For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.

Shopping

Best secret sales websites

Secret sales sites are all the rage these days - and while they're not so 'secret' anymore, they'll still do wonders for your student bank balance!

best secret sale sites

Credit (foreground): ESPN

Whether you're a seasoned shopaholic or just looking to save on a holiday, having a gander on a secret/flash sale site can help keep your costs down. Way down.

But before you dive straight into an overwhelming world of flashing discounts, countdown timers and more bargains than you can (probably) handle, it's worth taking some time to get the lay of the land.

We've put together our ultimate list of secret sales websites, as well as some tips on how to to milk them for all they're worth. Looks like it's shopping time!

What are secret sale websites?

what are secret sales

Credit: CBS

Secret sale websites are essentially members-only sites that claim to offer bargains of up to 70% on everything from experience days to designer labels and homeware.

They're free to join, and in return for deals you just have to give them your email address. You can then either log in to see what's up in the deals world or watch out for their (sometimes too) regular newsletters.

If you're wondering how they're able to offer such good bargains, it's because these websites will bulk-buy direct from a company (normally last season's stock or an older model that the company wants shot of) at a massively reduced price.

This, coupled with the promise of being able to get rid of the product quickly, means the sites are able to negotiate some stellar discounts.

How to use secret sales websites

When signing up to a secret sales site, you'll start receiving emails containing deals that only people with a membership can click through to. Each deal will have a timer to tell you how much longer the deal will be running, so you can scoop it up before it ends.

Just to be clear - you will get a lot of emails when you sign up to these sites - we're talking like two or three a day here. Therefore, it might be worth diverting them to a special folder in your inbox or using an alias email address just for deals.

4 tips for using secret sales websites

Once you're signed up to a secret sales website, you're going to have to exercise some serious self-restraint as you'll be exposed to discounts on stuff you probably/maybe/definitely don't need.

Keep the following in mind and you'll be set!

  1. Make a wish list to help resist the temptation to over-spend. This way you should only end up buying things you actually want, and ignore everything else
  2. Don't be pressured by the fact that these mega deals run out soon, or that there's a big 'money off' sign flashing in your face
  3. These sites are not always guaranteed to have the best price, so, as always, check prices elsewhere before you commit
  4. Always check that the site you're buying from is legit. Making sure it has some decent reviews on Google, and check to see if they have a postal address - this is usually a good indicator.

5 best secret sales websites

best secret shopping sites

Credit: BBC

There are shedloads of secret sales websites out there, each of them trying to make their own distinctive cry for attention. Here's our roundup of the best:

  1. BrandAlley

    Brand alley secret salesAs the name not-so-subtly suggests, BrandAlley is all about the designer labels - whether it's shoes, clothes or beauty products you're after.

    As well as decent deals on Ray-Bans and designer watches, you can also scoop up some discounted homeware too.

    Invite a friend to join too and you'll both score £10 of credit (and they occasionally run promotions where this doubles to £20!).

    Delivery: £5.95

    Length of sales: 4-7 days

    Check out BrandAlley »

  2. Voyage Privé

    voyage priveIf you're looking for an awesome holiday that'll make all your mates jealous without breaking the bank, this site should be your first port of call.

    You can also earn up to £50 by referring friends to the site.

    The only niggle is that you won't be able to make amendments to the packages they offer, so what you see is what you get.

    Delivery: Seeing as you can't deliver a holiday, we'll leave this one be...

    Length of sales: Up to 7 Days

    Check out Voyage Privé »

  3. SecretSales

    secret-sales-com-minA hotbed for designer clothes and beauty-bargain action, SecretSales is one of the big players in... well, secret sales.

    They tend to attract a lot of big name brands too - we've seen stuff from Vivienne Westwood on the site before, as well as Cartier watches.

    Careful not to stretch the bank balance too much though, even if it is on offer. Control yourself!

    Delivery: £5.95 per sale

    Length of sales: Approximately 4 days

    Check out SecretSales »

  4. Sarenza

    sarenzaSarenza specialises in footwear, so you'll be spoilt for choice if you're a shoe lover! All of the top brands can be found on the site, including Nike, Addidas and Converse.

    It's not technically a secret sale site, but it has a flash sale section. There's no need to sign up to see the offers and you can browse the site by following the link below.

    Not only do Sarenza offer free delivery, but you'll also be able to return anything you don't like free of charge. You've got 100 days to make up your mind, but remember you can't wear them outside if you want to return them.

    Delivery: Free

    Length of sales: Around 1 week

    Check out Sarenza »

  5. Vente-privee

    vente prive logoAside from the fact that their website has a fancy moving background and plays relaxing music, there are some other cool things to this site.

    They mainly cover fashion and homeware but you can also find some good deals on sports equipment, technology and sometimes even food too.

    Delivery: Depends on the weight but you'll get it in 3-4 weeks

    Length of sales: 3-5 Days

    Check out Vente-privee »

Brand outlet sites

best outlet stores

While we're on the theme of secret-but-not-so-secret sale sites, we thought we'd let you know about a few big brands that have outlet sites. Outlets are where retailers sell their out-of-season or refurbished stock at heavily reduced prices - even though there's nothing wrong with it!

Before shopping at an online store it might be worth having a quick Google to see if the brand has an outlet.

In the meantime, here are a few of our favourites:

Have you had any luck with nabbing a bargain or spotted a secret gem we've missed? Let us know below!

Leave a comment