Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Flash sales--buying in a hurry

Time Is Money
"But commerce will always require the creation of scarcity, bottlenecks and stampedes. The most immediate way to do this is to make time seem tight — the going-going-gone approach to sales. For years, digital-world salespeople have been putting in overtime to resurrect the illusion that consumers must put up their money now or life will pass them by.

"Not long ago they figured it out: the online private-shopping club. It’s brilliant and insidious. No current retail trick so successfully conjures the bygone retail climate of hotness and nowness — with its proven capacity to create value — as luxuriously capitalized clothing vendors like Gilt Groupe, HauteLook and Rue La La. For shoppers who register, these services host “flash sales” — sudden sales of limited inventory that offer a seemingly exclusive group of consumers deep discounts on known labels in a few-frills atmosphere.

"Gilt Groupe, HauteLook and Rue La La are the holy trinity of flash-sale event dealers, at least when it comes to clothes. Know them by their five-star labels, their ticking clocks, their sheen of exclusivity and their limited searchability.

"EBay won’t be left out of the private-club revolution. The latest way to beat those preposterous M.S.R.P.’s — manufacturer’s suggested retail prices — is eBay Fashion Vault, a shopping club like Gilt Groupe but with some of the madcapness of eBay. "

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