TravelDividends often comments on the value and benefits that ancillary travel sales opportunities hold for travel affiliates; the new partnership between ideeli.com and Luxury Link represents, in our opinion, a great example of these types of programs.

ideeli is a members-only shopping community that caters to the carriage trade.  The company creates online ‘time-limited’ sales events (auctions) that provide members with opportunities to buy products and experiences from many of the world’s most-sought after luxury fashion, home and beauty brands, all at between 50% to 90% off retail prices.  According to company press releases, each sales event is designed to offer an “…exclusive shopping opportunity in a fun, social way.”  New brands are featured each day, and all events start at 11:00am EST; sales usually last 36 hours, or until the product is sold out.

In addition to the sales events, the website also hosts giveaways, and members have access to online fashion reports produced by professional writers as well as an online forum for discussing trends with other members. Sales and giveaways have ‘secret starts’, but members can preview the merchandise that will be available up to 10 days in advance of the event.

ideeli offers two tiers of membership: base membership is referred to as 2nd Row, (which is free but can only be attained by invitation-only), while premium status, or 1st Row, costs between $83.88 and $93.88 a year, depending on the subscription payment option the member chooses.

1st Row members can shop sales one hour earlier than 2nd Row members, and they have access to 1st Row only sales.  Membership invitations are available through several sources: ideeli offers free access to its site to anyone who registers with an e-mail address; existing members can extend an invitation; or through 3rd parties.

Since its launch in 2007, ideeli has signed-up more than 500 designer and brand partners, and enrolled more than 1 million consumers in its free and paid membership base.

On September 1st, premium travel discounter Luxury Link announced that they entered into a strategic partnership with ideeli, whereby U.S. members of ideeli’s community will gain access to select properties from Luxury Link’s global portfolio of world-class hotels, resorts and tour companies.

Luxury Link, which is also an auction site, provides the ‘sophisticated traveler’ with access to exclusive offers and insider tips at more than 1,000 top-notch hotels and resorts, cruises, tours and villas located in more than 60 countries around the world. (To view or enroll in Luxury Link’s own travel affiliate program, visit FlexOffers, their preferred affiliate network).

The current Luxury Link – ideeli program consists of a series of travel packages that range from a 3 to 6 night stay at among a dozen hand-selected Luxury Link properties in popular destinations such as London, New York, Miami and the Caribbean.  Each of these programs is to be sold over a 72 hour sales slot.  In addition to the core product, Luxury Link is offering consumers a $100 gift certificate to use on future purchases with Luxury Link.

Commenting on the partnership in the press release announcing the deal, Drew Marich, CEO of Luxury Link said: “ideeli has a truly unique merchandising platform…we are excited to be working with them to bring exceptional values at the world’s best places to stay to their passionate user base.”   Paul Hurley, ideeli Founder and CEO, returned the compliment, noting that “Travel is an important component of an ideeli member’s lifestyle and we are excited to launch this category with Luxury Link, a recognized leader in luxury travel packages.”

(To check-out idelli and view Luxury Link’s special four week promotion, visit ideeli.com and include the invitation code “travel” or visit www.ideeli.com/in/media?mi=travel)

Ideeli offers an affiliate program, which features an 8% commission and a 30 day cookie duration (full details of their affiliate program can be found on Google Affiliate Network).  With the addition of Luxury Link on ideeli’s vendor list, we think this auction site makes for a complementary ‘ancillary revenue’ play for those travel affiliates that cater to the upscale, luxury traveler.

What about you…what do you think about the auction model and players like ideeli and Luxury Link?  TravelDividends always appreciates hearing our readers, and learning about your perspectives – if you’ve tried programs like these, let us know whether they’ve met your expectations. Thanks!

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