If you are one of those who went out at 4am on Black Friday to shop, this post may help you get some beauty rest next year.
There are several outlet stores online which offer great deals without you having to get up before dawn and drive to a store. The beauty of outlet shopping online, especially when there are crowds galore and limited sanity, is that you get to shop the deals from your computer. No need to schlep from store to store looking for the best bargain; you do it all with a couple of clicks, and a cup of coffee, from the comfort of your home.
By now most people know about Overstock for everything under the sun (although the discounts vary greatly from very little to a great deal) and Bluefly for designer shoes and clothes. I recently discovered Outlet Buy and it's now on my list of go to places for everything from Dolce Gabbana and Fendi purses at 30-45% off retail, to Aerosole shoes at 56% off. If you sign up for their newsletter they give you an additional 10% off every order within a 60 day period, and their current holiday special offers another 15% off with the code HOLIDAY. I ended up paying $57 for a pair of leather boots from Aerosole that I saw in the store for $99. The discount is actually even better for those who live outside NY because there is no sales tax, and with free shipping and a 100% guarantee, you don't pay extra for the convenience of ordering online.
For those with a fatter wallet and some connections, get a member of Gilt Groupe to invite you to join; it is an by invitation only luxury apparel sample sale site which hosts about 20 sales a week with specific start and end times with everything going for flat rate discounts of up to 70%. One sale had a pair of Banfi Zambrelli boots that retail for $900 going for $250, or LuLu D.K Matouk linens for which retail for $1,400 selling for $560.
Designer shopping is a little less of a guilty pleasure if you do it at a deep discount while saving both gas and aggravation.