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Flash Sales: A Glimpse into the Life of an Addict

03/21/2012 06:24 pm ET | Updated May 21, 2012

I'll start. "My name is JennyFromTheBlog91 and I'm a flash sale addict." It began with a little dabbling on Groupon -- pshaaah, child's play. Everyone knows Groupon's just a gateway site to get you hooked on the hard stuff, and it did. Oh, how it did. Now, I frequent the common offenders -- you know, Hautelook, Gilt, LivingSocial, Zulily, Outnet, Ideeli, RueLaLa, OneKingsLane and BeyondtheRack.

Technically, it's not my fault. There's a history of addiction in my family, so it was practically inevitable that I would fall prey to my DNA. I was told I had an affinity for apple juice as a small child, but I can't recall. Most of my toddler years are hazy, who knows, maybe it was the arsenic? By 35, I was convinced the gene had skipped a generation, but my background in personal shopping, my love of fashion and my obsession with a good deal combined to make a potent cocktail. And flash sales became the outlet to quench my thirst. Oooh, did someone just say "outlet?"

For those who are addicts, those who want to be more efficient addicts, or those who want to understand the addicts they live among, it goes like this:

First, you get a notice on your iPhone or Blackberry: "Ding," Missoni up to 90 percent off today at (insert site here)! Your adrenaline starts to flow. You think, "Oh, I love Missoni, and I can get the real thing, to add to the collection of mismatched sizes I grabbed off the shelves at Target."   You then run to your laptop, or pull up the site on your phone. Yes, you may be on a business call or the toilet, but there are no excuses. BETTER SHOPPERS REVEL IN YOUR EXCUSES!

Now the blood is pumping. You need to immediately find your "must have" item before someone else puts it in their cart. There's no time to waste, to debate or to delay. Thinking things like: "Do I really need this? How many pairs of black knee high stiletto boots can one person own? Can I afford this?" will only contribute to losing your prize... I mean your win... I mean your "must have" item. No, you must act fast and forget about making smart buying decisions, or your probable buyer's remorse. Those types of thoughts are reserved for after the sale. Plus, that kind of rational -- ahem -- civilian thinking is for wusses, not fashion soldiers like us.

Once you lock in "a must have," or at the very least your second or third choice (if your "must have" has been swiped by a better shopper), you start to do a mental victory dance, but don't get ahead of yourself. You need to buy it ASAP. You know what they say, "Better to have one Vince cashmere sweater in your purchase itemization log than a bunch of Zac Posen frocks in your cart," or something like that.

Now, you start to freak out. You frantically look for others deals, maybe you can get away with one more? You stick another item in your cart, typically something random, but since there's only one left, it needs to be yours. Next, you rush to checkout. To quell your anxiety, you repeat this rhyme as your shopping mantra.

"There's a limited time that an item can wait,
someone will steal it from your cart, whilst you debate."

Once you've punched in those digits and your expiration date, you hold your breath until the "order indicator" confirmation appears. You exhale, and a rush of released adrenaline and emotion swathes over you. You are the winner... I mean, the buyer... I mean, the owner of a new... something or other, though you may not remember exactly what it is until it arrives at your door.

No matter, because you WON! You got that watchamacallit that tens of thousands of savvy shoppers across the world wanted, for 70 percent off! And in your size, no less (or a size or two off). You know what that means? It means you're shrewd, smart and fashionable. You tell yourself that as you go back to whatever it was you were doing before your addictive binge.

Now, with the 70 percent you saved you can log on to the next site and you have money to spend. I hope you were able to glean tips, camaraderie or simply a glimpse into the life of a Flash Sale addict. It's not pretty, is it? Well, I mean it is when you get a great new pair of Zanotti's to wear with your new Marc Jacobs shift.

Ooops, gotta go, Kotur is on sale at Gilt. What's Kotur? I don't know, but at 80 percent off, I want it!

-The Jen X'Pert

You can read more of Jenny's pieces at The Suburban Jungle
Fan her at Jenny From the Blog