I used to love shopping at the mall.  What woman doesn’t?  My Bloomy’s annual After Christmas Extravaganza has become an event in and of itself.  But lately, the joy and excitement of finding fabulous fashion bargains at the physical retail stores has been diminished by the ever growing assault on my inbox from Flash Sale Sites.

You know what I’m talking about:

I’m embarrassed to say I use all of these.  And have actually purchased quite a few things from quite a few of them.  Why?  Because the deals are amazing.  And you get very cool, unexpected, diverse and high quality products at extraordinary discounts.  From kitchen tools to top brand shoes to designer jeans to furniture to baby items to luxury skin products to high end wines … Its all here and often at a steal.

So what happens when I go to the mall now?  I usually just browse and check out the merch.  But the whole time, I am wondering when this brand and that brand will pop up on Hautelook or MyHabit.  And I end up going home empty handed in search of what I can get online instead.

I think the emergence of Flash Sale Sites has truly shifted my buying and purchasing habits.  I buy more.  I buy more diversity.  And I feel unsatisfied unless I get my purchases for at least 50% off if not more.  (Note I recently purchased some high end baby clothes for my son at 90% off).  Is it addicting?  Yes.  Has the retail industry grappled with the implications of this shift, assuming many more working women like me are just as addicted?  Likely no.

As a technologist, I think a lot about how much information these websites have about my shopping habits, my preferred brands, favorite types of things, preferred colors, etc.  Imagine what you can do with that information once we start to have more of a “connected home” where your closet can inform such a shopping service whenever you get rid of or donate clothes.  Possibilities are endless…

What’s your favorite Flash Sale Site?