New online shops are hooking up high-end customers with discount flash sales on luxury goods such as designer bags and shoes. Alerting members via text message, the members-only sites sell items in private sales that often begin immediately and can last just hours. The created frenzy works: Customers of one site buy on average within just 45 seconds of logging on, reports the Wall Street Journal.
A number of sites have launched in the past six months and report they’re growing fast thanks to word-of-mouth marketing alone. One says it’s growing by 10% a week and already has more than 100,000 members. Company reps call their version of shopping a “game” and “addicting,” as they hawk luxuries (albeit discounted) in an economy that has high-end goods piling up unsold.