Sunday, January 30, 2011

To shop or not to shop?

I've had a bit of a cracker this week with this ol' online shopping caper. Normally I am an absolute devotee but I'm off the mark on my last few purchases.

The first one I won't bore you with the details but suffice to say I decided to try out the Westfield online store. After all, I can complain about it all I like in terms of the design and the usability of the site but I should really test it out no? It was not a success. In fact I'd go so far as to say it was an abject failure. Not the fault of Westfield, mind you, but the retailer Queenspark who were selling great looking black Maxi dresses at a discounted price. Problem - I have since discovered - they don't actually have any.

Three weeks later and I am still trying to get in contact with them about my order, after being promised a call back during the week by a rather uninterested sales assistant (the voicemail in their head office is full - no doubt with complaints from people who haven't received their clothes). I am very sorry to say it's the first time I have ever had to ring my bank and investigate doing a chargeback. As I said, not the fault of Westfield but I doubt I'll ever shop online with them again after this experience. It's been a disaster.

The next one is the order I did with Peters of Kensington as part of my post Christmas sale... um, well shop. I have been eyeballing the Wedgewood Queen of Hearts Harlequin tea set for such a long time and my yearning for it was only enhanced further by our visit to the Langham for Afternoon tea in London last year. Although the discount was not huge (about 12%) it was enough to entice me into making the purchase. Two weeks later, no delivery. I call them and after some digging around they have discovered that the cups for the tea set are not in stock. They are very apologetic and promise to get the rest of the items out to me (teapot, cake stand, plates and sugar bowl, milk jug set) asap. The cups, however will be another 12 weeks. I'm disappointed naturally but these things do happen.

My third bad online shopping experience is partially my own fault. I noticed Nordstroms were having a sale on Tory Burch Sophie wedges in leopard (my crack) and at 35% off they were eminently affordable, even when you take into consideration the eye watering price of the shipping courtesy of the international shipping agent FiftyOne. I made my purchase and three weeks later they arrived. Now firstly, Net-A-Porter charges 20 pounds for International shipping (a little over $30 in today's money) and it arrives in 2 days. FiftyOne charged $65 shipping and it took three weeks. Shoddy service frankly.

Besides all that the shoes arrived in good order. The shoes are great quality and they feel comfortable. But they are too big. By big I mean INSANELY HUGE. They fly off my feet as I walk down the hall. I am so angry because they say the shoes are a true fit on the website but I'd have to go down two sizes to even get close to them fitting. And now it's going to cost me another $65 (deducted by the shipping agent) to send them back for a refund.

Now - NAP have free international returns. They are the etailer that all others should aspire to emulate. They are fast, reliable, their prices are good. If I had any other option I would not have used FiftyOne. I think they are shonky thieves and I won't be using them again. I'll wait to do my US shopping when we go in May thankyouverymuch.

So all in all I have had a pretty bad week on the shopping front. I wonder it the Universe is trying to tell me something?



Sydney Shop Girl said...


That sucks, big time!

May your shopping fortunes turn around soon. Or else the two of us could be saving buddies?

SSG xxx

Sydney Shop Girl blog

Blighty said...

I hate the having to pay for returns - I am afraid I am a free returns/return in store girl, but I am normally buying boy kit or cheap and cheerful easy wash dresses (mmm, that makes them sound attractive!). Why oh why did I not insist on meeting up with you when you were in London. I am kicking myself. Although you probably didn't need an over excited garrulous Brit busting into your tea time experience!! Also I hadn't got into the blogger meet up thing but now, after FF and Louise, I am on a roll! Next time hey! xx

Semi Expat said...

Oh dear Miss Kitts so sorry to hear of your online shopping disasters! Perhaps it is a hint as you said! What size did you get in the Tory Burch shoes - maybe I can buy them off you?! Agree 100% that NAP are the bizz!! Love them. XX

Miss Kitty-Cat said...

The Tory Burch shoes are a size 11 Sarah - and according to the fit guide that's what I should be (size 11 US is supposed to be a size 10 Australian). I think I am going to have to get a size 10... Am actually tossing up paying the freight and trying again! It can't go that wrong again, can it??

Blighty - I'd love to catch up next time we are in the UK. Or you could always come out to Australia for a whirlwind tour to meet all your many fans. We could organise for a tickertape parade down George Street. No doubt the NSW Government would be up for it once they hear of your fame. Otherwise Mr K and I are considering a trip to Europe in December, which will likely include a few days in London xx

Not Quite Nigella said...

Yes! So glad that NAP have international returms and I agree that all should be like that. Could you ii agi ehow much more we would buy? That QOH set is stunning!

TheStylishShoeGirl said...

So sorry to hear about your unfortunate incidents of late...
Strangely enough, I have NEVER bought clothes or shoes online, weird, I know...
I must find a remedy - I am sure it wont be hard

Maxabella said...


I don't really shop for clothes online for me - I'm a 'try on' kinda gal. But anything else I find easier and cheaper to do the online thing. I haven't run into any problems YET... x