Blindcopy

July 9, 2011

Are you an online shopper?

Filed under: Uncategorized — blindcopy @ 9:16 pm

If you live in Tokyo, you can stop reading here. Everyone else might be interested to read about my online shopping experiences… The first part is for newbies, the second for more experienced online shoppers.

1. You’ve heard of net-a-porter.com before, but you can’t remember exactly what it is? You’re a beginner:

I don’t understand why I still get the look every time I answer: “This? I ordered it online.” Online shopping still seems to be reserved for couch potatoes or other pitiable people who don’t have the time to go to the mall. It also kind of revives that old flair of ordering via catalogue – you call, they deliver. If it’s crap, you call them up again and they come and pick it up.

First, I’m not a couch potato, but indeed I’m always a little short of time. Secondly, many things I need or want are not available in the retail stores – shoes in size 35, many Japanese and Belgium designers… And last but not least, I don’t like Dubai’s shopping malls: Who needs five Louis Vuitton flagships? Who needs a Harvey Nichols and a Bloomingdales full of unfriendly sales staff, who have no clue of anything.

Recently at Balenciaga: I ask for a pair of shoes in my size – 35. He (I don’t know why they still hire male assistants, who really don’t have any idea of women’s clothing) comes back with a size 39. “Try it, it runs a little small I think.” Or at the jeweller: I need my ring to be altered. He takes my size – ok, no problem. When I come to pick the ring up I can already see from far away: This ring would not even fit a baby’s finger  (seriously, I’m not exaggerating) – but the ‘goldsmith’ still insists I should try it on at least. I almost freaked out – “give me a magnifier”, I wanted to scream. What went wrong? There were two kinds of sizing on the jeweller’s scale – the European and the American… Can you guess what had happened? Seriously, I’ve rarely had a pleasant shopping experience in Dubai in almost five years.

After all that crap – I’d rather return something I’ve ordered online than get upset about the stupidity of the sales personal. Quite the contrary: Depending on the online shop, the customer service is extremely helpful, friendly and fast. Some stores send a handwritten note with your order, most of them have beautiful packaging… It’s a pleasure. OK, you don’t get your items ‘right here, right now’. You have to be patient and wait for the UPS, DHL or FedEx guy to deliver the parcel. But once it’s there, you can take your time to try the item on, combine it with your clothes – and if it doesn’t fit or is not up to your expectations, you send the store a message, get a return number, arrange a pick-up appointment with the store’s appointed courier service and send it back. Some stores offer free returns, and some charge the return shipping costs. But you can avoid returns if you order a brand you already know (so you know their sizing and their quality in general = no bad surprises).

2. If you’ve already ordered online and need more sources and inspiration – this is for you, the experienced online shopper. And these are my favourites:

Superfast and reliable…

My Theresa – carries many ‘It-designers’, has a beautiful packaging and adds goodies like notepad + pen.

Matches Fashion – as for the brands: they carry, as My Theresa, the usual suspects; the packaging is beautiful, too. Their shipment arrived after three days, which I didn’t experience with any other online store.

Totokaelo – definitely the best online store when it comes to presenting their items. They have a model combining different pieces, and on their website you can interact with other clients and exchange opinions or give advice. It gives the store a very personal touch. Their packaging is also beautiful. Another advantage: They carry brands and designers you don’t get everywhere. Inspiring!

Departement Feminin – They carry only a handful of designers in their online store, very high-end. But what I really love about them – they give you the feeling that they really care: I was once in touch with them regarding an item – half a year later, they contacted me again, saying that they ‘remembered’ (I know it’s in their system – but still…) my interest in a certain designer and asking if they could reserve anything for me from that particular designer. I emailed back and forth with the customer service woman, who was really sweet. I felt that she was excited about the products they sell.

LN-CC – apart from the fact that they carry so many of my favourite designers, they are fast and reliable. (And they’ve got the perfect model to present their clothes!)

Net-a-porter – you’re in good hands.

I also like Browns and Colette, but mainly for the brands and products they’ve got available. Their service is comparable to Net-a-porter – nothing exciting, but reliable.

Here is a list of online boutiques I’ve already ordered from:

I’ve had two disappointing experiences yet. If you want to know more – give me your email.

Do you know any other good designer online stores? Share your experiences!

