I have to admit that for many years, I was a bed-in-a-bag, Payless Shoe Store kinda gal. They looked good and were inexpensive; who cared if they were exfoliating my body or relentlessly eating into my feet, respectively?
I then met friends who opened my eyes to a whole new world. If I was shrewd, savvy and tracked down sales at good department stores, I could acquire much better quality home accessories and apparel for not much more money.
This was taking me into the realm of multi-thread count sheets that were ALL cotton and leather footwear. “Off Saks 5th Ave” and “Last Call at Neiman Marcus” were my new Nirvanas, and I thought I’d reached my peak of shopping heaven. That was until I met Mr. Vuitton and Ms. Cartier.
Sure, I’d seen people transporting bags and sporting jewelry with those internationally recognizable logos, but I’d never considered paying that kind of money for their goods.
It was only when I bought several of their pieces through an upscale private sale that my eyes officially glassed over, and I became a convert. I wasn’t ever going to buy retail, but if I could get my cheap paws on those glorious consumer goods for a bargain, I might be persuaded to build a collection.
Clearly sensing a weakened buffalo in the herd, the Rue La La app appeared on my screen one day – a portal to luxury goods for bargain seekers such as I. I only got a peek, but I espied lots of color, design and selection. The app was free, so what could it hurt to window shop? I chose to disappear down the rabbit hole.
How it works
You can get to the Rue La La site through the Internet, but if you’re using a tablet or smartphone, it makes sense to download the app, which is specifically designed for that kind of device. Then you’re just a few short moments away from a cornucopia of wonders and delights in an easily browsed format.
Now, those of us not willing or able to pay full price for top brands may initially balk when we see the level of designers that Rue La La offers: Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Gucci, Cartier, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Cole Haan, Kate Spade, Christian Dior and so much more, but the site lists two different types of stock to suit a range of budgets. There are discounted brand new items, and secondhand gently used pieces.
The discounted new stuff includes everything from handbags, watches and jewelry to bed linens, sunglasses, shoes and other accessories. Not all goods are available in used condition. After all, it’s doubtful that shoppers will be looking for secondhand sheets, unless someone like Angelina Jolie slept on them.
If one price is listed, then odds are good that it’s secondhand. If, on the other hand, an item is new, you’ll usually see an original retail price with a slash through it, followed by the Rue La La price.
Some pieces will list how many are left in stock, and others will say that they’re “sold out,” but may still give you the opportunity to get them.
All secondhand items provide several pictures and a description so you know what you’re buying, but you’ll quickly get the impression that Rue La La doesn’t deal in dicey, well-worn merchandise.
So what can you expect to pay? Well this is authentic, used-but-nice condition or new stock, so you’re not going to find a Louis Vuitton Alma for $300, but you can look to pay about half-price for secondhand pieces, and a range of percentages off retail goods, depending on what they are.
Unfortunately the only catch is shipping. They won’t ship outside the U.S., but if you’re going up there on holiday or have a friend with an address in the U.S., then you’re set!
Stock is changing constantly, and if you choose to allow notifications, you’ll get regular updates on what’s been added to the “shelves.”
When I tried it
Honestly, who doesn’t love a bit of shopping when it’s eye candy like bags, bed linens and bangles (oh my)? I really enjoyed taking a look at everything on offer and began to consider a Louis Vuitton hold-all, although I managed to talk myself down as I wasn’t going to be in the U.S. for a while. There would be plenty of time to take a look closer to my date of travel. That being said, if something glorious should catch my eye, I might just have to purchase it because I have very little willpower.
There are those who think that spending bonkers money on fashion and designer items is kinda nuts, but if you appreciate high-end brands, or want to sleep on sheets that are all sorts of comfy, then Rue La La is for you. I’ve probably been drinking the Kool-Aid, but I’m lovin’ this app.
Lots of great designer names. Discounted retail and secondhand.
Only ships within the U.S. Addictive.
Rue La La
- Cost: Free (sadly, not the stock)
- Seller: Rue La La
- Devices: iOS and Android
- Rating: E for Everyone