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Billeater: Flash Sale Sites Burning Up the Web

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by savingtools.com)
at 11:54AM Wednesday June 8, 2011
under Shop Smarter

Retailers use flash sales to spur sales of particular items. They mark down a particular product for a specific amount of time. The sales are only open to people who have joined the site, and the products typically sell out before the discount period has ended. Flash sales started at high-end fashion stores that wanted to clear out inventory quickly.

The trend has become more widespread in the past few months with more flash sale sites opening that sell more than just high-end fashion.

Creating Demand through Marketing

The psychology behind the success of flash sales plays on the human desire to have something that nobody else has. The fact that the items are only on sale for a limited amount of time makes them seem more difficult to attain, which makes them more attractive to consumers. Since many products tend to sell out quickly, there is even more urgency for consumers who want to save money on special items through these special sales. By limiting the number of items on sale and limiting the amount of time the items are on sale, the online stores have manufactured a higher demand for the products.

Typical Flash Sale Products

When flash sales first started, they were mainly for high-end fashion items. People who enjoy wearing the latest fashion without paying full price drove the sales on these sites very quickly. Today's flash sale market includes everything from frying pans to exclusive jewelry. Amazon has recently opened a flash sale store where consumers can shop from a wide range of products. Other flash sale sites focus more on clothing or fashion accessories. Of course, the products on sale are limited to the items that the flash sale site selects at any given time.

Who Shops the Sales?

Flash sales used to be the exclusive domain of people who were interested in high-end exclusive items. These shoppers were more interested in finding rare items than saving tons of money. The audience for flash sales is beginning to shift more toward frugal shoppers who are looking to save a few dollars without skimping on high quality. Today's flash sales target products to women in their 20s and stay-at-home moms. Both groups traditionally love to shop and enjoy saving money, which is the perfect combination for a flash sale. Stay-at-home moms also have the benefit of being available during most of the day to take advantage of the limited sale times.

Using Flash Sales to Save Money

If you want to use flash sales as a way to save money, you'd better organize a plan. Flash sales create a strong urge to buy, so they are not for the faint of spirit. You can reduce your chances of spending unnecessarily by signing up for sites that offer the types of products you would normally shop for on a regular basis. The excitement of catching a sale before it sells out or ends can lead to buying more merchandise than you would have bought at a regular store, so watch yourself. You can save a lot of money by finding the right products during a flash sale if you are patient, know what you need, and stay smart about what you buy.

Are you a member of any flash sale sites?  If so, which ones?

Jessica Bosari writes for the money-saving site, Billeater.com. The site is devoted to helping people reduce expenses, save money and find great deals. Pay Billeater a visit for more money-saving tips!