For my second online shopping experience I went to another old standby: Endless.com. Endless is an Amazon.com site that focuses on shoes, handbags and accessories. I discovered the site this summer and have been hooked from the first purchase. The site lacks the cutesy touches of Piperlime, but it more than makes up for it in its most impressive feature: free overnight or two-day shipping on everything on the site. I mean, come on, you order a pair of shoes on Monday and they are at your house on Tuesday? That’s unbelievable, right? I used to think that in order to feed my online shopping habit I was going to have to live with the 7-10 day free shipping times. Endless has revised my expectations…and while that’s great for them, it does take some of the luster off my other online shopping experiences. What can I say? I’m a very impatient person.
Here’s the low-down on Endless:
Site design: Again, it’s not as adorable as Piperlime. But that’s okay, because it is very functional. It’s easy to navigate — you can sort on any number of different categories, like size, color, brand, etc. — and they do regularly promote certain styles appropriate for current seasonal trends. I’m embarrassed to admit how often I browse Endless’ shoe selection on my iPhone, but the fact that I do so on such a small screen speaks to the site’s ease of use.
Selection: Umm…yes. Knowing that Amazon built this site should give you an idea of what it has to offer. Endless carries most of my favorite brands of shoes, from old reliables like Nine West, Seychelles and Sam Edelman to new favorites like Boutique 9 and DV by Dolce Vita. The handbag department has many standouts like Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade, Kooba and Rebecca Minkoff. The site offers merchandise at a range of price points, and holds regular sales to knock a few extra bucks of your purchase. And with free (next-day!) shipping, you can afford to spend a little more on your shoes.
Feedback: Endless has a fantastic review system, which is not surprising, given its Amazon.com roots. I very rarely buy a pair of shoes from the site if they haven’t been reviewed, which is either a testament to how spot-on the reviews are or how increasingly paranoid I’m becoming in my purchases. Either way, the comments offer valuable feedback on sizing, comfort and quality — things that are good to know before you waste any more UPS truck gas.
Shipping: As I’ve mentioned several times, Endless’ free next-day or two-day shipping is the thing of legends. Like the Loch Ness Monster, I didn’t believe that such a thing could exist, or at least without paying for some rewards club card or spending $500 or something. But it’s real, and my most recent purchase is proof. I ordered two pairs of shoes on Sunday afternoon for my upcoming trip to Paris. They were waiting on my doorstep when I got home from work on Tuesday. If I had ordered them from Piperlime or Zappos I’d still be waiting. Instead, I wore this delightful pair of loafers that I got in part because they reminded me of one of my former students (and fashion trendsetter), Kendra Worsnup, to school today. Now that’s service.
Returns: Endless makes returns simple. Just log into your account online, fill in the return code and print out a return mailing label. Pack the items you don’t want back into the original box, affix the label and drop it off at your local UPS store. They will email you when they receive the return, so you can look for the credit to your account.
Endless truly is a gem. I often find great deals and have discovered a bunch of new brands to satisfy my admittedly excessive shoe obsession. I can buy, try on and return a pair of shoes in two days — just like if I had bought the shoes in person. I would pay more for that convenience. But, thanks to Endless’ total awesomeness, I don’t have to.