I finally took the leap and made my first flash sale site buy.  I have been window shopping on flash sale sites like Joss & Main, One King’s Lane, and GroopDealz for a while, but never made a purchase.  I get a little anxiety over the time constraint.  If I see something I like, I only have a few days (or hours if it is a hot item) to decide if I want to buy.  I usually take longer making decisions for online purchases when I have not seen the item in person.

My clients often ask me advice about buying from flash sale sites.  Although I don’t have much experience purchasing from them, I do provide a few tidbits of advice.  Since I spend so much time online shopping for my clients, I have picked up a thing or two.

  • Flash sale sites don’t always have a better or the best price on items.  They usually have good prices and the sense of urgency to buy makes you think it must be a great deal, but not always.  A lot of times sites like Wayfair and Overstock have the same or better prices on some items.
  • Flash sale sites have very limited product photography and details.  You usually get one or two pictures of the product and a very limited description.  I find it hard to judge the product with limited photos and information.
  • Flash sale sites have a “No Return” policy.  I will admit this is my biggest hesitation with purchasing on these sites, specifically for larger items like rugs or furniture.  Some times sites like Wayfair or Overstock may have the item for the same or better price, plus they allow returns.

So would I recommend buying from flash sale sites? Yes!!! But, with these thoughts in mind:

  • Watch before buying.  Flash sale sites make a false sense of urgency to buy, because the sale will end in hours or days.  But, if you watch these sites long enough, then you will see some items go back on “sale” routinely.  Once you know you want a product, then you just have to be patient for it to appear on “sale” again.
  • Accessories are low risk.  I think small ticket items, like accessories, are relatively low risk.  If you love it and can afford it, buy it.
  • Shop around.  Sometimes it is difficult to get enough information to do this, but if you know the product name or description I recommend searching online to see it is available elsewhere.  You may find a better price or the same price at a retailer that accepts returns.
  • Have a backup plan.  If you buy something that ends up not working or you don’t like it, have a backup plan to offload the item.  Since you can’t return it, you would have to try to resell the item.  If you got a good deal, it shouldn’t be too hard to resell.
  • Expect what you pay for.  This is really the moral of my post today.  Remember, with some things you get what you pay for or it may be too good to be true.

Here is my experience with my first flash sale site buy:

I bought a pair of “Anthro-Inspired Curtain Panels” for $35.  The inspiration, the Coqo Floral Curtain in 96″ length, retails at Anthropologie for $148 per panel.  I really wanted these curtains for my basement family room, but I am pretty sure I will never spend $300 on a window covering for one window.  I put them on my family room mood board anyway.  When I saw a knock-off version on GroopDealz, I jumped at the chance to get the much, much cheaper curtain panels.

BasementFamilyRoomMoodBoard

I was hesitant, but took the chance.  It was only $35 for a pair of curtains.  I was a bit skeptical of what I would be getting.  The pattern on the curtains was clearly the same, but I was unsure of the material.  The picture on GroopDealz looked like printed curtain panels.  But, the accompanying description said they were flocked (like the Anthro-version).

The panels arrived and I realized I got what I paid for…a $35 pair of curtain panels.  They were definitely not flocked.  The design was printed.  What I think surprised me most was the fabric.  There was no labels on the packaging and no care labels on the panels.  My best guess is they are polyester.  The ground cloth is pure white, not the linen color of the Anthro-version.  The print is more of a cobalt blue, then navy.

anthroknockoffcurtains1

Despite the cheap material, I still liked the curtains.  I especially liked that I only paid $35 for the pair.  I would have preferred a cotton fabric over the polyester, but once they are hanging behind the sectional in the family room I don’t think anyone will notice the material.  For my room I actually prefer the bright white and cobalt blue over the darker Anthro-version.

anthroknockoffcurtains2

I hung the panels in the basement and LOVE the look.  The bold pattern is exactly what I wanted for this space.  I found a curtain rod at Target for less than $30.  It has round mercury glass finials…LOVE.  The panels had a rod pocket at the top, but I flipped them upside down so the pocket forms a large hem at the bottom.  I used $15 worth of ring clips to hang them from the curtain rod.  So in the end, my new window treatment was about $80 for a curtain rod, 14 ring clips, and two curtain panels.

anthroknockoffcurtains3

I will continue to shop flash sale sites, but cautiously and with my expectations in check.  I definitely think there are great deals to be had.

12 Responses to My First Flash Sale Site Buy: Anthro-Inspired Curtains for $35

  1. Patrina says:

    I think they look fabulous. I like the navy on white combo better than the Anthro combo.Great find!

  2. Lisa says:

    I haven’t had good experiences with flash sales. I bought a pendant lamp for my dining room that had an outlet plug on one end (not shown in their pic). My husband and I had to clip the plug to connect it to the ceiling. My other purchase was a set of “lucite” nesting tables. The quality was poor and they turned out to be way too small for my room. Sadly, I gave them to the Goodwill. I like your suggestion for buying accessories on those sites instead of furniture.

    • Jackie says:

      Bummer Lisa. I probably should have mentioned in the post another backup plan option is to only buy things that might work in a few different places of the home. That way if it doesn’t work in one room, maybe it will still work in another.

      Sometimes it is also good to be familiar with the brands or designers and their quality. Some of the stuff on flash sale sites is “no name”, so it can be hard. But, for the brand name stuff or designer stuff you can usually search online and read reviews about the products on other sites before deciding to buy.

  3. Kim says:

    My daughter wanted a watch (plastic digital) on a flash sale site. I goggled around and found the original seller of the watch and got it cheaper and with free shipping. But we wouldn’t have seen it without the flash sale site, so your advice about pricing definitely was true for us.

    • Jackie says:

      That’s great, Kim. It is always good to research or double check and thankfully the internet makes it so easy now.

  4. Hilary says:

    I’ve never taken the flash sale plunge. I am terrified about the no return policies. That being said, my mom got us a great mirror through a flash sale that we LOVE and I know other people who have had good luck. Thanks for the perspective!

  5. Gwen says:

    Whew. You are brave. But yes they do look great. And yes. Probably great in the brighter white. Ah you can always try tea staining them if you want to well make them a more homespun darker white. Lol
    Seriously they are step one and nice!

  6. Tracey says:

    Thanks for the advice on shopping at flash sales sites. I’ve always been to chicken but I may give it a try now.

  7. Donna says:

    Thanks for this post. I too window shop their sites but have never ordered anything. It was helpful to read about your experience. Paying for the shipping on small items brings up the price, so many times it doesn’t seem worth the expense for me.

  8. Ashleigh says:

    I got the same curtains but in the rust color for my living room, I thought the price was great and they turned out to be perfect! the color was darker than on the site picture but turned out better in my house anyways!! Thanks for your tips on shopping these sites:) love your blog!!

  9. Jen says:

    I am so jealous! I have been wanting those anthro curtains {or the rug!} forEVER! I totally missed them on the flash sale site, now I am kicking myself. At least you get to enjoy them for the great price, I think they look great!

    xo,
    Jen

  10. Crystal Lightbody says:

    If ever want a more darker feel all you would ahve to do is velcro black fabric on the back side. I have never done this but I have several friends that use this trick b/c they don’t want to over pay for window treatments. Have a wonderful day :)

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