In mid-December, the weather men started calling for snow. So I fished around in my son’s closet for the boots I had bought him last season. Unfortunately, even though I had bought them a little large to try to make them last longer, my son had outgrown them, anyway.
With snow expected the very next day, I didn’t have much time to shop for boots–especially considering it was the middle of the work week, when time is always in super-short supply.
Zappos Return Policy
Zappos has the best return policy I’ve seen anywhere. Any item can be returned in original, unworn condition within one year. THAT’S RIGHT–ONE YEAR! Standard shipping to your house is free, and return shipping is free. So you can order 3 pairs of the same boot in a variety of sizes, then return the ones that don’t fit–FOR FREE. This is awesome when you need a pair of boots, a pair of party shoes, etc. by a certain date and don’t have time to send single pairs of shoes back and forth for weeks before finding the right fit.
When purchasing my son’s boots, I ordered 2 pairs–which I received within 2 business days with free standard shipping. My son tried them on that evening and chose one pair to keep. (We returned the other pair, which didn’t fit properly, despite their being labeled as being the same size.) The other pair went back in the mail the next morning, right after we got a return authorization number from the Zappos website. A week or so later, I received an email notice that my return had been processed.
Merchandise at Zappos seems to be on the expensive side–often full MSRP, compared to prices I see other places. And I very rarely see anything listed at a sale price. So for me, shopping at Zappos is not about price, but convenience. And I don’t mean the kind of convenience that means I don’t feel like going to the store. Rather, the kind of of convenience that means I can actually find the styles–and the sizes–that I need.
So yes, I must admit than even I–the seeker of all that is “on sale”–will shop at a place that charges full price for merchandise, provided I can get my hands on what I need.
Who Owns Zappos?
Why Amazon.com, of course! Amazon bought Zappos in 2009 for nearly a billion dollars. Amazon is generally known as having excellent customer service, and Zappos has always held that same belief–so the merging of the two companies makes sense, from that perspective. And they’re both online-only retailers, making them a good match in another way.
The Nindo Decision
If I find a style of shoe that I want–in stock and in my size–in a retail store, I’ll probably grab it. But when the item is out of stock, or no longer available in my apparently popular size, I won’t hesitate to check out Zappos. They’ve certainly proven themselves with regards to customer service.
My one hope would be that Zappos will offer more competitive pricing. Amazon.com manages quite well in this regard, so it should be possible for Zappos, as well.