Now I of all people always want the best deal... So I tend to shop on a lot of flash sale websites like these... Gilt and Rue La La assuming they'll have the most deeply discounted prices. So you might be surprised to learn that is not always the case.
Take a look:
First, comparing prices for this Melissa & Doug Switch & Spin Magnetic Gear Board: On Gilt, the price is $18. But on Amazon.com it's just $16!
Every single kids' toy I checked was cheaper on Amazon than it was on Gilt!
With a few toys, I found the same issue when comparing Amazon and flash sale site Rue La La. For instance, comparing for a Wonderworld Sorting House: The price offered on Rue La La was $17.90. But you can get an even better deal on Amazon at just $13.99!
Now prices on Amazon and some other websites do change frequently so you must comparison shop as you buy. All you have to do is a quick internet search for the product. You can also try using Priceblink.com. It's a site that will do all the comparing for you instantly. Just download the toolbar.
We asked Rue La La and Gilt for comments. Here's what they had to say:
Gilt tells us: "The Full Retail Price reflects either the price reported by the manufacturer to Gilt or in some instances is based on a comparative survey of the price of a similar item being sold at representative retailers or department stores. These prices may not always represent the prevailing price for retailers or department stores on every day or in every community. For international sales, the Full Retail Price is based on what such items would be sold at in the US market or in the worldwide online market, plus taxes, shipping and additional international surcharges, if applicable. If you disagree with how we calculate the advertised comparison prices, we suggest that you not rely on this factor when making purchases on Gilt. "
Rue La La says: "Thanks for reaching out. At Rue La La, our toy and children's product buyers work directly with the brands we sell allowing us to deliver the most competitive prices. Our buyers check and compare pricing on all items right up until the product goes live in the Boutique. Once something is live our prices remain set to ensure every Member has the same experience throughout our limited-time sales.
"In regards to the product you reference the toy is actually listed as $27.99 on the brand's website.
"There are a number of third-party sellers that use Amazon as a sales platform (in this case "Zoobiloos" (link) – a seller without a website) . These sellers can often be unauthorized, unregulated or selling seconds or damaged product. Amazon itself does sell this same product and has a current retail price of $19.60.
"I hope this provides clarification."