Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Shoes, Handbags and Free Shipping

Honestly I am not into buying shoes online. I like to try them on in person.

Thus when I see websites like Sole Society I shake my head in disgust. The site in question sells shoes, handbags, jewelry, hats, scarves, sunglasses and accessories - most of which are things you would probably rather try on in the store before purchasing.

For example I have never purchased shoes without trying them on first.

I have never bought a handbag / backpack or anything like that without opening it first and checking out the inside.

Jewelry? Well, if it was a ring for example I need to try it on to see if it fits. Bracelets and necklaces, okay, probably don't need to try it on, but it is still nice to see it in person first. Maybe check to make sure the diamonds are real.

Hats and sunglasses, again, need to try them on and check yourself in the mirror.

Scarves are the only item on the website I would even consider ordering.

In which case, am I that low on stores nearby that sell scarves? I can get to the Eaton's Centre in 30 minutes if I time the buses and subway perfectly. (When I lived downtown I was able to walk there in 10 minutes or bicycle there in 4.)

So I really don't see much benefit in buying shoes/similar items online unless they are ridiculous cheap compared to a store, which I doubt because the cost of shipping must be worked into the price somehow. Or if they are ridiculously cheap, there must be something wrong with them.

For example I know I can go on Alibaba and order lots of super cheap things from China and India. eg. You can buy 100 bamboo arrows from China for $30 + shipping. And the more you buy, the cheaper they are. That is amazingly cheap for a product you can sell in Canada for roughly $5 per arrow. So as long as a person could find plenty of buyers, you could conceivably buy 1000 arrows on there for about $300 + shipping and then sell them here in Canada for $5000.

That is the big trick about Alibaba. Everything is in bulk orders. eg. 50 pairs of shoes, or 120 pairs of shoes - everything is a minimum order of a relatively large amount.

But you won't find reputable brand names on there because you have to purchase those from the manufacturer's distributors. eg. I tried looking for Nike shoes, but the only thing I could find is display cases for selling Nikes on.

So in this case, yes, you can find things for ridiculously cheap prices online. But they won't be brand name and you have to order it in bulk. And the shipping isn't free.

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