11 Comments »

  1. Yes i am an online shopper :) thanks for your article.

    Comment by Rene — July 9, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

  2. This post is super-cool and super-useful!!
    You know I’m a little scared old-style shopper when it comes to online resources, and also I still don’t have the budget (and time: I’m never at home when couriers deliver) to purchase from these websites (I do love them though and I visit them almost everyday for my regular online window shopping :-p)
    But one day in which I’ll be ready to click on “buy it now” will surely come… I hope that you’ll be my online shopping pal/guide when the time comes! :D

    Have a great sunday, many kisses

    Al

    Comment by Al — July 10, 2011 @ 1:37 am

  3. Oh man your commentary is HILARIOUS as per usual. The way you described shopping in Dubai is dead on. I can understand entirely why you shop online. There are so few original and unique stores there. Lets be honest, poor sales staff quality is just the beginning lol. I always adored the way Matches promoted themselves. I once ordered their catalogue just so I could have the beautiful illustrations on it for a keepsake. I’ve yet to buy a single thing online but I might just have to try.

    Comment by Meagan Morrison — July 12, 2011 @ 7:39 am

  4. Love, love, love this post! With the exception food, I hate shopping. With shoes, I pretty much always wear Jimmy Choo not only because they’re nice and comfortable, but because it is one of the few brands that doesn’t mess around with the sizing. I know that I can order a size 37 and the shoe will fit me perfectly. In other brands, one pair of shoes will be a 36 and fit me, the next a 38.5. I don’t have the time or patience to sit around trying on a million and one sizes.

    Net-a-porter is pure heaven. One simply cannot go wrong with them. I’m such a girl and love the packaging of course, but the #1 advantage is like you said, you can try at home with your accessories and so on. I completely agree – I’d rather return something via a courier than go through the hassle of shopping on line. I also shop via specific brands websites. If I must go in-store, I go at 0930-1000 when the shop has just opened and, with the exception of my wedding dress and a last-minute outfit for an event recently, I haven’t tried anything in-store for about 12 years. The latter was a nightmare because this sales assistant wouldn’t leave me alone – telling me what I would pair it with and even how I should style my hair with the dress!! I was like, is this woman for real!? Don’t even get me started on make-up shopping…

    Ridiculously long response, but this post spoke to me! :-)

    Comment by Milla — July 13, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

  5. I love net-a-porter, but I just go there for window shopping. This is a great guide you’ve created, I’ll definitely have a look at it the day finally I dare to order something!

    Comment by Sara — July 13, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

  6. I tend to shy away from online shopping. Prefer the personal, human interaction.
    But these are excellent tips should I have a change of mind on the subject;-)

    Comment by Englishvers — July 14, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

  7. I was more of an online shopper when I lived in Amsterdam, where the high end shops were reduced to the typical LV/Hermes/Chanel triumvirate and the staff consisted of old rude ladies. It stopped in Paris, when it was just easier (and cheaper) to get stuff in-store and despite what people say about Parisians, I’d never witnessed rude staff there. London is probably a mix – I find it hard to find a lot of good stuff by designers such as Ann Demeuelemeester or even Givenchy, so I’ll scour the web for non-British stuff more.

    I love My Theresa, Luisaviaroma and Matches. Yoox is fine. I’ve had issues with Farfetch (had a card problem, they canceled my order without even telling me and just put my item back on the page, when they should have tried to solve the problem first). Another few sites not on your list are Stylebop (more mid-range stuff), The Corner and Antonioli (the latter is excellent too). There are a few online sample sale sites which can be ok, but I rarely look at those anymore.

    Comment by HauteWorld — July 14, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

  8. I love online shopping and totally admit to enjoying the couch-potato shopping experience. But the best thing is that you can try all the stuff on at home with your other clothes, different shoes etc. It’s really worth the P&P… As London offers wonderful department stores (Liberty London, Matches, Browns, etc.) I mainly buy on yoox and the corner. Great service, and free returns with UPS… never been disappointed.

    Thank you for all the links… More shopping experiences to check out! x

    Comment by Sabine — July 14, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

  9. Very useful post. Thanks!

    Comment by Prêt à Porter P — July 15, 2011 @ 9:19 am

  10. great post darling, I will save this!
    my latest online experience was at http://www.farfetch.com and I was really happy about it. Fast, reliable service and the real plus is that if an item doesn’t fit they will send DHL to collect it from your home for free… but I was lucky with both Ann D shoes and R Owens dress I ordered so I didn’t need to send anything back (plus it was the beginning of the sales period so everything was 30/40% off!!) :)

    Comment by wobblinbetty — July 30, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

  11. A lot of consumers these days are oblivious to the dangers usually associated with online shopping. Because they are too busy scouting for excellent deals, they let their shields down and soon enough, they fall prey to the schemes and machinations of fraudsters that lurk in popular shopping sites.

    Comment by calltracking2 — April 13, 2012 @ 12:37 pm


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