Is Gilt Legit? Uncovering the Truth Behind Discounted Luxury

In the bustling world of online shopping, discerning the legitimacy of luxury discount sites is paramount for savvy shoppers. Gilt has emerged as a beacon for those seeking high-end products without the steep price tags, but questions about its legitimacy still linger in the minds of many. As consumers navigate through the sea of online retailers, understanding what sets Gilt apart is crucial.

Gilt promises access to designer brands at up to 70% off retail prices, a proposition that’s both enticing and, to some, eyebrow-raising. With its exclusive sales and members-only access, it’s positioned itself as a go-to destination for luxury bargains. But is it too good to be true? This article delves into the heart of Gilt’s operations, customer experiences, and the authenticity of its offerings to unveil whether it’s a legitimate treasure trove for fashion aficionados or a mirage in the digital shopping landscape.

Key Takeaways

  • Gilt is a legit online shopping platform offering up to 70% off retail prices on luxury goods, distinguishing itself through exclusive, members-only flash sales and a commitment to the authenticity of its products.
  • Despite its benefits such as access to high-quality designer brands at reduced prices, Gilt has faced criticism over customer service and shipping times, suggesting areas for potential improvement.
  • Comparatively, Gilt offers significant savings on luxury brands through direct partnerships with designers, setting it apart from competitors like Overstock or Nordstrom Rack in terms of exclusivity and discount depth.
  • For an optimal shopping experience on Gilt, customers should: subscribe to email alerts for early sale access, consistently check the site for new deals, wisely use filters to narrow down searches, compare prices with other retailers, and understand Gilt’s return policy concerning time frames, item condition, and final sale items.

Understanding Gilt: An Overview

What Is Gilt?

Gilt operates as an online shopping destination where consumers can find designer brands at significantly reduced prices, up to 70% off retail. It caters exclusively to its members, offering a wide assortment of luxury goods, including fashion for men, women, and children, home decor, and lifestyle products. Gilt sets itself apart by securing deals directly with brands and designers to provide limited-time sales, making high-end products more accessible to a broader audience. The platform verifies the authenticity of all items, positioning itself as a reliable source for genuine designer goods.

The History Behind Gilt

Launched in 2007, Gilt was the brainchild of Kevin Ryan, Mike Bryzek, Phong Nguyen, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, and Alexis Maybank. The founders identified a gap in the market for a luxury shopping experience that offered high-quality products at a fraction of the retail price. They sought to recreate the excitement of sample sales online, coupling the thrill of discovering great deals with the convenience of shopping from anywhere. Gilt quickly gained attention for its innovative approach, evolving into a trusted name among shoppers looking for legitimate luxury bargains. Its success paved the way for similar platforms, but Gilt remains distinguished by its commitment to authenticity and exclusive, members-only sales.

Evaluating Gilt’s Legitimacy

The authenticity of discount luxury websites like Gilt often raises questions among consumers. This section scrutinizes Gilt’s legitimacy by delving into customer reviews and the intricacies of its business operations.

Customer Reviews and Feedback

Reviews and feedback from shoppers play a critical role in establishing the credibility of online shopping platforms. For Gilt, a diverse range of customer testimonials exists. Many express satisfaction with the quality of products purchased, highlighting that items match their descriptions and are genuine designer goods. Positive remarks often point to the substantial savings on high-end brands and the smooth shopping experience Gilt offers. However, some reviews voice concerns over customer service issues and return policies, which might cause hesitation among potential buyers. Analyzing feedback across various sites, such as Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau, provides a comprehensive view of Gilt’s performance and reliability.

Gilt’s Business Model and Operations

Gilt operates on a flash sale model, offering limited-time discounts on luxury items. This type of sales strategy generates excitement and encourages rapid purchases. The company acquires overstocked or end-of-season goods directly from designers and brands, which allows it to offer significant discounts. Gilt’s ability to verify the authenticity of its products forms the cornerstone of its operation, reassuring customers they are buying real designer goods. Transparency in sourcing items and providing detailed product information further affirms Gilt’s standing as a legitimate luxury discount retailer. By balancing exclusive deals with genuine brand partnerships, Gilt manages to maintain a reputable position in the market for discounted luxury shopping.

Comparing Gilt with Other Online Retailers

The preceding sections have established Gilt as a credible source for discounted luxury items, examining its business model and the authenticity of its products. This portion of the article will compare Gilt with other online retailers in terms of price, product range and quality, and customer service experience.

Price Comparison

Gilt sets itself apart through its strategic flash sales, offering high discounts on designer brands. Competitors like Overstock and Nordstrom Rack also provide discounts but differ in sales approach and discount depth. For instance, Gilt often secures exclusive deals due to its direct relationships with designers, sometimes leading to more significant price reductions for end consumers compared to those found on sites like Amazon or eBay, where pricing is more static and less dependent on short-term sales events.

Product Range and Quality

Regarding product range and quality, Gilt boasts a carefully selected assortment of items from well-known luxury brands. Other retailers, such as Saks Off 5th and Neiman Marcus Last Call, offer a similar caliber of high-end products but may vary in their exclusivity of offerings. Gilt’s advantage lies in its curated sales, focusing on unique finds and limited-time offers that appeal to shoppers looking for special deals on high-quality goods. This contrasts with larger platforms like Amazon, where the emphasis is on breadth rather than the exclusivity of the product range.

