What Is Rue La La and What Can I Buy There?

Purchase Designer Goods for Less at Rue La La!

Rue La La is a members-only shopping site (sometimes referred to as a "flash sale site" or "online sample sale site") that sells home furnishings, accessories, brand-name clothes and designer shoes for less, and they even offer travel packages at discount prices. While membership to Rue La La used to be by invitation only, now all you need to do is register at the site before you can start shopping their fabulous sales.

The Best Things About Rue La La

Rue La La is a favorite flash sale site, for three reasons: 1) cheap dresses, which they have in plenty, 2) they have a lot of brands you'd never in a million years pay full price for, and 2) their stuff is actually sold at a significant discount, which is far from a sure thing for sample sale sites.

Rue La La is divided into sections: Women, Men, Home, Travel, and Kids. They generally have sales beginning every weekday morning at 11 a.m., and occasional afternoon and weekend sales. There's also a Today's Fix feature that offers a single product at a steep discount.

A partial list of just some of the brands you may find featured on Rue La La include: BCBG, Ray-Ban, Jimmy Choo, Chloe, Isabella Fiore, Calvin Klein, Steve Madden, Ellen Tracy, Pandora, Kate Spade, Furla, Jack Rogers, Badgley Mishka, Miu Miu, John Varvatos, Spanx, Sorel, Puma, Chanel, Stuart Weitzman, Coach, Gucci, and La Mer.

What Could Rue La La Improve Upon?

Shipping is $9.95 and isn't always speedy. Once you pay the flat fee, you get free shipping on all other purchases for 30 days, which is great during the holiday season, but potentially disastrous for your budget if you're the type to buy twice as much because something's on sale. In terms of shipping speed, I've received items in two days or five weeks. 

All in all, we would recommend Rue La La heartily for clothes and accessories, as long as you're not on a tight deadline.

How Good a Deal Are the Deals at Rue La La?

Pretty darn good. For example, we have a weakness for BCBG dresses, which can run hundreds of dollars at full price. On Rue La La, we regularly get BCBG stuff for $60 or so. This is a lot more than you'd pay for that $20 dress at a fast fashion chain, to be sure, but it also lasts a lot longer and looks a lot better. Rue La La and sites like it are a great place to go to buy high-quality staples and to get treats you couldn't ordinarily afford.

What Sites are Similar to Rue La La?

Flash sale sites aren't quite as popular as they used to be, but there are still a few in existence! Some of the sites that are similar to Rue La La include Gilt, Ideeli, and, if you're shopping for children, Zulily. Popular flash sale sites for home goods include Joss & Main and One Kings Lane.

Tips for Shopping at Rue La La

1. Whenever you use a sample sale site, you should do your homework. Rue La La is pretty good at giving shoppers actual discounts, but it's worth looking up regular prices on items before you buy. Never, ever trust one of these sites to tell you the actual price of the item in question. We always recommend checking Amazon before making a purchase. It's not uncommon for Amazon to offer a lower price than the sample sale site!

2. When you do find something you love, don't hesitate. At least put it in your shopping cart. Putting the item you want in your cart buys you 15 minutes to decide whether or not you want to buy said item. If you let the time elapse, it could be too late. I've seen products go on sale at 11 a.m., only to be sold out by 11:10. It's like the famed Barney's Warehouse Sale on there, only online.

3. Do your homework first. We like to make a list of what kinds of things we're actually looking for. Do you need cheap sandals? Dresses for work? A statement accessory to update an outfit? Add it to the list. You're less likely to suffer from buyer's remorse, or jack up your credit card debt if you come prepared with an idea of what you actually need.

4. Use a credit card that will allow you to get a refund if things don't work out. We've had very few problems with Rue La La, but we'd never encourage anyone to use a debit card or a credit card with a bad refund policy for an online purchase.