Best secret sales websites
While secret sales sites aren't quite so 'secret' anymore, they'll still do wonders for your student bank balance. Here are the key things to know about them, along with the best websites to use.
Whether you're a seasoned shopaholic or just looking to save some cash, having a gander on secret sale websites or flash sale sites can help keep your costs 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 find out how to get the most out of secret sales.
We've put together our ultimate list of secret sales websites, as well as some not-so-secret tips on how to get more for your money and find the best deals online.
What's in this guide?
What is a secret sale?
Secret sales can be found on members-only websites, and they often offer discounts of up to 70% on everything from experience days to designer labels and homeware.
The websites that run secret sales are 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.
How to use secret sales websites
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. You could potentially receive 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.
5 tips for using secret sales websites
Once you're signed up to a secret sales website, you're going to need to exercise some serious self-restraint as you'll be exposed to discounts on things that you really don't need.
Here are the best ways to find deals on secret sales sites:
- Make a wish list – This will help you resist the temptation of over-spending by keeping you focused on the things you actually need to buy.
- Decide on a spending limit – Secret sale sites offer so many deals that you might find yourself adding more to your basket than you would usually, but don't spend more than you can afford. Plan a budget for how much you can spend, and be super strict with yourself to make sure you stick to it.
- Stay calm – 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 – think through your purchases carefully and don't buy anything for the sake of it.
- Search for the best prices – These sites are not necessarily guaranteed to have the lowest price on products, so check other sites before you buy anything.
- Only use sites you trust – Always check that the site you're buying from is legitimate. Make sure it has some decent reviews on Google, and check to see if they have a postal address – this is usually a good indicator.
3 best secret sales websites
Here are the best sites for secret sales:
Length of sales: Four to 10 days.
BrandAlley runs flash sales of up to 80% off on loads of designer-label products, such as fashion items, accessories beauty products and homeware.
As well as decent deals on Ray-Bans and designer watches, you can also scoop up some discounted sportswear, furniture, bed linen and much more.
They also have an outlet on their site for even bigger bargains.
If you invite a friend to join, you'll both get £20 off if you spend over £80 on an order (but don't feel tempted to spend this much just to get the discount!).
Delivery: Order confirmation sent by email.
Length of sales: Up to seven days.
If you're looking for a great holiday that won't break the bank, this site should be your first port of call.
You can earn up to £50 in credit when you refer a friend to Voyage Privé.
But, the only downside is that you won't be able to make amendments to the holiday packages they offer, so what you see is what you get.
Length of sales: Around four days.
A hotbed for designer clothes and beauty-bargain action, Secret Sales is one of the big players in, well, secret sales.
They tend to attract a lot of big-name brands – we've seen items from Vivienne Westwood on the site before, as well as Cartier watches.
Be careful not to stretch the bank balance too much though, even if it is on offer. Control yourself!
Find out how one recent student manages to help the planet and her bank account by only shopping second hand.