Private sales go French with Showroomprive
From Secret Sales to Brand Alley, we're hardly short on Private Sales websites in the UK, and it's easy to get a big bogged down by all those daily emails. Another French Connection menswear clearance? More Bodum coffee presses? Yet another lingerie sale with models squeezed into the wrong size bra in all the photos? Well, you get the picture. It's a bit like an extended treasure hunt. I've snagged some amazing bargains from these sites but navigating the maze of emails and hunting through pages and pages of tat to find the good stuff does get tiring.
Over in France, this way of selling has been around much longer, so it's no surprise that they do it better than us. Luckily, one of their big players, Showroomprive, has now hit UK shores, and bought with it a slightly more sophisticated way to shop private sales.
What I really love about the Showroomprive format is the clever way each sale is split into trend or style so there's a slightly more cohesive feel to the sales, rather than the 'this is what they had in overstock' feel of some of the UK sites. I'm after some underwear - do I want 'natural', 'voluptuous', 'sensual' or 'irresistible'? Looking for a dress, how about 'basic', 'chic', 'ethnic' or 'graphic'? It really works to make everything feel tidier.
The continental home of the site also means you get a slightly different set of brands to the usual. There's a hell of a lot of crossover on Private Sale sites, but that's less of a problem here. Alongside global brands (Reebok, O'Neill etc) you'll also find bargains from people you've probably never heard of - Lavand reminds me of boho UK brands Yumi and Darimeya, and there are dresses going for less than £20 at the moment!
Sales change every few days and you do need to register to shop, but it's free and you can stop those update emails at any time (unless you're like me, and you just can't bring yourself to unsubscribe in case you miss that must-have item).