Flash sale sites like RueLaLa or Gilt Groupe make it sound like you’re getting the best deal out there, but sometimes you aren’t. Their customer value propositions are that items are scarce and you need to buy fast if you want it (and probably can’t get it anywhere else).

Today I was super excited that one of my favorite designers, Leifsdottir, was going to be on Gilt Groupe. I went to the sale page right at 12 noon and started laughing when I saw a sweater I bought 2 months ago for $64 right on the designers website that was on “sale” for $99 on Gilt. I went over to the Leifsdottir site, thinking that maybe it wasn’t available anymore, but sure enough, it still is and is still $64!

Then I noticed a few other items that were also on the designers site and Gilt, everything cheaper on I tweeted Gilt about the matter and they replied with:

GiltSupport@lottieeb While we offer great prices on items we don’t always guarantee it’s the lowest out there. We want you to get a deal, so go for it!

Then, they tweeted me this:

GiltSupport@lottieeb Prices r made in correlation2 the designer& if they have clearance on their site we dont know We encourage u 2 purchase from them!

So basically they are using the flash sale to make consumers think that if you don’t buy fast you’ll lose your chance to get an item, but that’s not always the case. Though they don’t “guarantee” the best price, they sure have tried to make their marketing messages imply otherwise. And, they don’t do any market research to see if the designer has the items sold for less? That’s just bad business and poor strategy on their part, first rule of pricing policy guys (any econ professor can tell you that!). Clearly they bought it for a lot less than $99, that said, smart partnership for Leifsdottir who might have made more on the Gilt Sale than on their own site. Bottom line – before you rush to buy at a flash sale, do a little pricing research!


I was perusing my bi-weekly Shop It to Me Sale Alert (you should subscribe if you don’t already) when something hideous caught my eye. I’m all for taking fashion risks, but this “caftan” by Tory Burch is just plain ugly/weird/looks like something a wiccan would wear/looks like something medieval nuns donned. What were you thinking Tory? I love your clothes and shoes, but this? No wonder it’s on sale.

What do you think? And, who in the world would wear it? Ideas in the comments please!

My friend Dave is hosting a no pants party this week at his apartment. The LA designers Franklin & Gower are stopping by to outfit any Bostonians in need of custom shorts. If you’d like to attend send Dave a message, I’ll be there and I’m thinking of getting these pink ones!

It’s June and the pool is open, so you know what that means? Time to start thinking about summer shoes! Last year I was conservative and only bought one pair of Jack Rodgers flats, that means this year it’s time for a bit of a re-vamp. My favorite black wedges have lost both heel covers and there’s a few that should probably go to Goodwill. So, here’s what I’ve bought/am planning on buying.

First off is a replacement for my old black Sam Edelman Wedges. They were my favorite and I thought finding a replacement was going to be hard. Until I came across Coach’s Shelby Wedges. To my utmost dismay they were sold out almost everywhere online. So, I went to the Natick Collection and went to Macy’s and Lord & Taylor, but neither had my size in stock!

I thought it was the end for Shelby and I, but then the nice Macy’s salesman to checked if any other locations had a pair. Low and behold he found some in Peabody at the North Shore Mall (read in Ma$$hole accent). I called them and had them sent right to me. And, Mom had a 20% off coupon, phew. They are just perfect and even managed to survive the cobblestones during a night out in Lisbon Portugal. The only place you can really find them at this point are e-bay, just do a search.

Next, I wanted a good pair of gold sandals to wear with summer dresses. I already know Jack Rodgers work for me. So I decided to go with a new style they came out with last year, the Navajo Mid-Wedge Heel. Yes, I know another pair of wedges, but they are what are most comfortable (aside from Rainbows) and they are easier to walk in then heels. Ching ching went the visa.

I also am looking for a pair of black heels, on the tall side, to wear to some weddings and other fun summer events. That will also work throughout the year. These Franco Sarto ones did the trick, they are semi hard to walk in, but worth the sacrifice.

Then, I bought into the boat shoe trend. I tried on a pair of Sperry Top-Siders at Bloomingdales and they just felt like buttah and I thought they’d be perfect for tramping around Portugal, I mean they got their start sailing and so did Sperry! I went for the “angelfish” style and just love them. They also just re-launched their website and you wouldn’t belive some of the styles they have. I think I’ll stay away from these plaid ones.

I couldn’t stop there could I? Rocket Dog made these cute inexpensive sandals called the “Lisbon Flat.” It was meant to be, I had to order them and wear them in Lisbon.

So, that’s my shoe binge for the year (until fall). Happy summer sandal-ing!

This video is partially responsible for my lack of blog posts. Twice a year the Babson MBA’s put on a show entitled “Buffoonery” involving live skits, video submissions by students (and sometimes faculty), and everyone just making fun of school in general. We even made it into Business Week in an article about wacky business school traditions.

So basically, my friend Viper had the best idea to do a spoof of Lady Gaga and Beyoncé’s Telephone. We re-wrote the lyrics to reflect our MBA experiences of late, you might not get all the jokes, but that’s okay. Then, we “hired” Viper’s BF who is like in the “business” to film it. Without further ado, the Haus of Babso presents, Syllabus, starring Lady ChaCha and Viper.

Today, instead of studying managerial accounting, I bought my third pair of Mizuno sneakers, the Wave Alchemy 9, I’ve been wearing the same style since I got my first pair. Spring is coming, which means running outside, and it was time for some new ones. You’re supposed to replace your sneakers every 300 to 400 miles, and I’ve had mine for about a year and a half. Even if you’re not a huge runner, every year is a good rule of thumb. The treads on the bottom wear out, and the midsole (the part which provides the actual cushioning) wears out before the treads, so the wear and tear of the treads is not actually the best way to judge. By the time the treads are dead, the midsole has decomposed (if we’re talking in death terms).

