Flash in the pan: why the private sales fad crashed and burned

Flash in the pan: why the private sales fad crashed and burned

Oh, ye of little truth. The co-founder of the private sales site vente-privee, Ilan Benhaim, recently told a crowded conference hall that his site added 10k users per day last year yet, rather surprisingly, doesn't pay for traffic. Apparently, it's all word of mouth in the private sales world. It's all buzz and peer-to-peer and social. Except, clearly, it isn't.

Unless, of course, someone else paid for this ad...

Google advert for vente-privee

I'm not surprised that vente-privee advertises, but we are a little surprised that Mr Benhaim felt the need to bend the truth like that. There's no way a site like vente-privee could possibly sustain itself without calling in the keyword cavalry. Why? Because private sales / members'-only sales / secret sales / flash sales (call 'em what you will, they're all the same thing) are inherently un-social, for these three reasons:

1. For your eyes only?

There's a common ruse when it comes to private sale e-stores. It's expressed differently from site to site but, basically, it translates roughly along these hoary old lines: "Our prizes are so crrRRRazy, our suppliers will only let us show them to our members." Now, admittedly, I had an extra portion of cynicism with our cornflakes this morning,


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We're reinventing the reader offer with The Mirror

Bargain Power for the Mirror

We're delighted to be working with Trinity Mirror on a new *co-buying service *which we believe is set to reinvent the notion of the 'reader offer'. The Mirror Bargain Power channel will launch next week, providing an interactive way for Mirror readers to request, share and enjoy unique deals. It will simultaneously enable some of the UK's most innovative brands to engage with a whole new audience, earning new and influential social advocates. Exciting stuff! Here's the press release in full...

*Daily Mirror Launches Social Commerce Campaigns *

Shoeaholics, Maxitone and Fiorelli will launch the Mirror’s new social advertising channel

The Daily Mirror has partnered with social commerce experts buyapowa to offer advertisers “co-buying” flash sales opportunities.

The first of the co-buy campaigns will launch next week. Each co-buy will last between 24 to 36 hours. Brands taking part in November include Kurt Geiger's Shoeaholics, female nutrition brand Maxitone, and Fiorelli to promote their handbags and accessories.

To start each flash sale an announcement will be made simultaneously on the Daily Mirror’s Facebook and Twitter pages where followers will be encouraged to spread the word of the deal – the more co-buyers who join the flash sale the lower the


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