Customer Service Experience

Customer service experience is a critical area of differentiation among online retailers. Gilt has received mixed reviews in this domain, with some customers praising the ease of purchasing and returning items, while others have voiced concerns over response times and resolution efficiency. Competitors such as Zappos have set high standards for customer service in the online shopping sector, offering fast shipping, easy returns, and exceptional service responsiveness. Gilt’s challenge lies in balancing its focus between offering great deals and ensuring a positive shopping experience through timely and helpful customer service interactions.

The Pros and Cons of Shopping on Gilt

The Benefits of Using Gilt

Shopping on Gilt offers significant advantages for consumers looking for luxury items at discounted prices. One of the primary benefits is access to high-quality designer brands at reduced rates, making luxury goods more accessible to a broader audience. Gilt’s business model, based on flash sales, allows customers to purchase exclusive items that may not be available elsewhere or would typically be out of their price range.

Furthermore, Gilt prides itself on authenticity, ensuring that every product sold is genuine, offering buyers peace of mind. The platform frequently updates its inventory, providing a dynamic shopping experience with new deals and products regularly introduced. This variety means shoppers can find everything from high-end fashion to home decor in one place.

In addition, Gilt’s user-friendly website and mobile app make browsing and purchasing straightforward, enhancing the shopping experience. For individuals with a keen interest in fashion and design, Gilt also serves as a source of inspiration, showcasing the latest trends and styles.

The Drawbacks of Using Gilt

While Gilt’s advantages are compelling, potential drawbacks exist. A significant concern raised by customers relates to shipping times and costs. Since Gilt operates primarily through flash sales, items may take longer to ship than expected, which can be inconvenient for those who need their purchases promptly.

Customer service has also been a point of contention, with some buyers expressing dissatisfaction with the support received during disputes or inquiries. This indicates that while Gilt excels in offering luxury goods at reduced prices, there could be improvements in post-purchase support.

The limited availability of items due to the nature of flash sales can lead to disappointment. Products sell out quickly, and customers must act fast to secure their desired items, which may not always be possible.

Lastly, Gilt’s pricing, while discounted, can still be high for some shoppers. This fact means that while the platform offers savings on luxury goods, buyers should still expect to invest significantly in these items compared to non-luxury alternatives.

Gilt stands out as a reputable platform for discounted luxury shopping, offering undeniable benefits such as access to high-quality goods, authenticity, and variety. However, customers should consider potential shipping delays, customer service experiences, the fast pace of flash sales, and pricing before engaging in shopping on Gilt.

Tips for a Better Shopping Experience on Gilt

Shopping on Gilt, with its wide array of luxury goods at discounted prices, offers a compelling opportunity for savvy buyers. However, to maximize the benefits, shoppers should approach the platform with a well-informed strategy. The following tips can significantly enhance the shopping experience on Gilt.

How to Spot Deals

Gilt’s flash sales, which offer high-end products at reduced rates, are the platform’s hallmark. These sales are time-sensitive, so staying alert and acting fast is crucial. To spot the best deals:

  • Subscribe to Email Alerts: By subscribing, members receive notifications about upcoming sales, allowing for early planning.
  • Check Daily: New deals go live at specific times each day. Consistency in checking the site can lead to discovering exceptional offers.
  • Use Filters Wisely: With the robust filtering options, shoppers can narrow down their searches to specific brands, sizes, or price ranges, making deal hunting more efficient.
  • Compare Prices: Before making a purchase, comparing prices with other retailers can confirm the deal’s value. Sometimes, what seems like a significant discount on Gilt may be matched or beaten elsewhere.

Understanding Gilt’s Return Policy

A clear understanding of Gilt’s return policy is vital to avoid dissatisfaction. The policy varies depending on the type of product and the conditions under which it was sold. Key points include:

  • Time Frame for Returns: Most items can be returned within 30 days of delivery. However, this does not apply to all goods, so checking the specific return policy for each item is necessary.
  • Condition of Returns: Products must be returned in their original condition with all tags attached. Items that do not meet these criteria may not qualify for a refund.
  • Return Shipping Fees: Shoppers are responsible for return shipping costs unless the item arrived damaged or was not as described.
  • Final Sale Items: Products marked as “Final Sale” are not eligible for return or exchange. Buyers should consider these purchases carefully.

A better shopping experience on Gilt is not just about finding high-quality luxury goods at discounted rates. It also involves being proactive in spotting deals, understanding the platform’s operations, particularly the return policy, and acting quickly yet judiciously. By following these tips, shoppers can navigate Gilt effectively, making the most of the opportunities it offers for discounted luxury shopping.


Gilt has established itself as a credible destination for those in pursuit of luxury goods at discounted prices. While it’s clear that the platform’s authenticity and exclusive sales are a huge draw, savvy shoppers should also heed the advice on how to navigate its offerings more effectively. By setting up email alerts, making daily website visits, utilizing filters wisely, and conducting price comparisons, customers can enhance their shopping experience. Moreover, a thorough understanding of Gilt’s return policy is essential to avoid any potential pitfalls. Armed with these strategies, shoppers can confidently explore Gilt, knowing they’re making informed decisions to secure the best deals on luxury items.