The first jewelry-only “flash” sales site, Ajaline.com, will
launch Feb. 1.
When Ajaline.com launches on Feb. 1, it will give consumers
a members-only e-commerce platform for time-limited “flash” sales of fine
jewelry and watch brands. Customers can expect a 30 percent to 70 percent
savings off recommended retail prices with prices ranging from $200 to the tens
of thousands of dollars.
“Whether it’s offline or online, whenever you find a luxury
brand, it’s all about the experience,” co-founder Meeling Wong tells JCK.
Wong says the key difference between Ajaline and other flash
sale sites like Gilt.com is that the site founder, Jim Conte, uses her as a
sample consumer. “I do most of my shopping online now. I think as a consumer,
so Jim uses me as the customer,” Wong says.
“Bringing the luxury experience to the Internet is an
important part of what we’re doing,” Conte adds. “We know people have strong
expectations about what a shopping experience online should be and we’ve
Jim Conte and Meeling Wong
The site will feature products from three to five brands with
about 35 styles per brand; 24 hours before the sales start, the items will be
available to preview.
Conte says the site offers personal shoppers who can answer
customer questions and concerns via live chats, e-mail, and phone. “They are in
our office,” Conte says. “If they need to, they can get up and pick up the
piece and talk about it while they’re holding it to better answer a
“Most of the brands that will partner with us are some of
the brands that you see at Saks, Neimans, and Bergdorf,” Wong says. Lagos,
Buccellati, and Temple St. Clair are among the first brands the will be
featured on Ajaline.
“It won’t look like a closeout case,” Conte says. “We try to
give the customer a well merchandised site.”
Conte, who has worked with eLuxury.com and LeSportsac, says
it was hard finding a name for a site that would be valuable for them. “We had
a certain list of things that the name had to fit, in terms of being unique and
having a luxury sound to it,” he says.
After a late night of research, Conte happened upon the name
Ajaline. “It was a 19th-century Estonian word that means ‘time.’ It had a nice
look and feel to it and it had some nice connotation in terms of what it meant
Less than a month from the launch, Conte says several
hundred people have signed up for the website. “Some are interested shoppers,
some are competitors, and some brands are using it as an opportunity to contact
us,” he says.
Wong, who is new to the e-commerce game, is excited for the
site’s potential. “I’d love Ajaline to be a platform for discovery of younger,