The best secret Christmas bargain websites
Members-only websites offering "exclusive" flash sales and heavily discounted items have been springing up all over the internet this year.
They are able to offer impressive discounts because they buy surplus stock from a retailer after it's finished selling it. The brands on offer vary but they are generally high end and delivery times are longer than with traditional retailers.
Daily offers are emailed out to members and most sales are only available for a limited amount of time, after which you won't be able to buy the product.
The top secret bargain websites
This is a new website from the founders of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk and offers savings on a range of goods including homeware, fashion, beauty, pets and food.
Delivery periods tend to be between 14 and 21 days, so it's not ideal if you need something in a hurry.
Each week there are between 15 and 25 secret sales and these last for around four days.
Current deals include: an LG HD 32 inch TV for £275 (from £349.99), a Disney Cars duvet set for £11 (from £24) and a 15-piece cookware set from Jean-Patrique for £99 (from £479.50).
When you sign up you'll be given a £10 credit, which can be redeemed on purchases of more than £30 and for every friend you invite you'll both get £10 when they buy something.
If you're planning on getting away for some winter sun, or maybe a trip for next year, Secret Escapes is another members-only website offering discounts of up to 70% off the normal price for travel and accommodation.
It's not exactly a bargain site, as the holidays are "luxurious" and "hand-picked" and have to be either four or five starred to be included. However, if you were going to book one of these trips anyway, the discount is pretty impressive and it's worth looking at first.
There are flash sales on offer to locations around the world and members are emailed beforehand with details. The sale is then open for around 10 days and it guarantees to give you the cheapest prices on the deals on offer – but all prices are kept secret until you sign up.
There's a membership incentive of £5 for every friend that joins and you'll get a £25 credit for each purchase the friend makes. It's also a member of ABTA so you're covered should anything go wrong on the trip.
The members-only luxury lifestyle store which anyone can join, Achica offers discounts on high-end luxury goods. Each time a sale is announced it's only available for a short period of time - either 24, 48 or 72 hours - and these sales only take place during the week.
Right now you can buy a PURE EVOKE radio for £119.99 (from £149.99), some Calvin Klein suede women's gloves for £25 (from £59) or a Godminster organic Brie selection for £12.99 (from £18.50).
From 6.30am every morning the site is open for shopping and there is a limited number of each product available so it's worth looking early if there's something you want to buy. When you become a member you'll be emailed with details of each sale and the site is free to join.
There are gift vouchers available and there's a blog on the site with lots of inspiration for styling your home. You'll also get a voucher for £10 for every friend you recommend who then buys something.
Described as a "non-stop designer sale" Brand Alley offers discounts on clothes, homeware, beauty and theatre tickets.
It says it'll knock up to 70% off designer brands and deals are only available to registered members. Sales last between four and seven days and offers at the moment include 75% off at French Connection, 55% off UGG products and 60% off at Pretty Green.
Once again, to keep costs down, delivery times are longer than normal and items can take between seven and 28 days to arrive. Each time you invite a friend you'll both get £10 when they make their first purchase and members will be emailed each morning with details of that day's listings.
This is another secret website, where deals are only available to members. Founded in 2007, the items on offer aren't cheap but they are a lot cheaper than the prices on the high street.
For example, a pair of Ray-Ban glasses is £85 (from £135), a Robert Cavalli watch is £105 (from £325) and a pair of Duchamp cufflinks is £44 (from £81).
Daily sales start at 7am and last between one and 10 days, with current and upcoming sales listed on the home page.
Orders are only processed after the sale ends so will take longer than normal, but you should be given an estimated date of delivery.
Outlet shopping, both online and in a branch, is a good way to save money if you don't mind buying items which are out of season. Marks and Spencer, for example, has an online outlet website listing all of last season's products at greatly reduced prices.