I love Gilt. I really, really do! I buy from them regularly, however I find their site super frustrating in a number of ways. (This is really fun, btw - picking apart my fave consumer sites for flaws they're overlooking! What do you think?)
First off - the BLACK background people!!! So hard on the eyes, even if it does make their products look more luxury/high end. Really tough to stare at for more than 5 minutes at a time - hence, I try to keep my time on the site to a spare minimum. Less time on site means less bucks spent on site.
I like the 36 hour sale concept, but I also like communism in theory - but absolutely not in practice, so there ya go! I consult with my husband for larger purchases, and sometimes it's hard to get his time, in the time frame Gilt demands. So, again - less bucks spent.
Thirdly, the lack of order modification past 5 minutes. I mean, I realize I'm getting these goods at a hugely reduced rate, but aren't women particularly known for changing their minds? Hahaha... If there were more options, like canceling (or modifying) an order past the magic 5 minutes; I would buy more. The finality of it all feels squiffy, especially when there are bigger sites that offer more order modification as well as 365-day return policies.
Fourth- anything that's not a garment is basically final sale, and higher end jewelry within that concept makes it super hard for me to click buy now. I like it fine enough, but more details on carat weights and quality would be nice. (I've done some silver-smithing, and I like to be an informed buyer when it comes to jewelry - be it cheaper or more expensive.) I can take final sale on a lot of products, but jewelry's rough to gauge over the interwebz, not just for me.
Finally - and probably most importantly - if you check internet prices for some items, the Gilt price just doesn't compete. For example, I recently spotted the Bouchon cookbook on Gilt for 28$. I checked the Amazon price, and much to my surprise I found it to be 30$. For those without experience shopping at these two sites, Gilt would include a shipping fee of at least 8$, and up to 10$ (depending on whether or not the purchase total is less than 50$.) On Amazon, anything that qualifies and is over 25$ ships for free. So, why I ask, would I spend more money when I can find a better deal?
Plus, their shipping rates just changed. It used to be 6 bucks to ship an order under 50$, and now it's 7.95$ Orders over 50$ used to ship for 10$ now ship for 9.95$ - now, who the fuck cares about saving 5 cents, but I'm super pissed they raised the rate for lower total orders!
In conclusion? They have a great site concept, but it needs a few serious tweaks. (I wish I could be part of it, because they seem like a fun, fashion-centered bunch! Too bad I'm not in NYC...)