Luxury For Less

In these tough economic times, everyone's looking for discount, even on luxury items.

And on The Early Show Thursday, contributor and financial journalist Vera Gibbons pointed viewers to several Web sites that provide such items at bargain prices -- everything from handbags to clothes to jewelry.

The luxury online marketplace has grown considerably, and has even become overwhelming to shop on. With some of the best deals just a click away, it may seem difficult to tell who has the goods, and at the best prices.

Several of the sites extended special membership invitations to Early Show viewers.

The descriptions below are directly from the Web site operators.

GILT

Gilt Groupe (www.gilt.com) provides access, by invitation only, to men's, women's and children's coveted fashion and luxury brands at prices up to 70 percent off retail, nationwide. Each sale lasts 36 hours and features hand-selected styles from a single designer. From Valentino to Rachel Roy to John Varvatos, we offer a selection of merchandise at a range of prices.

From a style standpoint, think of Gilt Groupe like that fashionable friend that always has the clothes you want. We have partnerships with luxury brands ... and offer deeply discounted ... buying opportunities that are a breeze to navigate and involve no real "shopping." The whole process takes 20 seconds from when you get the e-mail announcing the beginning of an event, to checkout, and your clothes or accessories arrive one-to-two days later (same-day shipping). All of our sales are based on limited inventory, and discounts are deep enough that one has to be quick with the mouse.

Co-founders Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson are the driving force behind Gilt Groupe. (They met at) Harvard. Alexis returned from the West. Her proving ground was Silicon Valley. As a founding member of eBay, she launched eBay Canada and Ran eBay Motors, while Alexandra hailed from the East Coast, blazing a trail up 5th Avenue with tenures at both Bulgari and Louis Vuitton. It was not until 2007 that their plans coalesced, the stars aligned and Gilt Groupe was born.

Early Show viewers can join by clicking here, for up to a week from the day the segment aired.

RUE LA LA

RueLaLa.com offers some of the best deals online every day. In short, Rue is a members-only, private sale site. From coast-to-coast, consumers are now able to shop for a range of premium brands at private sale prices from the comfort of their own computers.

RueLaLa.com launches a new Boutique every two days. The Boutique features one brand and offers current-season merchandise of high-end, lifestyle products at 30 percent-to-80 percent below retail. Products feature a range of merchandise from best-selling European designers to American favorites, speaking to consumer's love for finding the unexpected.

Join by clicking here.

IDEELI

Ideeli.com is an invitation-only shopping community that creates daily online events to provide its members with the ideal shopping experience: privileged access to the most sought-after products and experience, often at privileged prices.

Each event is designed by Ideeli editors to offer an exclusive shopping opportunity in a fun, social way. The surprises include not only great products and prices, but items not yet available in stores, "finds" from abroad, and fabulous giveaways. All events have secret starts, and limited durations and quantities. Previews, at least 10 days prior to each event, create time for discovering more about the featured product and discussing it online.

Like real-world shopping events, ideeli events are special opportunities to establish personal, emotional connections with the most engaged and savvy shoppers, but on a much larger scale.

Early Show viewers can join by clicking here.

SHOP IT TO ME

ShopItToMe.com,alerts its 300,000 users when clothing they want (more than 500 brands) goes on sale in their sizes at major and boutique retailers. Because they maintain extensive data on what items get marked down when, and at what percentage, they have proprietary insight on the best days to score the biggest deals on various types of items.

You can sign up for your own "sale mail" alert by going to shopittome.com, and you'll immediately get a feel for what we do and how our free service works and saves people oodles of money on clothing for themselves and their families.
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