These days everyone shops online, and why not? The convenience of being able to do it at your own leisure, regardless of what time it is, in your own home, without having to brave the elements, the crowds and the potential disappointment of driving all the way to a store just to find out they are sold out of what you wanted.
One of the things that has not been as easy to get online are the great deals you can find in stores like Marshalls, Ross, TJ Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, etc. Online discounters are few and far between if you are looking for recognizable brand names and designer merchandise. You may ask yourself why that is?
There are three reasons which all play a part in this:
a) Because the web is so available, many brands and designer labels feel that selling their markdowns and clearance goods online, visible to anybody with a smartphone, laptop or tablet computer, will have a detrimental effect on their brand's value and aspirational element. They would rather liquidate unsold merchandise in brick-and-mortar stores, where they will only be seen by customers who physically visit the store, which means fewer people see the markdowns and there is less damage to their brand's reputation. These brands will often sell closeout goods to discount retailers only if the discounter agrees not to sell the brand's merchandise online or to use its name in any type of advertising.
b) Because closeout merchandise is often comprised of odds and ends leftovers, they are usually not sold to discounters in full size ranges, making it difficult for the off-price retailers to advertise merchandise (which a consumer always expects to be avilable in all key sizes). For example, you will notice that when you go in to a discounter's store, the merchandise is often presented on racks by size, rather than in vendor "statements", the way they would be in a department or specialty store which merchandises from a brand perspective. That concept is harder to present online (except when dealing with merchandise that does not have sizing, such as neckties, watches, scarves, etc).
c) Because when it comes to the direct shopping arm of a brick-and-mortar retailer, such as Macys.com is for Macys, or Nordstrom.com is for Nordstrom, the direct division is allocated a set amount of goods at the same time the goods are first distributed to the stores. The amount is based on how many units the direct arm is expected to sell at regular price. The sell-through of regular-priced goods is usually higher for the direct division, since many more eyes are seeing the goods. This results in there being less residue merchandise by the time the unsold stock get marked down, meaning less selection for the consumer to choose from (when compared to a store's stock).
Those are the biggest reasons why it is harder to find great deals online especially in terms of clearance and closeout merchandise.
BUT, that is not to say there are no places online where you can find great selections of markdown designer merchandise (clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, home decor and bedding), similar to what you might find in Marshalls, TJ Maxx or Ross Stores.
Here are some online stores selling off-price, discounted, closeout designer and branded merchandise:
- BLUEFLY: An awesome online-only retailer of discounted designer merchandise for men and women (predominantly womens). They ship internationally. Here is a link directly to their "Clearance Department"
- NORDSTROM RACK: The off-price division of Nordstrom which liquidates markdown merchandise from the stores. Although they only carry a small assortment of closeouts online compared to what they have in stores, you can still find some great deals. They ship both in the U.S. and internationally.
- SAKS OFF 5TH: The off-price division of one of the most adored luxury retailers in the world. Here you can find brands like: DVF, Armani, Alexis Bittar, Vera Wang, 7 For All Mankind, Gucci and Fendi.
- BEYOND THE RACK: Online-only retailer based in Montreal, Canada. They offer a good range of off-price branded and designer clothing, shoes and accessories. They ship in Canada and to the United States and you have to sign up for a free membership.
- MY HABIT: Online retailer which specializes in limited-time designer sales events. They offer womens clothing/accessories, mens clothing/accessories, childrens clothing and home decor.
- LORD & TAYLOR CLEARANCE: Upscale department store Lord & Taylor offers a large assortment of marked down designer merchandise. L&T ships within the Umited States AND internationally.
- DESIGNER DISCOUNT: Designer closeout, online-only retailer based in the U.K. which offers international shipping. Not a great assortment, but if you pick through (like on a rack), you can find some good deals.
- BARGAIN CRAZY: The off-price division of the Shop Direct Group in the U.K. (which operates among others the Littlewoods online catalog). Bargain Crazy has both brick-and-mortar stores in the UK and online discount shopping. However they only ship to addresses in the U.K. and Ireland.
- ZALANDO: online-only retailer which sells branded and designer merchandise. They also offer a great selection of sale and clearance merchandise for men and women. Based in Germany, Zalando offers worldwide delivery. Their English-language site is priced in British £ currency. A great choice for online discount shopping if you live in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France or Luxembourg, where the shipping charges are negligible from Germany.
- AMAZON UK OUTLET: considering the breath of assortment Amazon UK offers, you can imagine why this is a phenomenal place to shop their Outlet. You can segment it to go directly to the outlets for watches (mens, womens), jewelry (mens, womens), shoes (mens, womens), bags (mens, womens), fitness equipment, home furnishings & decor, electronics, etc. Definitely the best place for online outlet shopping if you live in Europe. Also, most of the products which are available from Amazon UK are housed in the European Amazon warehouse located in Luxembourg, so shipping charges to countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg itself, and Germany are quite quite low as geographically, it is only a short distance for delivery. But they do also offer worldwide shipping.
- AMAZON US OUTLET: An even bigger assortment available in the outlet sections of the US site, including fashion watches, jewelry, men's shoes, women's shoes, handbags, computers, electronics, bedding,home fitness equipment, sporting goods, home decor. Worldwide delivery for most categories of merchandise.
- SEARS OUTLET: This division of Sears is responsible for liquidating merchandise from the Sears stores. This relates primarily to big-ticket items such as major appliances, tools, patio furniture, indoor furniture, beds and mattresses, etc. They ship in the U.S.
- TARGET OUTLET: You're sure to locate some super deals in Clearance at Target.com which can be up to 60% off original prices. Sometimes you can even score Up to 75% Off on Last-Chance finds. The clearance assortment includes clothing, shoes, electronics (including computers), furniture, beauty products and more. BUT…Target only delivers in the U.S.
- BEST BUY OUTLET®: Great deals on a range of goods including fitness equipment, tablets, appliances, musical instruments, mobile phone accessories. They offer warehouse deals savings in their 'Clearance & More Area' (changes constantly) and sharp discounts on opened merchandise (i.e. returned goods which are new, but the packaging may not the best). They ship in the U.S. and Canada.
- PERFUME.com: online-only discounter of designer fragrances for women and men. You can find exceptional deals on fragrance testers. They ship in the U.S. and internationally.
- FRAGRANCENET: another discount online retailers of designer fragrances. They also offer great deals on unboxed testers.