Gilt is an online company that started offering women's clothing in 2007 and men's clothing in 2008. Their website is aimed at providing customers access to new products that are on sale for a fixed period of time, usually a few days, before new items are introduced.
Another aspect of Gilt is social media and mobile phone shopping. Their Facebook page let's customers shop for items, as do their apps for Android and iPhone. Another unique feature is their "by-invitation only" feature. One needs to sign up to be able to purchase from Gilt's website.
The Gilt Founders, in 2007, saw the promise for the idea of online "flash" sales, where new items are introduced at an affordable price, allowing customers to keep up current trends and styles.
- Great sales and deals
- Region selector
- Competitive prices
Overall, it is easy to like the equal emphasis on both men and women's clothing. There are a lot of items equally spread between the two categories. Their sales are typically overlapping, giving its shoppers consistent access to great deals. Some items had just gone on sale while others had been on sale for a few days. This makes items affordable and easy to get for customers.
Gilt also has a region selector. Even though there is not a storefront presence, there are different locations available in the United States based upon your city. With the location tool, it is possible to find style trends and designers based upon your locale. Once again, this is a specialized area of the site that ranks products by your locale and is not a separate store website.
The price ranges available through Gilt are competitive to low. For example, you may find Steinhausen watches on sale for $45 and $65, marked down considerably from hundred-dollar price ranges. You may also see suits, shirts, coats, and other items for men, as well as sale items for women's clothing.
The idea of "flash sales" provides a ton of value for shoppers. When Gilt sells out of a particular item, they get new merchandise, often a different product or a different line of clothing. This keeps the products on the website trendy, fashionable, and affordable while guaranteeing "hot items" in an auction-like kind of setting for customers.
The issues that arose ranged between problems with product/service, guarantee/warranty issues, delivery issues, billing/collection issues, and advertising/sales issues. While most online clothing stores will have similar issues, the bottom line is these customer issues were responded to in a timely manner. This should give extra confidence to shoppers considering using them as their clothing retailer.
- Return policy varies by situation
- No free shipping policy
It can be difficult determining what a "final sale" item is. When one shops online through their site, most items are on sale at a discounted price from a retailer. Therefore, this means it is going to be hard for them to accept returns on some merchandise. They often give online gift credit if a client has to return something. We had mixed feelings on the items that were available from Gilt. Overall, the idea of getting expensive merchandise at sale items is desirable, however, we didn't like the sense that it was difficult to return it and get a refund. It can be fairly difficult to find FAQs and detailed answers on the Gilt website. When scrolling down the screen, more sale items typically load. Although this is a benefit as you search for more deals, it can be frustrating when trying to get questions answered. You are able to get to the customer support option at the bottom of the screen by using the "find" feature of the Internet browser.
There is currently no free shipping option available at this time. They do offer four domestic shipping options. These include 30 Day Gilt Unlimited, Standard, Expedited (2-Day), and Overnight. The 30 Day Gilt Unlimited costs $9.95, the Standard costs $7.95, the Expedited costs $15.95, and overnight costs $24.95. Most orders will ship via USPS. There are situations where, because of the weight of the order, there may be surcharges added in addition to the costs already mentioned. Gilt does offer an international option. They charge $9.95 flat-rate shipping to a large number of countries around the world.
The Bottom Line
We recommend Gilt for the savvy, thrifty fashion shopper. We found that although we don't favor "members only" shopping sites, Guilt's membership option has some great features for customers. We felt like customers were truly given the best deals in the industry. While Gilt doesn't carry the number of items as Nordstrom's or JC Penny's, we felt like they had some of the best prices for high-quality items.
Another thing that we liked about Gilt was the selection of items for babies and around the home. There are furniture items, bedding, bath, fragrances, and children's items that are available for a very reasonable price for customers.
Overall, Gilt is a good online clothing - just not the best. Their high quality items are priced well, but only if you are a member. They are also missing a few important features like free shipping and individual item reviews. Their selection size is very small, but the pricing may make it worth it in the end.