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Dec 20, 2002
Dec 20, 2002
Garnet Hill is like a gem, beautiful and expensive
I have been shopping with Garnet Hill for several years. They market themselves as a natural fibers store for home and family. However, their line of merchandise is also stylish and pricey. The quality is also usually very high.
Garnet Hill has a wide variety of merchandise. They started out with mostly home goods and have expanded to include a lot of apparel. Their merchandise is detailed below. They carry a very broad line, however selections within each category are rather narrow. For example, although they carry a lot of women's apparel, there are only 6-8 pairs of shoes to choose from , or only about 10 sweaters. Styles for all of their lines range from modern to classic.
Home goods: sheets, quilts, duvet covers, towels, bath mats, feather beds, mattress pads and comforters. Sheets come in silks, sateens and flannel. Most of the sheets and quilts are unique to Garnet Hill. Towels are Egyptian cotton.
Infant and Children's home goods: crib blankets and sheets. The lines for children have cute themes including: dragons, space, dinosaurs and ballet.
Furnishings include bed frames, dressers, rugs and lighting.
Woman's Apparel: The line includes accessories such as jewelery, bags and belts, shoes, socks, dresses, shirts, sweaters, pants, t-shirts, scarves and mittens. The fabrics include wool, cashmere, silk and cotton. Most of this merchandise can also be found in top-end retailers and brands include: Isda & Co., Eileen Fisher and Puma.
Women's sleepwear and intimate wear: There is nothing too racy here. The main line is Hanro, although they also carry other brands such as Donna Karen. They have a cashmere robe for $398.
Kid's apparel: The kid's clothing is mostly a European style and includes pants, shoes, shirts, sweaters and some sleepwear. Most of the clothes, I have never seen the clothing in stores. However, some of the shoes are carried in upscale stores. A personalized alphabet sweater is $84, a velour jumper is $42.00, long underwear is $38. Turtlenecks have lots of cute patterns are are very warm. They cost $24.
Baby's apparel: They have a small infant line of outfits and a sweater or two.
Men's apparel: Not much here, just some sleepwear and long underwear. In the winter holiday catalog there are a couple of jackets, shirts, sweaters, socks and gloves.
Holiday gifts: Each year they have a gift catalog with selections for gifts. This year some choices were: hand bound books for $50, tree skirt for $78, copper fondue pot for $228 and a pen and pencil set for $55.
The customer service is very friendly and they try to be helpful. However, I find that they don't always know about the merchandise. Once I called to ask if a particular kid's shirt and pants matched because I couldn't tell from the catalog. The customer service rep. first told me, "The kids all wear clothes that don't match in the catalog." When I told her that I wanted my kids' clothes to match, she told me should would check. A minute later she told me that the two pieces matched. When I got them, the blues in the top and pants were not even close. I ended up keeping both pieces since they were a steal on sale, however we had to match them with other pieces.
Three and a half years ago (so long ago it may not be relevant) I bought a maternity jumper. The jumper was my size, but when I put it on, three inches or more were on the floor. When I called customer service, they assured me that if I put it in the dryer, the cotton would shrink so much that I would be able to wear it. It did shrink, but the jumper still brushed the floor. This experience was particularly frustrating.
The customer service for ordering is great. You get e-mail notification of order and shipping. When I returned items, I got a postcard acknowledging that they received my return and the amount of the credit.
WEB SITE OPERATION
The web site is only average. It loads quickly even though there are a lot of pictures. The organization of the merchandise is intuitive. Some of the customer service features are harder to find. I couldn't easily find the shipping costs on the site.
My biggest gripe is that you can only see a few items at a time. There is no "view all" feature to see, for example, all of the women's sweaters that they offer. Another problem is that they don't show you the matching items so you have to first search all shirts and then all pants to see if they have what you are looking for. The web site requires a lot of backing up to see different categories.
I noticed there is a live help feature but I have never used it.
I couldn't find the shipping costs on the web site. According to the catalog, shipping costs are:
over 501 4% of total purchase
Garnet Hill is great on shipping. Every package I have received has arrived in good condition. The contents are packed well and they always arrive when promised.
I have been ordering items from this company for the last few years. My experiences are below:
I ordered a set of flannel sheets, pillow cases and a duvet cover. They were all thick, soft flannel and worth the price. They have stood up to a year of heavy wear. I have also gotten crib sheets that were the same heavy, soft flannel. They never wore out despite frequent washings.
I bought bras by Hanro that are all wonderful and long-lasting.
I bought one dress for me and the size was much smaller than I expected. I returned it (at my expense) and promptly got a refund.
I bought one long sleeve shirt that is wonderful, thick cotton.
I have bought a few nice maternity items that fit well. However, I don't think I would pay their prices for maternity items if I were pregnant now. In the last couple of years, so many other stores, such as Gap and Land's End, offer stylish maternity clothes for less.
I have gotten a bunch of kids clothing from Garnet Hill. It is all nice quality, stylish and comfortable. The turtlenecks are very cute and not too expensive.
STEALS AND DEALS
The merchandise rarely goes on sale. We bought a set of sheets over a year ago and hoped to buy another matching set when they went on sale. Unfortunately, they have never been marked down.
Even the women's stylish apparel takes a long time to be marked down. I have seen the exact same items in Bloomingdale's and Filene's for half of what Garnet Hill is offering them for.
The company does send out e-mails occasionally if you get on their list. However, in the year I have been getting them, none of them have been discounts.
Another catalog company called "The Company Store" carries a lot of items similar to Garnet Hill for less money. However, they are probably less quality.
Many of the adult apparel items and furniture are available elsewhere. Since Garnet Hill rarely marks their merchandise down, you can usually get a better deal elsewhere.
web site: www.garnethill.com
customer service: 1-800-622-6216
Garnet Hill offers a lot of stylish, high quality items. The best offerings are the exclusive items, particularly the bedding, that you can't get anywhere else. For items that you can get elsewhere, Garnet Hill will be more expensive. However, they provide decent customer service and are very reliable for shipping and returns.
DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP ON THE INTERNET? HERE ARE SOME MORE REVIEWS OF WEB STORES:
Clothing and Accessories: Talbots; The Gap; CWD Kids; Hanna Andersson; J. Jill; Tote Le Monde ; Blu Pyxie ; Miniboden; One Hanes Place; Nordstrom; Gymboree; Simple Shoes; Sierra Blue; Ebags.
Clothing and Home Goods: Lands End; Bluefly; Soft Surroundings; Sundance; L.L. Bean.
Home and Garden: Smith & Noble; Restoration Hardware; Gardeners Supply Company; Unicahome; Homeclick; FaucetDirect; Gardens Alive; West Elm; Crate & Barrel; MyKnobs; CB2.
Books and Magazines: Amazon.com; ValueMags; Magazine Values; Dover Publications.
Office Supplies, Furniture and Services: Staples; Officemax; Topdeq; Efax.
Electronics: HP Shopping; Buy.com; ABT Electronics.
Travel: Amtrak; Hotwire; Orbitz; Hotels.com.
Discount: Overstock.com; Target.
Photo Developing: Shutterfly; Snapfish.
Baby Stuff: Babystyle; Babys Here Birth Announcements; Baby Universe; SoZo; Baby Center; Baby Age.
Miscellaneous: 1-800 contacts; Movie Tickets.com; Drugstore.com.
Rebate Sites: Upromise; Ebates.
Before you start shopping, check out my tips on how to save money by shopping on the internet . I have also included some coupon codes and plan to add more as I find them.