By now everyone is familiar with the Gilt.com and Groupon.com style deal sites. It’s a model that will continue to evolve, and as the sites continue to get more specialized, one that will continue to do well. That has been Groupon’s achilles heel for a couple of years now: they’re trying to be all things to all people, and long term that just won’t work. That’s a post for another day though.
But if you take a look at the designer’s site, you’ll see that he’s actually selling them direct, for $19.50:
He charges more for shipping. but nevertheless, a $9 difference for an item of that price is pretty significant. Sure it’s only a few bucks, but the product is clearly available for less than the retail price that Gilt is claiming.
And if you scroll down a little on the designer’s site, you’ll see can actually bulk buy a package of 10 products for just $170, including shipping:
So that’s $17 per unit, including shipping. Cheaper than buying through Fab.
Bottom line here: these deal sites are great for product discovery, but you shouldn’t automatically assume that you’re getting a bargain from them. In this instance, Fab.com are actually charging more for the product than you could get it for direct from the designer.
I guess the real question is what they mean by ‘retail price’. My assumption as a consumer on a site like this would be that this price is what I would pay for the product elsewhere. Clearly that’s not the case in this instance.