Flash Sale Sites: Scams or Money Savers?

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 by 1 Comment
Flash Sale Sites: Scams or Money Savers?

So I’m not going to name names here, but something happened the other day that really irked me.

I got an email from a flash sale site (which shall remain nameless) advertising a big weekend toy blowout. Now, given that we have a toddler, it’s not a stretch that I might be buying some toys this Christmas.

Interestingly, they had some toys that I was looking for … and which were also readily available at Target and Amazon. Now, how can prices at either of these two sites get any cheaper, right? But in my head, I thought, well, it’s a flash sale … it HAS to be cheaper!

But alas my friends, think again. As I looked at the price of one toy in particular, I knew I had seen it for less at Target that very same day. So I headed to the website. And guess what? I was right … it was way cheaper at Target.

Like, by more than $50 cheaper. So then I checked a KidKraft dollhouse; it was $65 less on Amazon.

Now, in all fairness, there were things on the flash sale site that were priced at or below those same products at Target and Amazon. But that was not the majority.

So, what is the moral of the story here? Be very, very careful when you’re purchasing from a flash sale site. Always check to see if one of the larger sites or major retail chains has it for less money.

In many cases, flash sales do have good prices and I often blog sales from flash sites over at Smart Mom Deals … but they are usually sales on small items made by small vendors.

I did a little digging around the interwebs and found other people have had the same experience with other sites too, on home goods, wedding gear, and other goods. And then there’s the “rare” items that get marked way, way up because it’s so hard to get your hands on the goods.

Some even consider flash sale sites to be a “gateway drug” for would-be shopping addicts.

Do you shop flash sale sites? Do you ever check the competitor’s prices? I always do, and when I click “buy,” I know I’m getting the product at a discount. But this latest experience makes me nervous that many, many people are getting taken.

photo credit: Lomo-Cam via photopin cc

Posted in: Mommy Stuff, Women's Style
Stacie McClintock

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  • http://www.adventuresinbabywearing.com/ Adventures In Babywearing

    I love flash sale sites for hard to find items- things I can’t find in stores or even online at those prices. But I have been noticing a few things I found on Zulily to be sold at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx and although it’s just a few dollars different each time the flash sale site did have the better deal IF you don’t consider shipping cost.