Mizuno you say? Who wears those? Well, I was introduced to the brand when I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC three years ago. I had been training in some Nike’s that were voted the “most popular running shoe” that year, which is why I’d bought them, but boy they were not right for my feet. If you are just running a few miles a week, it doesn’t matter too much what sneakers you are wearing in terms of feeling it in your feet, but when you are pounding the pavement in distance training mode, things start to get hurty. Oddly, my arches were hurting, which made my Achilles hurt, which made my calves hurt. NOT GOOD.

So, at the urging of a good friend (well more like she yelled at me for 5 minutes about how much I was killing my body) who’d done a marathon before, I went to a running specialty store in DC, told them my issue, that I was running a big race, and that I needed some sneakers to take me 26.2 miles (and train in until the race). They watched me run, talked about my arches with me, and gave me a bunch to try on. I finally settled on a pair of Mizuno’s, the Wave Alchemy 7, a stability running shoe. Yeah, who knew, but different feet need different shoes. Stability is for people with a normal arch, and overpronation, about 85% of the population.

Now, what the heck does that mean? Well, overpornation  is the excessive inward rolling motion of the foot. When an overpronator’s foot hits the ground, the foot rolls inward (pronates) to absorb shock, but continues to pronate past a point that is considered healthy.  Then, when the foot goes into the push-off phase and the foot is still in a overpronated position, it places a great deal of strain on the ankle, lower leg, knee, and lower back. For more info, check out this site.

So, you may ask, how in the world can you figure out what kind of runner you are? By going to a specialty store, not Foot Locker please, at a good store they can figure out what kind of runner you are and what shoes you need! Plus, it’s always good to shop local. In DC I went to Pacers, and now in Boston I go to Marathon Sports. Runner’s World has a great directory of stores no matter where you live! You don’t need to be running a big race to get a good pair of shoes, everyone should have the right ones for their gait, don’t wait (ohh poet).

Now back to Mizuno’s. It’s a Japanese brand, started in 1906 in Osaka. At first they sold baseball equipment, then got into skis, and golf clubs. It wasn’t until 1980 that they even started selling their sneakers in the US, but they sure know what they are doing. They make a full line, for all types of runners, and they look pretty spiffy too! The styles also don’t drastically change each year, for me, the style name has been the same since I got my first pair, but each year is slightly improved. Everyone’s foot is different, Mizuno’s might not be right for you, but give them a try, you’ll be pleased!

Also, I wear superfeet insoles (the green ones) in my shoes, if you are going to be doing a lot of mileage I recommend them. They help with shock absorbtion (in laymen’s terms, when you hit the pavement your foot vibrates, hence shock, you don’t want that), and they make your shoes less cushy. Most people think the cushier the better, but it’s actually the cushier the worse when you are running, you need support, cushion is good, but you don’t want to be squeegeing don’t the street, bad for your body, especially your back! Just go to the superfeet site, they’ll tell you all about it!

Happy jogging/walking/sprinting/running!

Now that I’m back in Boston and it actually snows here I needed to get serious about some winter boots. My Uggs that were fine in DC won’t cut it in the slush, snow, ice and salt. I spent almost my whole break searching for the perfect boots. I ordered some heavy-duty Uggs, but unfortunately the zippers in the back gave me blisters, back to they went.

During my three-week break I mined the web, spent time with the Nordstrom shoe department, hung out at the Tannery in Harvard Square, and looked at REI, L.L. Bean, and Bloomingdales. I wanted some warm boots that also were somewhat fashionable, harder to find than you’d expect. Finally after much deliberation and some gift certificates to Amazon care of Santa I settled on two boots from, they are owned and operated by Amazon.

First, for heavy-duty winter I went with Sorel. I wore Sorel boots in elementary school, they were awesome and came in lovely neon colors. One year Melinda got turquoise and purple and I got hot pink and purple (Rugged Bear was out of turquoise), I was mildly jealous of hers all season. It seems like Sorel has tried to re-invent their brand, with trendy (and still hard-core) winter boots for men and women, while still of course making their kids ones too. One pair was $450, yikes. I went with a less expensive style. Cute, but functional for shoveling the driveway and tromping in the snow.

Next, I’ve wanted Hunter boots for a long time. Perfect for rain, but also slush and snow when it’s not too cold. My good friend who used to ride wore the boots to muck stalls, and the British always wear them on their Hunts, hence the name. As much as I wish I used them long ago, I bought into the trend. I went with the short length in Aubergine, Brit speak for Eggplant.

I’d already tried the Hunter’s on at Nordstrom, so I knew my size. However, for the Sorel’s they do not make half sizes and I hadn’t tried them on, so I went with a 7, a half-size up from my 6.5. I figured that would be good for thicker socks.

Thanks to Amazon’s amazing lean supply chain (my Operations Professor’s words, not mine) my boots from Endless shipped via next day air for free, from Kentucky, probably the closest Amazon fulfillment center to me. Though headquartered in Seattle, Amazon has fulfillment centers around the country, all located very close to airports so they can fill the orders and ship them out fast, but I had yet to see how fast they could be…

I got the boots two days later (ordered on a Sunday night, received on a Tuesday) and unfortunately the Sorel’s were WAY to big. Endless doesn’t offer exchanges, it’s easier for them to have you return the ones you don’t want (for free) and just re-order the one’s you’d like instead. Less processing for them, more “lean-ness” and cost saving as well!

So, I ordered another pair Tuesday night and was amazed when the UPS man brought them to my door at 5pm on Wednesday. Now that’s what I call fast! The boots fit and I’m wearing them as I blog.

Winter Boot Saga = Solved

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