MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Flash sale and discount websites are hot shopping destinations for consumers who want to find bargains on luxury and designer goods but we found some of these sites are now selling their own trademarked brands, many advertising an original and then a discounted price ,but in many cases the merchandise isn’t available anywhere else.
Shopper Lora Tusinski said she’s saved hundreds of dollars on designer items on flash sale sites and when a “Barrow and Grove” sweater caught her eye, she ordered it right away from “Gilt.com”
What Lora didn’t know was “Barrow and Grove” is actually a private label owned by Gilt.
“When I bought the item, no, I didn’t have any idea,” said Tusinski.
Lora’s sweater is one of hundreds of products popular flash sale and discount websites are now creating.
A review of federal records reveals: Rue La La, One Kings Lane, Zulily, Ideeli and Gilt all applied for registered trademarks for items that range from clothing, to jewelry, to home goods.
Experts say some online sale and discount sites are now selling exclusive private label merchandise because they make more money selling their own products.
Now that the economy is improving people are paying more for luxury goods, so there’s less inventory for discount and sale sites.
Gilt filed the most trademarks in our review of the flash sale and discount sites, said: “with six years of sales history, we know exactly what our members are looking for and our private label merchandise serves our more intent-based shoppers.”
Those in the e-tail biz said these sites closely watch what shoppers buy.
Not all sites make it clear they’re the makers behind some of the products they sell and that original price you see next to the discount is what retailers value the item at, even if it might not have ever been sold at full price.
To make sure your online shopping experience is positive, experts say when ordering a new brand, try to research similar items for sale to make sure the one you want is competitively priced, check out online reviews and know the site’s return policy, since some will only issue you a credit
Lora said now that she knows about this new private label trend, she’s willing to give other items a try.
Retail insiders point out that many department stores have been selling their own private labels for years and sometimes those aren’t advertised as store brands.