This Christmas season I have really enjoyed shopping mostly window shopping at the high-end boutique "deals" sites. There are many out there such as www.ruelala.com, www.modnique.com, www.giltgroupe.com, www.hautelook.com, www.beyondtherack.com, www.liluxe.com, and many more. Wikipedia defines these types of sites as "online 'flash' sales, offering women's, men's and children's designer apparel and accessories, designer home goods and high-end travel destinations at discounted prices in a limited time sale format".
The sales at these sites often last for only a few days and sell out quickly. The merchandise ships when the sale event has ended. You can regularly score 50-60% off and even up to 90% off regular retail prices on clothing, shoes, purses, jewelry, cookware, etc. Plus, some of the sites offer a credit just for signing up making the deals even sweeter.
Having purchased from a few of these sites I found the contrast between two in particular, well, quite stark. I've made two purchases at Modnique and two purchases at Gilt Groupe. Both purchases from Gilt Groupe went very smoothly, shipping on time and very well packaged. I must say I am very impressed with the packaging that Gilt Groupe uses. They have "signature" boxes that are printed on the inside and it just makes you feel like you purchased something luxurious and high-end. It sounds silly to say but getting a box from Gilt Groupe in the mail feels like you're being pampered.
In contrast is Modnique. The Modnique site is really great and easy to navigate with some fun designer sales. They also offer $10 off coupon codes regularly. My first purchase with Modnique went smoothly and it arrived in the allotted time frame. I was a little disappointed with the packaging as it was not packaged like a high-end item at all. Really no big deal, it just cuts out the "fun" factor. My second purchase I have yet to see. I purchased and paid for an XOXO purse back in November and my account says "pulling merchandise". It seems like a month is a long time to "pull" merchandise before shipping. Having contacted customer service a few times, I am still no closer to knowing when my purse may arrive. Sadly, I don't know that I could recommend Modnique even though they have great prices and items.
Having used both Gilt Groupe and Modnique I would definitely recommend Gilt Groupe for the overall experience. To shop at Gilt, click HERE.