Private-sale e-commerce sites ride a second wave

After not hearing much over the summer about new private-sale e-commerce websites, all the rage earlier this year, exclusive-bargain online shops are gaining steam again.

Not familiar with private-sale sites? Think of them as a club for bargain hunters. If you are a member of a certain site, you'll have access to deep-discounted items available for a short time, generally one to three days.

In August, launched its own private-sale site for home goods, Trip Advisor announced Tuesday it has launched SniqueAway for travel deals. And on September 13, the invitation-only fashion marketplace will go live, allowing members to “shop celebrity closets.” (I wish I could elaborate, but there is practically no information available about who is behind I-Ella or how to contact them.)

Other already-established private-sale sites include Rue La La (clothes and jewelry), Jetsetter (travel deals) and Zulily (baby and children's products) -- which was started by two Blue Nile veterans.

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