Not familiar with Zulily or never heard of it? It's an online retailing concept that is rather unique. Instead of them keeping mass quantities of merchandise in a warehouse, they have worked out deals with various companies. They offer items at discounts for a few days and then when the sale is over with, the merchandise is then shipped to them where they then ship it out to the purchaser. They don't have to store the merchandise for an extended time in a huge (and expensive) warehouse, cutting down their overhead considerably.
So how does it work? Every day they have a group of new items in all sorts of different categories that they make available for sale. Usually these items are only available for a couple of days at most, some as short as 24 hours. Once the sale for that item is done, that's it, you're out of luck. If you placed an order, you will get your item once they have received it and shipped it to you. Discounts on full retail can vary and is different even sometimes if they happen to sell the same item at another time. You snooze, you may loose.
The bonus--sometimes the discounts can be hefty. I recently purchased an item at a 50% discount and after doing a bit of homework, could not find it this cheap anywhere else, even with shipping factored in. The item was shipped to my doorstep, saving me a lot of time looking around and gas money. And it was very high quality when I received it, I was very happy with what I got.
Is everything a deal? No, unfortunately not. I've looked at a couple of things on there, only to discover after doing a some checking that they weren't a deal at all. That's where being a cheapskate comes in handy, I have no issue with doing a bit of research to be certain I'm going to get the best price.
The caveats? First off, they have a very rigid return policy. Basically it's no returns unless the item is defective or damaged. So if you're one of those people who is unsure of your size and you order the same item in 3 different sizes and return the two that don't work--not going to be a good thing for you. I've read a number of reviews on them and I hate to say it, but it seems as though most of the complaints have been with clothing items--bad fit, poor quality, etc. I just steer clear of those items. And you can't be in a hurry to get these items AT ALL. Their policy clearly states that it can take 10-17 days for your merchandise to even be shipped. This is due to the way they operate with the manufacturers, and basically you (and they) are at the mercy of how quickly these companies get these items to them. The item that I purchased took just over two weeks to arrive from the date I ordered it. Didn't bother me since I knew what to expect, but I wanted to make that clear to anyone who might be interested in buying from them. They do have a section of items they have in stock that you can order from in case you need it in a hurry, but it is a limited selection.
I've only purchased the one item from them, but I do go in and check every day to see what they have new. Some of the companies are big names (Nautica, Clarks, American Girl, etc) and some are upstarts that need an easy way to get their name and merchandise out there. Some of it is closeout type merchandise, some of it is the same things you would find in other retail stores. It's one of those places that you need to check regularly if that's your thing. I have no doubt that one of these days I'm going to come across something else I just have to have!
Lastly, you can sign up for an e-mail notification and they will let you know what's coming up for sale. I'll be honest, these e-mails can reach the annoying point, and you can unsubscribe. The good news is that unsubscribing doesn't "ban" you from buying from them. It's not a secret club kind of thing, you can still go in and poke around the website to see if there is anything that interests you. There is no membership fee to join either, you just sign up.
I guess back when they first started the discounts were even better. Darn, I missed out on that! I still think it's a neat concept, and here's a link if you are interested in checking it out. If you use my link, I'll get a discount if you buy something, so thanks in advance if you do!