Sometimes I feel like a fish, & those Facebook ads are baited hooks.
Most of the ads in my FB margin are for shoes, but I try to be cautious before I chomp down on that hook.
Buying shoes online is a commitment. It doesn't seem like a commitment when you place the order because almost all online shoe companies ship for free. But it feels like pressure to keep the shoe once it arrives.
The shoes typically arrive in a huge box. You feel bad having made someone pack up, carry, & deliver such a box. The package, while a lovely big gift on your doorstep, draws attention to itself. If you were hoping to hide this delivery from someone, forget it. The worst box of all is one that holds boots!
Open the package, & the shoes have been so carefully packed for you. There's a stretchy tie around the box to keep it shut that you must clip to enter--much like a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Inside you'll find each shoe individually wrapped in tissue paper with a plastic foot insert inside to help it keep its shape. Often the buckles are circled & taped with a protective piece of tissue, so if you plan to try walking around in the shoe, you'll have to remove that paper too.
So you try to calmly remove all that encasement & try on the shoe. You walk cautiously around on carpeting, hoping not to damage them.
Let's say you can tell from this little sampling that they are not the shoes for you. Now it's time to try to reverse the process & gently wrap the shoes back up. After you've printed the return label & all that, you'll have to make a special trip to a post office or UPS store because there's no way that giant box is going to fit in a drop box & no way should you leave it for your home carrier. The cost to return the shoes will probably be around $10.
Is it worth it? Well, yes & no. You have a much greater selection of shoes online, & you can find the same shoe at the lowest price if you surf a bit. You can try the shoes on in the comfort of your own home. But you can't just ask for the next size up.
The main benefit of online shoe shopping may be that you CAN return the shoe. Shoe salespeople in stores are usually paid on commission, & they do not like you returning those shoes. They will shame you. I don't think I could face a disappointed, slightly angry salesperson.
The assumption is that women like shoes, & they do. As a young consumer, I can remember how I felt like a different woman when I wore a new pair of Mias. But for me, from now on, I probably won't order shoes unless they're a brand I know & a style I'm pretty sure about. Anything else I'll take a risk no sweat, but I just can't stand the waves of impact that buying shoes brings.
How 'bout you? Do you shop for shoes online? Do you shop in store? Have you returned many shoes?
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In the Margin
Here's the story of 3 pairs of sandals I recently ordered...
The 1st pair
I was taken immediately by this recreation of the old jelly sandals! They arrived quickly with free shipping from England & were quite comfy. But the stud that connects the strap to the shoe broke before I'd worn them outside, so I returned them. If I were to buy them again, I'd pick a different color since the clear picked up all the colors around it & looked almost glowing purple in certain lights :-)
The 2nd pair
I still love these sandals below, & I have some returner's regret. I returned them because the edges of the straps around my ankles were poking into me before I'd walked outside. I figured if they hurt me walking a few steps on carpet, I was in trouble. These sandals came in a huge box with extensive wrapping that inspired this post!
The 3rd pair
You might notice that each pair of sandals I ordered was double the price of the last. This pair cost me about $80 after the discount. I knew they'd be comfortable & well made because they're Timberland. I like that they're red--adds a little spice. They came with less packaging since Timberland has a commitment to the environment. I'm keeping them.
Caution: shoe shopping ahead
5/5/2014 01:46:22 pm
I've definitely reached the point where I almost exclusively buy my shoes and boots online. I can not tell you how many times I've been to the store to find that they don't have the right color, size, etc. Online is easy and it's easy to compare prices. I do try and make sure that I am quite, quite sure that they are what I want. I am also conscious of the packing and shipping. I love Zappos, Amazon, and even Ebay!
5/5/2014 10:13:43 pm
I know you've found some awesome boots on ebay. I like ebay especially because it's much like recycling. Zappos is too expensive for me--I like 6pm.com, which is owned by Zappos but has lower prices. Amazon is good too--esp. for making sure you have the lowest price wherever you find the shoes :-) Thanks so much for visiting this post & commenting, dear Rach!
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