I'm always keen to help support fellow ambitious students, so when Bertie Wilson - Edinburgh Uni student and entrepreneur - got in touch to tell me about his new website, searchthesales.com, I was keen to check it out.
Started in 2013, SearchTheSales is a website to help us bargain hunters find the best designer discounts. Every day, new products are put on sale across different online retailers, but with so many different retailers and online outlets to choose from, sometimes I don't know where to start, and browsing through sale items sure is time-consuming and boring, don'tcha think? And that's where SearchTheSales comes in; "Every day, we scour the online shelves of fashion retailers to see what products are discounted, and then bring them all together in place." Well thanks very much, guys!
Considering the website is still very young, there's an impressive amount of designers up there, including a lot of my faves: Miu Miu, Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs, Lulu Guinness, Mulberry, Anya Hindmarch, Paul Smith and Michael Kors to name but a few... Exciting!
SearchTheSales is easy to browse, and there are lots of ways to filter your results - for example, by item, designer, price or discount - and you can specify your price range or the size of discount you want too. Always handy!
Once you click an item you like, you then click ‘visit store’ and should be taken through tho the website selling the bag/necklace/shoes of your dreams. Alas when I first did this a week or so ago on a Ted Baker ipad case I was told ‘product not found’. The same happened with a Mulberry bag. Wahh.
However when I tried a few days later with a Lulu Guinness bag, it worked – I was taken through to a website I’d never heard of so wouldn’t have thought to check, julesb.co.uk, and there was the Lulu Guinness bag, exactly as Search The Sales had said. Hoorah!
Next, when I tried with a gorge Marc by Marc Jacobs satchel, I was successfully taken through to mytheresa.com, although the bag I’d wanted was no longer there, alas. And unfortunately, after clicking on a gorgeous Mulberry Bayswater, I was again taken through to mytheresa.com but told “The Mulberry item you have selected is no longer available, therefore we have redirected you to the Mulberry start page.” Boo hoo. Getting your hopes up only to find them dashed is a little sad, so hopefully this is something SearchTheSales can work on.
Unsurprisingly, there are a few technical and layout glitches as it’s a new site: the design is very simple and could do with a bit more flair if you ask me - this is a fashion website, after all. Equally, when you click on to the next page of results it refreshes at the very bottom of the page, which is slightly annoying.
I also think it would be good to have page numbers at the bottom as well as the top. One other little thing I noticed: after clicking the ‘Jewellery’ tab, I was in fact taken to all accessories, rather than just jewellery. Not the end of the world, but little things like this just need tidying up, in my opinion.
One aspect of SearchTheSales I do really like is the brand profiles. Each designer has its own info page, and after clicking on one, you get suggestions for similar ones. For example, from Anya Hindmarch I was told ‘You may also like Mulberry’… How did you know!?
You can also supposedly sign up to email updates from your fave designers – I think this is GREAT idea, but it didn’t work for me. I got a weird error message. Hmmm...
So sure, there are a few kinks which could be ironed out and SearchTheSales could be made a little slicker, but I’ve no doubt that’s going to happen.
Is there scope for this to be the online Bicester Village? I mean, there are a LOT of products to browse, and I’m told they’re building up the number of retailers every day.
Let me tell you, I’m really excited about SearchTheSales actually! As I’ve been browsing – ya know, just for research purposes, ahem – I’ve come across some really great finds and it’s safe to say I’m having to employ some willpower to resist treating myself!
Have a look for yourself and you might just bag yourself a bargain...
PS There's much more than bags, but y'all know they're my weakness!