France has a lot of different ways to shop and save money online – using various models to entice canny customers through to the checkout. Private Sales sites give members access to some great deals but you have to keep an eye on them to get the best ones – and you need to be quick because they are time-limited flash sales, often only lasting a few hours.
Private Sales are effectively ‘members only’ sites that let companies promote single offers to the large number of people who have signed up. The sellers are effectively getting access to an email list of a huge number of members and that gives them great exposure. Some businesses use the sites to push some incredible savings – including ‘crossover’ deals (omnichannel or multichannel retail for those liking jargon!) that give you discounts in store.
The obvious downside of all of this is that you have to be a member and that looks like a barrier to many – however, the vast majority (if not all) of them are free to join! Here is a list of some of the main Private Sales sites with some examples of the sorts of things available as I type this (they will be different when you look!!).
As an international brand, this is probably the best known among English speakers. As well as national deals, GroupOn also allows you to pick local deals – often related to leisure and food. Increasingly, in my experience, GroupOn seems to be focused on ‘non-branded’ products or reconditioned products in the shopping sections. The link to sign up is here.
Examples – reconditioned tech, health and beauty, home and garden, clothing, tickets, restaurants and ‘experiences’.
The second largest flash sale site after Vente-Privée. A major player and one you may have used in another country. The link to sign up is here.
Examples – clothing, tech, handbags, tickets, home, kitchen and garden equipment. Brands including Levis, Carrera, AEG, Archos, Little Marcel, Pampers, Parc Asterix, Cacherel.
Vente-Privée is the granddaddy of online flash sale sites. It has been around since 2001 and features some major retailers and service providers. The link goes straight to the sign up page.
Examples – heavily discounted holidays and flights, clothing, furniture, jewellery, mobile and internet providers, food and drink. Brands including Free, SFR, Phillips, Emile Henry, Nina Ricci, Sisley and Emirates.
I make all this information available free of charge – because the idea is, of course, to help people save money! However, bills need to be paid – I’ve not found a way around that yet! So, to help pay for this bit of the site and, if it goes well, maybe a coffee, I use affiliate links where available. Affiliate links are links that do not impact the saving that you can get but they pay a commission to me. I never know who has used them and have to take it on trust from the relevant business that they’ll pay up but it tends to work. Like I say, it does not impact the prices you pay. I hope that you don’t mind but my coffees won’t pay for themselves!
Nothing on this site implies an endorsement of any of the businesses mentioned. The chances are that I have ordered from them and I will not include anything that I do not feel comfortable with – however, that doesn’t mean that I have done business with them nor that I think they are good – just that I won’t include anything I’ve had an issue with. So please don’t assume one from the other! If you have a bad experience with something, let me know and if others have had the same issue, I’ll take that into account and maybe remove businesses.