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Sample sales used to be a privilege reserved for lucky New Yorkers, but now several "flash sale" sites are offering discounted designer goods to the rest of the country, and apparently shoppers are loving it.

According to the Wall Street Journal, sales of luxury goods online are projected to rise 20 percent (while traditional luxury sales slump 11 percent). Labels are responding, too: High-end brands appreciate their last-season and overstocked goods being sold discreetly rather than at discount chain stores. Now even swanky retailers are trying to get in on the action. Saks recently tested a 36-hour private sale via email.

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