). On a more positive note, I give Gilt credit for issuing store credit promptly. Once, UPS showed that my returned was received on a Tuesday morning, and there was a sale that I was interested in happening on the same day a couple of hours later. I called Gilt to see if they could process my store credit in time for the sale, and the rep was able to do that over the phone! I was impressed.
So, not a complete rave for Gilt because as a result of their policy I am stuck with two so-so items worth $200 that I can no longer return, but I do recommend it. I hope they continue their stellar line-up so I can buy and return items with the confidence that I will see something I like from their future sales that I can use my store credit for.
Last edited by LibertyRose; 19-01-2009 at 03:55 AM.
The Gilt Groupe, an online sample sale site, has a million members and caused an epic shopping craze—even in a recession. Why are women so obsessed? By Lesley M. Blume.
“You have to have a strategy,” explains a 30-year-old New York City-based businesswoman. “It’s an incredibly aggressive market. Work from the bottom up and work fast, or you’re dead in the water.” This is not a conversation about trolling the stock market for bargains; rather, this woman is offering advice on scoring items on Gilt Groupe, a members-only discount-designer-clothing Web site. Featuring heavily discounted wares from coveted designers like Oscar de la Renta, Alexander McQueen, and Vera Wang, Gilt Groupe launches a new sale each day at 12 p.m. What follows next can often be compared to a bloodbath as members try to outscramble each other in filling their carts with shoes, dresses, bags, and other treasure.
“I was covering the finance ministers’ meeting in Horsham, as everyone was trying to figure out how to lift the world out of this economic crisis,” says one D.C.-based journalist in her early 30s. “Suddenly I realized that it was midday on the East Coast. Our London correspondent, an employee from the Treasury department, and I all stopped what we were doing and sat in the press tent, clicking madly, trying to order stuff.”
In this realm of discount Web sites, fashion-minded consumers appear to be as ravenous as ever—crazed, even—as huge price cuts make what were once pipe-dream Vogueeditorial—only designer brands accessible to the masses for the first time in years.
Gilt Groupe reports that it has just signed its one-millionth member, creating fierce competition to land that pair of size-38 Christian Louboutin patent leather heels. The clientele has become diverse, ranging from socialites looking for a wear-one-time-only gala dress, to office-assistant underlings looking to jolt their wardrobe with a trophy item, to grandmothers in Florida cat fighting it out over Tory Burch sandals.
The upside: It’s all terribly democratic. Anyone with a fast Internet connection can snare a trendy Doo.Ri and Thakoon (a Michelle Obama favorite!) dress for $300 or $400.
The bad news: Gilt Groupe gets expensive and overwhelming very quickly. Some hardcore members say that they have become calamitously hooked on buying the still-not-cheap bargains, even in the trough of a recession. And these women are not of the limitless-funds, ladies-who-lunch variety, either.
“It. Is. Ruining. Me,” writes the D.C.-based journalist in an email. “I was going crazy at first, just buying stuff because the discounts were so great, despite whether I really like it or not.”It’s hardly a newsflash that sales of all varieties often lead to dubious choices and false economies. As glamour icon (and marathon shopper) Marlene Dietrich once pointed out, “the temptation of getting things ‘cheaper’ is cluttering up our households with unnecessary objects and actually burdens the budget.”
So, it should come as no real surprise, then, that Gilt Groupe’s trigger-happy, sales-psychology-on-crack formula is creating, shall we say, some spiraling habits among its customers. And yet some of the anecdotes of self-described addiction are still staggering.
“I am definitely a Gilt Groupe junkie,” says a New York City-based writer, who says she has spent over $10,000—almost a quarter of her annual income—on the site over the last 12 months. “You just get really caught up in it. It’s almost like drunk shopping. I damaged the mouse on my computer from over-clicking on an item, to get it into my cart.” Gilt Groupe, which launched in 2007, is not alone in turning women into combative shopping zombies; competitor outlets such as Haute Look and Rue La La also have large followings. Yet something about Gilt that has made it the queen bee of sales sites, the zeitgeist face of the phenomenon. Perhaps it has something to do with how easily the name "Gilt Groupe" lends itself to a particular slang; many refer to the site as “Guilt Groupe” and say that they are “gilty” of buying too much clothing from the site; often they call themselves “Gilt Groupies.”
“I prefer to think of our members as ‘shopping athletes,’” says Gilt Groupe co-founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson. “It’s like a competitive sport, and when you get an item, you feel victorious and there’s a sense of pride associated with it. You’d never get that shopping at an outlet; you just feel like you’re slinking around, looking for treasure.” Most of the Gilt members consulted for this piece say that they have spent around $5,000 on the site—yet Ms. Wilson says that some shoppers have spent more than $100,000 on Gilt Groupe merchandise.
“It’s the thrill of the hunt,” says Michele Wissot, who covered sample sales as a senior writer at Daily Candy. “It’s that feeling of, ‘Ha ha ha, I got those shoes before that other girl.’ Gilt Groupe is smart to capitalize on our need to do that.”
This survival-of-the-fittest jungle is so intense that many staunch Gilt Groupies say that they will no longer schedule or attend meetings at noon if a particularly toothsome sale is going up. “You only have five minutes to get what you want and then you’re ****ed,” says Hilary Rowland, CEO of talent agency New Faces, who says she drops everything for one of Gilt’s Dolce and Gabbana sales. “If you look at the clock and it’s 12:10, you’re like, forget it, there’s no point in even looking.”
Copycat enterprises will long examine Gilt’s business plan to see what makes it so successful. Ms. Wilson points out that—beyond the adrenaline rush of “winning” an item—the recession has simply made better merchandise and deeper quantities available to the site, and that consumers are in the mood to take advantage of bargains while they last.
“If the economy hadn’t taken the turn that it did, certain luxury brands and designers might not have pursued an offline channel,” she says.
Yet for many, it just comes down to this: Gilt Groupe is ridiculously easy to use. Two clicks (if you’re lucky): one on the product, one on the "purchase" button—and lo! That gratifying, slim Gilt Groupe box arrives on your doorstep practically the next day.Far easier than picking up your dry cleaning, as one Gilt Groupie points out. “They make it really painless to spend a lot of money,” says Rowland. "That is, until you look at your bank account.”
Look for a Gilt Groupe Anonymous in your neighborhood soon.
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving Albert Einstein
I really like Gilt but there customer service isn't the best. I sent them 3 emails about canceling an order and I ended up receiving what I wanted to cancel. I like it though and I'm kind of glad it got sent but come on, 3 emails and no response?
i like it. i've bought two things from here and haven't had any issues. also, they make it very easy for you to buy things. after you put stuff in your cart, you pretty much just press purchase and that's it, packages arrive in two days flat. i'm still deciding if the input-less checkout is a blessing or a curse...