Thursday, December 28, 2017

Have We Had Enough of Online Shopping?

Some day my shoes will come...
One thing you don't have to do when shopping online is stand in line. However, I stood in line on multiple trips to the UPS store as I had the idea I could buy a nice pair of walking shoes online. I ordered— and returned— five pairs of shoes and ended up losing $37 in postage and restocking fees because not all online shopping is created equal.

It started innocently enough. We have a trip planned for late spring that will include lots of walking on variable terrain. There will be streets and surfaces of cobblestone and sand. I hate that look of American Tourist Wearing Sneakers, especially in towns and cities, so I've been giving myself plenty of time to find a nice pair of walking shoes— comfortable but sturdy, stylish but functional— without succumbing to that ever-practical athletic shoe.

It started innocently enough with a sale pair at my local DFS, but they were not in my size. A few pairs were available on the DFS website. I guessed what size I would need, but the choice was not there. Too bad; DFS is easy. My local store will take returns. No shipping fee and no restocking fee. Plus I can send my husband with the package. He works down the block.

It seemed possible to locate them elsewhere. Pair #1 was on Amazon. Free shipping for Prime members. Unfortunately I pushed the button and ordered a 40W, not comprehending W was wide and not Women. That shoe was way too big, so I reordered a 39 (pair #2). This was too narrow, so I ordered, available only from another store on Amazon, a 39W (pair #3). The shoe fit but was stiff and uncomfortable. I wore them carefully around the house that night and could hardly wait to take them off.

Meanwhile, another shoe had caught my fancy, but Amazon didn't have the size and color I wanted. I Googled and found a pair (#4) cheap, but I had to pay $8.95 shipping. It took weeks to arrive, but I was sure it would be perfect. Why? No idea. Hope springs eternal.

#4 was indeed attractive but didn't fit, or was it just flimsy? Maybe the wrong size?  It went back free of charge, but the small print let me know there would be a $6.95 restocking fee.

For pair #5 I returned to Amazon and found another size of attractive-but-didn't-fit. It wasn't part of Prime delivery, although shipping was free. I had a feeling this pair wasn't going to fit either and even avoided opening the package. You guessed it: right again, or rather wrong again. Not only would I have to pay for the shipping back, there would be a $9.95 restocking fee. UPS for that cost $11.

Guess who doesn't have shoes and is $37 poorer? This was an online shopping lesson to be learned, and I hope to heaven I have learned it.

Will it come to this?

1 comment:

  1. I swear by the Dutch shoe company, Wolky, for walking shoes that are comfortable and sturdy. But I hear your message about online shopping. It's especially tricky with shoes.