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. Gilt.com 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.