I see the boxes file into my office on a regular basis, I’ve heard the buzz about the amazing return policy so I knew ultimately that one day I was going to have to check out Zappos for myself. I gotta tell you – not so impressed. I found a great pair of boots in Nine West last week for the princely sum of $129 – not too shabby, some might say, but as the industrious shopper and fervent bargain hunter that I am I figured I’d least give it a shot at trying to find them cheaper elsewhere. A friend recently recommended I read ‘Delivering Happiness’, Tony Hsieh’s tale of how his idea became a multi-million dollar worldwide machine. I’ve yet to get to that book (The Omnivore’s Dilemma is my current nighttime indulgence) but it certainly sounds like an inspirational story. With that recent conversation in mind, I figured this project was the perfect opportunity for me to test out Zappos.
Now I’m a straight-talking kind of girl. I don’t beat around the bush. I know exactly what I want and exactly how I want to get it and I expect a website to respect that so I definitely felt dissed by the search engine in Zappos. At first, I was going for a leisurely stroll through their boot collection when I casually noticed the interesting dichotomy of having a $1,250 Ralph Lauren over the knee boot alongside a $60 gum boot. A gum boot. Seriously! Don’t believe me?? Check it out here !!
Let’s just say that the little wellington girl was no match for the beauty that was her older (and more expensive) sister. What’s more, it further highlighted to me the limitations of my spending power. The Ralph Lauren boot said ‘sexy senorita’ while the plastic dud just said ‘sad’ – and at the end of the day, that’s all I could afford. Double sad. Bemused (and if I’m to be honest - slightly irritated) by this, I realized that with 4,003 options of boots to choose from I needed to knuckle down to the task at hand and find what I was looking for. I selected ‘demi boots’ as this was ultimately the style of boot I was interested in. Now Zappos, let me ask you this, in the streamlined search for a ‘demi boot’ what kind of a crack head would throw a snake-skin pump into the mix??! I kid you not – on page 1 of my search for a ‘demi boot’ I was presented with a black & white, open toed, snake-skin pump! On page 2, the first item was a gold and brown version of the same shoe. Even stranger again, the item alongside this snake skin delight was an army style camouflage boot – a big, clumpy ass boot that in no way corresponded to this sexy, albeit slightly obnoxious, badly positioned peep-toe treat. I have to admit, at this point my frustration was teetering towards fever pitch so I decided to abandon the Zappos dream and stick to what I know best – Piperlime (I have a Rachel Zoe girl crush).
Now I don’t want to be a hater but one would expect when you search for a specific type of shoe on a website that sells shoes that you would be offered - and only offered - shoes of that style. If I was looking for peep-toe sandals and I was presented with a ‘demi boot’ I would be similarly offended. I decided to take my irritation to the next level and b@tch on the phone to my best friend about it. And thank the Lord that I did cos she introduced me to my new BFF – Shop Style! How the hell did I not know that this website existed before?? It is simply GENIUS. You merely type into the search box what it is you are looking for (demi boot) and it cross-shops hundreds of thousands of online stores and brands to give you all the different options and price ranges of what it is that you are looking for. Once you find a style that you like and click on it you are taken directly to the seller’s website. I’ll say it again – GENIUS!!! Better still - I did manage to find a nicer pair of boots than the initial Nine West option and at a better price (somebody seriously needs to hide my debit card from me)! At the end of the day, us online shoppers are LAZY. Yeah, come on – you know it. We all work hard and our time off is valuable blah, blah. I doth protest that my time off is “too valuable” to be spent trawling through a million different stores on a Saturday afternoon trying to determine whether the boot that I want to buy is the best boot in the world at the best possible price but in truth – I just can’t be bothered. This is now why I am in L-O-V-E LOVE with Shop Style as it does it for me!
D-Listers – DEFINITELY click on this link and add Shop Style as one of your online shopping favorites!
PS: Has anybody tried the recently Kim Kardashian-endorsed site Shoe Dazzle?? I’m intrigued but a little suspicious……let me know what you think of it!
WHERE TO GO?? http://www.piperlime.com/