Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Major Ship Fail - Gilt

So, I have 3 packages arriving Wednesday from Gilt. They were all purchased on separate days, and therefore, I paid separate shipping on all of them. 

That means for almost 30$!!! my UPS guy has to carry a whopping 2 more small packages, instead of the usual one for a lower, more reasonable shipping rate.

I know you guys aren't Amazon or anything but seriously, this has me super pissed. I bought 3 things off Amazon on 2 different days, and not only did I NOT get charged for the extra shipping (gotta love supersaver!), but I also received my items in ONE box.

So, they saved themselves on shipping and packaging, and paid probably less than a third of what you did to get my items to me. Oh yeah, plus they didn't piss me off...

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I love Gilt. I really, really do! I buy from them regularly, however I find their site super frustrating in a number of ways. (This is really fun, btw - picking apart my fave consumer sites for flaws they're overlooking! What do you think?)

First off - the BLACK background people!!! So hard on the eyes, even if it does make their products look more luxury/high end. Really tough to stare at for more than 5 minutes at a time - hence, I try to keep my time on the site to a spare minimum. Less time on site means less bucks spent on site.

I like the 36 hour sale concept, but I also like communism in theory - but absolutely not in practice, so there ya go! I consult with my husband for larger purchases, and sometimes it's hard to get his time, in the time frame Gilt demands. So, again - less bucks spent.

Thirdly, the lack of order modification past 5 minutes. I mean, I realize I'm getting these goods at a hugely reduced rate, but aren't women particularly known for changing their minds? Hahaha... If there were more options, like canceling (or modifying) an order past the magic 5 minutes; I would buy more. The finality of it all feels squiffy, especially when there are bigger sites that offer more order modification as well as 365-day return policies.

Fourth- anything that's not a garment is basically final sale, and higher end jewelry within that concept makes it super hard for me to click buy now. I like it fine enough, but more details on carat weights and quality would be nice. (I've done some silver-smithing, and I like to be an informed buyer when it comes to jewelry - be it cheaper or more expensive.) I can take final sale on a lot of products, but jewelry's rough to gauge over the interwebz, not just for me.

Finally - and probably most importantly -  if you check internet prices for some items, the Gilt price just doesn't compete. For example, I recently spotted the Bouchon cookbook on Gilt for 28$. I checked the Amazon price, and much to my surprise I found it to be 30$. For those without experience shopping at these two sites, Gilt would include a shipping fee of at least 8$, and up to 10$ (depending on whether or not the purchase total is less than 50$.) On Amazon, anything that qualifies and is over 25$ ships for free. So, why I ask, would I spend more money when I can find a better deal?

Plus, their shipping rates just changed. It used to be 6 bucks to ship an order under 50$, and now it's 7.95$ Orders over 50$ used to ship for 10$ now ship for 9.95$ - now, who the fuck cares about saving 5 cents, but I'm super pissed they raised the rate for lower total orders!

In conclusion? They have a great site concept, but it needs a few serious tweaks. (I wish I could be part of it, because they seem like a fun, fashion-centered bunch! Too bad I'm not in NYC...)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My First Etail Fail - Tiffany's

My love/hate relationship with Tiffany.com began some time ago, and so my loathe to use their online site runs deep. Like, mantle deep. They have huge potential, but their E-commerce website sucks.

So, here's my beefs -
  • First off, it's all too much. We know you have products for all price points... I don't care about the products too, too outside of my particular budget, and I really don't want to bleed time out my eyeballs looking at crap I'm not interested in. Make it all more personal, like I'm not the billionth customer you've sold jewelry to!
  • Secondly, oh my god. get a view all page - for all your pages, damnit! Not, you know - just a few of them! Again, bleeding time out my eyeballs just navigating your page. Hate with a capital H.
  • Third, it looks pretty, but it's all a huge waste of my time; all the fancy mosaic product layouts and hover images may get some designers hard, but it won't actually sell your product. Just sayin' it's sales that really count, right? Right.
  • Lastly, their free shipping threshold is 300$. Seriously? I have to spend 300 clams before you can shell out 8 bucks to ship it to me, really, really???

Now, after all that criticism, onto the praise - 
  • They've got something right, because they can get the hits on the page, and that's another thing that really counts. 
  • They do a great job of branding, but they need to extend their savvy in that arena to the E-tail problems they're facing right now.
  • They have a huge product inventory, and it appeals to consumers of all levels of style and taste. Huge point here though, they need to do a better job showcasing it in the 2 minutes you get of a consumer's time.

Let's face it, the real problem is that the Etail market is totally flooded, and you can get just about anything, at almost any price point. Case in point, cheap cashmere is turning parts of China into a dustbowl. In the end though, you do get what you pay for, caveat emptor!