Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cyber Monday Shopping Experiences

I realize that many of my recent posts have covered shopping and selling, but 'tis the season. The majority of my holiday shopping was completed well in advance of Thanksgiving but I couldn't help purchasing a few things for myself on Cyber Monday.

Ah, Cyber Monday. It was the day with the most spending in 2010. I can totally see why. There are sales galore anywhere without free shipping is laughable. But are online stores equipped to handle huge increases in traffic? hothardware.com said that Cyber Monday 2012 was the heaviest online shopping day - ever - with nearly $1.5 billion in sales.

My experience was mixed...

J.Crew Factory

via funnyscreenshots.com
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, 50% off everything plus free shipping this year! I absolutely couldn't pass up this offer from J.Crew, even if it is the factory store, because my husband will never notice the difference when he receives the $9.99 t-shirts as gifts. (Never mind my small pile of jewelry and apparel.)

I filled my cart, only mildly disappointed that a pair of crystal earrings was sold out, and hit submit. It took a few seconds - okay, this is a busy day. Then the page kept defaulting to a 404 error. Not to worry - I can do it the old-fashioned way and call! After a reasonable hold period a sales person took my order. Slowly. And then the system crashed. "Would you like to start over?" he asked? No... I'm at work and can't be at this all day! Fortunately the website became responsive again and I placed my order.

As of the Saturday after Cyber Monday I have not yet received my order.  Scores a B.

Macys.com

Macy's was offering boots at buy 1 get 1 free and I just happened to need a pair (or two).  After scouring the selection and carefully reading the reviews I ordered two pairs - heeled-yet-rugged booties and black riding boots.

The positive side is the riding boots arrived within three days.  The negative side is that despite being Nine West and leather they are cheaply made and the heel is hard as a rock and uncomfortable.  The reviews said they run large; I found them too small.  Back they will go.

via businessweek.com
The super-negative side is that the other pair was sold out, despite my successful order, and will not be shipped.  Boo.

The really-super-negative side is that a customer service rep told me that it will take three days to email a return authorization slip (none was included in the package).  What???  This seems a little bit ridiculous to me...

Macys.com scores a C on this one.

Bluefly.com

Bluefly is one of those sites that I want to love.  Whenever I shop, though, I can't find a thing.  I had a $35 merchandise credit kicking around that I wanted to use up so I placed an order for two tops and a necklace.  Despite advertising an 80% off sale none of the items I selected were marked down to that extent.  One was final sale; no returns (and I hate that).

I also dislike Bluefly's practice of displaying all of the items that they are sold out of.  If I can't have it, I don't want to see it!

As of Saturday my order has not yet arrived.  Scores a B.

Express.com

40% off my husband's favorite jeans plus free shipping?  Sold!  This was an easy transaction to round out my Cyber Monday shopping.  They still haven't been delivered, but they score an A- for being easy-peasy.

Final Thoughts

Yes, I only shopped clothing for Cyber Monday, but the deals were worth the hassle in the end, I suppose.  
  • Too many places advertised unimpressive sales.  I also disliked Amazon's quick-decision model with deals expiring every few minutes.  I don't want to play games - I want to purchase what I need (or maybe want) at the best price.  That's it.
  • Few places listed the best deals - at least for clothing.  I tweeted and emailed my favorites to share with friends.
  • I enjoyed the fact that J.Crew applied the discounts right on the web and I didn't have to search for a coupon code.
  • Shopping via mobile device has really upped the opportunities for days like Cyber Monday.  I like that I could've taken advantage if that if I needed to.

Until next year...

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