Fashionistas Chase Fleeting Bargains Online

Sites court shoppers with flash sales on designer brands
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted May 1, 2008 6:58 PM CDT
A model displays fall fashion from Diane von Furstenberg during Fashion Week in New York, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008. recently sold 600 Diane von Furstenberg dresses in six minutes.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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(Newser) – 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.