The Truth About Online Shopping

choies2

I don’t shop a lot online. I tend to make purchases the old fashioned way — in person, with a dressing room and instant gratification. Of course, online shopping has its perks, with convenience being king. But more often than not, I usually skip online shopping in lieu of actually trying everything on personally.

Now I remember why.

Today, we’re focusing on two e-commerce purchases that didn’t quite match my expectations.

Shaggy Sweater: Choies | Jeans: Madewell | Slouchy Boots: Jeffrey Campbell (Shopbop)
Shaggy Sweater: Choies | Jeans: Madewell | Slouchy Boots: Jeffrey Campbell (Shopbop)

First up is the sweater — a wacky, fringed explosion of mammoth woolly fuzz. Sweaters tend to be pretty  standard, so when I find one with personality, I can’t resist. I bought it from Choies, an e-commerce site I had never used before. For less than $40, the sweater seemed like an outrageous steal.

But if something seems to be god to be true, it definitely is.

I put in my order before Halloween and waited. And waited. And waited some more. Finally, after more than three weeks, I had a meltdown and started tweeting at the post office and live-chatting the Choies customer care reps.

Sterling Silver Cuff: Secondhand (Ina)
Sterling Silver Cuff: Secondhand (Ina)

Turns out, items shipped from Choies take nearly a MONTH to get the U.S. customers (when you include nearly a week for order processing). Yes — one month. In today’s e-commerce the typical e-commerce shopper, that seems like an eternity — compare the agonizing wait with the two-day wait for Amazon Prime, the 1-day wait for Zara or the instant gratification from Seamless.

So, what took so long? Did they send the sweater via pony express? Close. As far as I can tell, Choies shipments come via freighter, which means my shipment doesn’t set sail until an entire container ship is full.

Slouchy Boots: Jeffrey Campbell (Shopbop) | Socks: Paul Smith
Slouchy Boots: Jeffrey Campbell (Shopbop) | Socks: Paul Smith

Next up are these boots, which are made from paper-thin leather that unfolds around the ankle like a banana peel. I purchased these from Shopbop earlier this spring (which has a very reasonable shipping time — under a week).

This purchase reminds me of one of the great truths of online shopping: Do not buy shoes online. These seemed fine when I put them on at my house, but when I first wore them on the subway, I nearly toppled over, thanks to the steep instep.

I’ve managed to save them, thanks to a super-thick gel cushion. But if I had actually tried them on and walked around a store, I would have noticed the problems beforehand. And here’s the thing about shoes — once they touch pavement, you can’t return them.

Do you have any online shopping lessons to share? Let me know!

choies2