Shop Super-Crowded Sample Sales From Your Couch

They're designer labels to die for but why risk your life braving crowds of ruthless shoppers if you don't have to.

Many new websites let you buy discounted designer duds without waiting online, or even leaving your home.
Samantha Gannon, an NBC Connecticut Production Assistant, used to prefer going into stores so she could touch and feel what she was buying. But, when her fashionista cousin recommended she log on to Gilt (, she checked it out, and was sold. Her first purchase -- a Rachel Leigh bracelet. "It was originally $170 dollars. That's the retail price, and I got it for $70."
That's almost 60 percent off. Gilt is far from the only private sample sale site. There're many, Ruelala (, ideeli --(, and Hautelook ( all offer high-end labels at bargain prices. All sell everything from jewelry to clothes to handbags to shoes.
Each weekday, there's a new sale. But, Gannon says, don't sit back.

"You have to be ready to go when it happens because, by the end of the day, you know everything is usually sold out."
We went online and found a pair of super-chic and edgy Rock and Republic platform pumps on Gilt.

The site says they retail for $275, but they are on sale for $108. That's more than 60 percent off. And sure enough, a quick check of Rock and Republic's retail site shows that retail price is right. But, remember this, each sale's only open for 36 hours and they could sell out way before that.
Quinnipiac University Assistant Professor of Marketing Anthony Asare says there's a reason these private sale sites are popular.

They make you feel like you're part of an exclusive group. It's true, you have to be a member to buy, but membership is free and open to everyone.

Asare says the sites help maintain designer brands' cache while still unloading excess stock.

"They have to deal with getting rid of discounted bargain products but they also have to find a way to deal with all those things that doesn't hurt their brand image," Asare said. 
Some of the sites will even give you a $25 credit if you refer a friend and they buy something.

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