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I just received a very pretty pair of Tod's flats from Bluefly. They look much better in person than on the website. These very pretty flats retail for $500 and I paid $200. For this reason, I am giving Bluefly 5 stars. They are authentic. They arrived as expected and the website was easy to navigate. One caveat... I was expecting free shipping but I'm not going to quibble over $8.

I see all the negative reviews for these kind of websites (Bluefly, Gilt, etc). A few things I learned over the years...

*Do not buy clothing online unless it's from a department store website or it's cheap (under $100). If you buy online at Saks, Bloomingdales, or even Gap you always have the option of returning it in the store. The clothing I've purchased at online discount retailers have been of average quality and I've learned I would rather just go shopping at the mall. At least then I have a chance to see the clothing piece first, the exception being if you already saw this piece in person and now it's discounted (most likely because it was last season).

*Purchase brands you know and have seen in the retail stores.

*Do not buy vintage (aka second) expensive designer brands online. Only buy from trusted local consignment shops. These websites may think it's in "good condition" and you may think otherwise. Plus, there may be issues with authenticity.

*Do not buy expensive designer handbags (over $1,000) at an online discount site. Most of these websites have a no return policy and it's simply not worth the risk. It's better just to "splurge" and buy at the authorize retailer or boutique.

*I believe they may be receiving their inventory or acting as a middle person for an authorized retailer. For whatever reason, these retailers do not want to place these items on their sales floor (item was returned, overstock, last season, etc). Think Nordstrom's Rack or Off 5th, only online and non-returnable. There is a reason these designer items are discounted... you may want to keep that in mind while shopping.

If you know how to shop, sites like Bluefly are great.

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