Remember when you could get Prada nylon totes for 50% off on Bluefly?
When Bluefly launched in 1998, it caused a sensation for its innovative approach to selling designer merch at a discount...online. E-retailing was still in its infancy then and Bluefly offered a unique shopping platform.
Since then, e-commerce sites have obviously gotten more and more sophisticated, and flashier sites like Gilt, et al, have stolen a bit of Bluefly’s thunder. But glitzy new TV campaigns, a stint on Project Runway, new print ads, and America’s love of a bargain have kept Bluefly alive and kicking.
They’re still looking for growth, and to that end have opened a fragrance boutique on the site, which just launched yesterday. They advertise that you can save up to 40% on new designer fragrances. I went on and poked around a bit. I was reminded again to always be wary of the phrase “up to.” Yes, some fragrances are definitely 40% off the usual retail price. But the more upscale brands are 4%-10% off.
I did a quick comparison shop, so please excuse me while I do a few calculations. Prada Infusion D’Iris Parfum (3.4 oz) is listed for $82.50 on Bluefly which they claim is a 5% discount. When I pay the almost 10% shipping fee, my total came to $90.45. On Sephora, the same product is listed for $100, but shipping is free when you spend over $50. OK, still a savings. Then I looked at Drugstore.com, where it lists for $79.99. Shipping there is free, and with tax my total came to $87.09.
Where the big discounts come in are the less “desirable” brands. Classic supply and demand. For example, Bob Mackie (did you even know he had a fragrance?) is 40% off. So is Nanette Lepore (ditto for her).
It’s definitely worth a look, especially if your signature scent is something a bit more off the beaten path.