How did I ever live without the internet? What else could provide hours of self-absorbed, sedentary entertainment while stimulating the economy? On a side note, is it bad to re-order my contact lens prescription online before it expires in order to avoid going to the optometrist?

So I was shopping on RueLaLa , a designer sample sale site like Gilt, and saw that they were part of Retail Convergence, Inc. Working in online retail myself, I was curious to find out more about them, and saw that they also owned SmartBargains. They bill themselves as “your personal bargain hunter”, and I have to say that they do have the most remarkable bargains on designer items. Some of their designer shoes are up to 80% off, and they have a pretty good selection. I haven’t explored other categories closely yet, but it certainly seems like a good place to check out if, say, your husband is laid off (ahem).

The other site I’ve been using is TheFind. It’s like Google for shopping — you get pictures of your results, as well as a summary of retailer and price. It’s a nice idea, but I’ve noticed that it’s not as updated as it should be. For instance, I saw a few Botkiers on super sale listed, but when I clicked through those items were out of stock. It’s probably a tough algorithm to catch out of stocks, particularly if the retailers aren’t actively updating their data feeds, but I’d give it a 70% score on accuracy. I like that all the results are aggregated and you can visually discriminate between things you want to look at and things you want to ignore.

On another side note, I was flipping through the J.Crew catalog and saw a bag that, though not a Botkier, is also cute: the Quincy in patent leather. It has a bit of Chanel knock-off to it, but for $298, might be something to consider if your husband is laid off, for instance. Again, not a Botkier, but not bad.

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