The Habits of a Twenty-Nine Year Old Advanced Online Shopper

Long story short, my pal Jillian works for a shoe designer, and is a designer herself.  She was asked to be on a project team geared towards finding how consumers find and purchase their wares, what trends and mediums people use when buying both large and small goods.  One night during our weekly(ish) walk around one of our neighborhoods, we started really talking about this and what our preferences were.  I think we walked two miles without even noticing; we were so into the conversation.

I’m a good three weeks past the time I said I would write up a short profile on my shopping habits, but I’m now ready to share all the why’s, the who’s, and the what’s that must be part of my shopping experience.  Maybe, if you’re reading this and haven’t already flipped back to Pinterest/Facebook/what have you, you’ll identify with my ability to find the things I want for good prices and for those things that you should expect to pay a little more for if you invest in quality pieces (antiques often take my breath away).

Here is a short, sweet, and hopefully witty list of Kacey, a (nearly) 29 year old (nearly professional) shopper:

1.  Mall or Online – online for sure.  If your website sucks OR you annoy the shit out of me to my face with your pestering, you’ve lost me as a customer.  Probably forever.  Your store will probably become the butt of many jokes.

2. You’e also lost me as a customer when you don’t have full views of clothes online or a decent return policy.  (Ahem, Victoria’s Secret…I’m boycotting you.)

3.  Shipping – If you don’t have free shipping and all your competitor sites do, you should consider just going out of business now.

4.  Buying clothes and shoes online:  For me, I only buy online from the stores I know I can physically go back and return….unless you include return shipping and then I’ll just take my money back, thank you.  It is always worth it for me to buy online, and if it doesn’t work, I’ll return in-store.  Another reason to go to the mall?  NOOOOooo.  Okay.  Twist my arm.  If I buy shoes from shoes.com or piperlime.com, those will be returned via mail.

5. It is worth waiting for the sales for home goods from PotteryBarn, Crate & Barrel, Anthropologie, etc.  Prices will drop, if you are patient.

6.  For things like furniture, research what you want in several stores to find what you like and at what price.  It’s there…you just have to scavenge and hunt to have the reward of furniture you really love and will keep for quite some time.  I’m still on the hunt for two side tables, a buffett, a basement chair, some new side tables down there, and a poker table.  These pieces will take some time, because I’m giving myself the time to be picky.  There are cheaper places like Home Goods, homedecorators.com and phillipsfurniture.com; all of which have my full recommendations.  On the flip side, I love antique stores and anything that looks 50-60s vintage right now in the right context.  You’ve got to be on your game though!

7.  Shopping with my husband:  In a store, don’t ask us more than once if we need help unless we seek you out.  Put him into a dressing room stat.  On to the next store, repeat.  And dear God, don’t mess up anything on the register.

8.  A lot of what you’re searching for can be found on Amazon.com.  For cheaper.  Yep…I said it.  I peruse lots of sites before I make a decision to buy something over $200 and I *usually have Brian’s approval.  Marriage + Communication about Money = Smiles + Compromise.

9.  Pinterest has truly brought better shopping to me.  I’m able to put things on boards to see the whole picture of what I would like my wardrobe and style to become.  I did the same for the house and its ongoing furnishing and I find it quite a useful tool for managing my wants, lists and ideas for myself and others.

10.  I prefer to buy all books online or through amazon.com, but will peruse the bargain book section at Barnes and Noble for hours.  Hook.  Line.  Sinker.

11.  Stop sending me email coupons.  I’ve spent so much effort trying to not get 14 emails from Gap a week, stop asking.  On the flip side, I have become a member and active shopper on onekingslane.com for all the good deals they have.  I recommend it…there are unique furniture pieces, kitchenwares, books, decorative accessories and rugs.  It’s all just too much sometimes!

12.  I read user reviews and customer feedback on most everything.  I hate actually filling out the survey, but I appreciate those who do.  I find this moreso in the fit of clothing or the usability/reliability on electrical purchses.  If your product has a good review (or several), you’re got a chance to get in my basket.

13.  Speaking of baskets/shopping carts…many things end up in my cart.  Many, but not all of them get bought.  While I find the reminders of items still in your cart sort of annoying, it actually does lead me to make a decision on buying or passing.  Anthro does this, and I do appreciate it.

14.  Restaurants:  if your bathroom stalls have places for advertisement, I’m likely never to patronize those stores….the ones on the backs of bathroom stalls.  If your website sucks or you can’t get to a menu, I will not come to your resaurant.

15.  I’ve spent over six months shopping for our new home, and I’d like to foolishly think I’m about 65% done with decorating for a while.  But, sooner than we’d like, Christmas comes and that requires a whole new ballgame.  Before that though, I’m excited for a break in the heat to do a good mid-summer clean and garden session on our house, so you can bet I’ll be on the hunt for end of summer deals.  I’ll keep you posted if I get some good stuff…I doooo have a birthday coming up.  One of my early gifts were these suede kicks.  I can’t wait to wear them with some cuffed khakis from GAP and a white button down such as that

16.  I’m sure I’ll think of more peeves and likes from shopping.  In the meatime, here’s my Pinterest site so you can see what I’m fancying lately.  To know me is know my Pinterest (apparently).