The Mini Social & Zulily

Shopping online is easy. You browse through page after page of merchandise, add it to your cart and check out. But when it comes to finding high quality kids’ stuff online, how often do you find great deals?

Emerging from the millions of pages of shopping sites are two Ideeli – like shopping sites for top notch products for children – the mini social and zulily.

These free shopping sites provide discounts on high-end merch for kids of all ages. We here at Metro Parent compared the shopping sites, letting you decide which experience is right for you.

Let’s start with the mini social. This free online shop was founded by two best friends and moms in September 2008. The site is open to everyone. No referral needed – simply sign up online. Once you’ve signed up, you can enjoy discounts of 50 percent or more. Sales typically go on for two to three days, and once things are sold out – they’re gone forever!

Shipping is $6.95 and goes up from there, depending on the size of the item. Some products, like footwear and handbags, cannot be returned. Check the return policy on each item for further information. No exchanges allowed.

Zulily, meanwhile, launched in January 2010 and was co-created by former online jewelry retailer Blue Nile exec Darrell Cavens. His new site offers parents brand name stuff like Melissa & Doug and Little Giraffe at discounted prices for 72 hours.

No invitation needed – the free membership is open to anyone. Simply sign up and you’ll receive a daily email on the five or more shopping events they have each weekday. Here too, shipping costs vary by item.

With both sites, members who refer a friend receive a credit toward their account after their friend’s first purchase. For the mini social, you receive $15, and for zulily you get $10.

Both sites provide a cool shopping experience for customers, featuring great clothes, accessories and kids’ stuff for cheap. And with the email alerts, you’re never left in the dark.

Both also ship your order in 10 to 14 business days, so just be aware you’ll have a bit of a wait.

Clothes aren’t the only stuff sold in these online stores, either. You can buy furniture and toys, too, for example.

Whether you choose to sign up for one or both, you’ll be happy you did. Great stuff, cheap prices – all from the comfort of your home. What more could you ask for?

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