- On Thursday, Helen Rosner, a writer for The New Yorker, pointed out on Twitter that some clothing on Gilt, an online fashion retailer, appears to be listed for prices higher than the retail value.
- In her tweets, Rosner shared screenshots of two dresses from brand 2KOLYORY, which appear to have been listed with inaccurate retail values and higher prices on Gilt’s website.
- INSIDER found that while some products on Gilt are listed at prices comparable to those on other retail sites, clothing from 2KOLYORY appears to be priced higher on the marketplace website at the time of writing.
- According to Vice, Gilt has been listing products with inaccurate retail values since at least 2011, when it says it began disguising in-house brands as exclusive designers.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Fashion retailer Gilt describes itself as having “insider-level access to coveted designer names at an amazing value” on its website. But the site is being criticised for seemingly selling certain clothes for more than the prices listed by the brands that originally made them.
On Thursday, The New Yorker writer Helen Rosner pointed out that Gilt appears to be charging elevated prices for clothing from a brand called 2KOLYORY, which sells its products for much cheaper on its website.
Rosner shared screenshots of two pieces on Gilt next to the same items on the original designer’s website to show the difference in price
“Don’t you just hate it when you Google for more info about a dress you found on Gilt, and it turns out that not only is the original price not remotely $US429, but Gilt’s ‘sale’ price is actually a 40% markup on retail?” Rosner wrote.
Don't you just hate it when you google for more info about a dress you found on @Gilt, and it turns out that not only is the original price not remotely $429, but Gilt's "sale" price is actually a 40% markup on retail? pic.twitter.com/ufS7TJsXfy
— Helen Rosner (@hels) June 6, 2019
The photos Rosner included in a second tweet show a different 2KOLYORY dress being sold for $US269 on GILT, and for $US248 on the designer’s website.
Folks. Pals. Brosephs. pic.twitter.com/2uo4kTwooP
— Helen Rosner (@hels) June 6, 2019
INSIDER researched the prices of both items on the two websites and found significant differences
The first dress that Rosner screenshot, a 2KOLYORY Midi Dress, costs $US91 on the designer’s website at the time of writing.
On Gilt, however, the same garment is currently being sold for $US129 – a $US38 price increase from the actual designer.
Gilt’s original retail price also appears to be higher than that from 2KOLYORY. While the designer appears to sell the dress for $US91, Gilt’s website says the dress originally costs $US429 at the time of writing.
The same goes for the second dress Rosner mentioned in her tweets. On 2KOLYORY’s website, the 2KOLYORY Linen Midi Dress currently retails for $US248.
But on Gilt, the same dress costs $US269.99 at the time of writing. The retailer also says the dress retails for $US1,009, which is $US761 more than it currently costs on 2KOLYORY’s website.
INSIDER also checked the prices of other 2KOLYORY products being sold on Gilt
The 2KOLYORY Linen Blouse, for example, costs $US99.99 on Gilt at the time of writing. The website currently lists the retail value of the blouse at $US354.
On the 2KOLYORY website, however, the shirt is currently sold for $US83, which is $US16 less than at the other store.
Some Twitter users say they have also seen Gilt list beauty products and cookware for higher prices
In response to Rosner’s tweets, some people shared stories of their own experiences shopping on Gilt. While some said they found overpriced cookware on the site, others said they noticed the same problem with beauty products.
I unsubbed from them long ago because of similar b.s. pricing w/cookware ????????
— the cruelest month (@amurphy00) June 6, 2019
Gilt does this all the time with beauty and skincare. Unless it’s a brand you know the baseline price for (Oribe shampoo, for example), Gilt is scamtown!
— hayley (@hayleyalex) June 6, 2019
INSIDER checked the prices of a number of beauty products on Gilt’s website, and couldn’t find any elevated numbers
Some products were shown with lower retail prices on Gilt, like the Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in the shade “Naked.” On Sephora’s website, the product costs $US19. On Gilt, however, the item is listed with a retail value of $US18, and is sold for $US15.99.
However, INSIDER did find some price discrepancies between cookware. The KitchenAid Artisan Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer originally retailed on KitchenAid’s website for $US379.99, but is now on sale for $US299.99.
Gilt, however, has the original price of the item listed at $US429.99, and is now selling the mixer for $US299.99. Those who are unaware of the item’s actual price might think they’re saving $US130 by purchasing the item on Gilt, but they’re really saving $US80.
This isn’t the first time Gilt has been accused of creating fake prices
In 2015, Vice reported that Gilt sells products from a number of in-house brands that it says are disguised as indie designers. The practice allows the website to create fake retail values for items, which can encourage people to shop in the hopes of getting a good deal.
“These are brands that are actually made by Gilt, but are made to look like they are discounted merchandise from other labels, both explicitly, via a slash-through price label, and through context, since most merchandise on Gilt is not made through Gilt,” Vice reported in 2015. “But Alex + Alex, Zoe + Sam: they’re essentially all created by the same people.”
According to Vice, Gilt began doing so in 2011 when it created its first exclusive label, and the New York Post became one of the first news outlets to report on the practice in 2012. Today, it’s unclear how many in-house companies the retailer currently has. Vice reported that Gilt had at least 32 exclusive brands in 2015.
Representatives for Gilt and Helen Rosner did not immediately reply to INSIDER’s request for comment. Representatives for 2KOLYORY declined to comment.
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