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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.

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Whether you're a seasoned shopaholic or just looking to save some cash, 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 not-so-secret tips on how to milk them for all they're worth. Shhh(op).

What are secret sale websites?

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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 the latest deals 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 (usually 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

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When signing up to a secret sales site, you'll start receiving emails containing deals that only members can access. Each deal will have a timer to show you when it expires, so you can catch it 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. As such, 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 things which you probably/maybe/definitely don't need.

These are the best ways to find deals on secret sales sites:

  1. Make a wish list to help resist the temptation of over-spending. This should help you stick to only buying things you actually want
  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 necessarily guaranteed to have the best price, so check prices elsewhere before you buy anything
  4. Always check that the site you're buying from is trustworthy. 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.

4 best secret sales websites

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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 secret sales sites:

  1. BrandAlley

    BrandAlley logo

    As 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: Four to seven days

    Check out BrandAlley »

  2. Voyage Privé

    voyage prive logo

    If you're looking for an awesome holiday which won't break the bank, this site should be your first port of call.

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

    But, 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 seven days

    Check out Voyage Privé »

  3. SecretSales

    SecretSales logo

    A 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 – we've seen things 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: Around four days

    Check out SecretSales »

  4. Sarenza

    sarenza logo

    Sarenza 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, Adidas and Converse.

    It's not technically a secret sale site, but it has a flash sales section. You don't 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 one week

    Check out Sarenza »

Top brand outlet sites

women looking through clothes rails

While we're on the topic of secret(ish) sale sites, we've put together a list of some big brands which have outlet sites to give you some more deal inspiration.

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 a physical outlet.

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

Find out how one savvy student is saving the planet and her bank account by ONLY shopping second hand.

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