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Mar 4, 2010
Mar 4, 2010
Macys.com: Even Better than Shopping at the Mall
Online shopping has taken me to the web sites of some very obscure retail operations. Always in search of the online bargain, I will usually take a chance with a lesser- known online retailer, at least once, just to see what I can get and for how little. But other times, I like to stick with the better known online retailers when I shop and one of them is Macys.com, the online site for the national retail store.
What Does This Online Retailer Offer?:
Macys.com offers merchandise in categories such as:
For the Home
Beauty and Fragrance
Handbags and Accessories
Jewelry and Watches
A special sales category can be found in Macys.com, with some good bargains that change daily. You will also find a wedding registry and a link for purchasing gift cards. These gift cards can be the traditional variety (actual physical card mailed to the recipient) or of the e-card variety, for use at Macys.com.
Macys.com offers three different shipping options: Standard, Premium, and Express. Buyers need to be careful which option they choose because it can add significantly to the overall cost, especially on a smaller order. Express shipping on, say, an order of fifty dollars will add thirty dollars to the cost, making the purchase uneconomical. Free shipping offers are common with Macys.com, but they change periodically. One month, the offer could be free shipping for orders greater than $75. The next month, it may change to free shipping on order over $100.
For payment, Macys.com accepts many more credit cards than the typical online store. Along with the big four (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover) and the Macy's card, Macys.com accepts Kaufman's, Marshall Fields, Famous Barr, Foley's, Jones, Strawbridges, and other store- affiliated credit cards.
Macys.com is a nice web site that brings the magic of Macy's retail store to your home. This web site is loaded with items similar to what you would find in a Macy's retail store, and shopping here is very much like taking a trip to your favorite shopping mall- where Macy's stores are commonly located.
I'm not a huge fan of Macy's stores so it might seem strange that I would ever use Macys.com. However, Macys.com sells gift cards and I frequently receive gift cards as presents for Christmas or birthday. With a Macys.com e-card in my possession, I have no choice but to sample Macys.com and see what it has to offer. I can remember the first time I received a Macys.com gift card. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get a gift card for another store. On the other hand, I knew it would present a new online shopping adventure, so I logged on and took a look around.
To my pleasant surprise, I liked what I saw at Macys.com. The categories of merchandise are exactly what I expected and the selection was very large. I don't know about the rest of you, but when I think of Macy's, the first item that comes to mind is clothing. And Macys.com certainly has a large amount of clothing for sale, just like the physical location stores. The other categories also offer very large selections. The Pillows section, for example, has more than 160 choices. Select bath towels and you will find more than 100 options. The selection is large everywhere, and you should have no problem finding something you like.
The merchandise selection and brand name offerings are a definite plus at Macys.com, but for searching and sorting, Macys.com loses a few points. Let's say I am searching for shirts. I can narrow my selection to only include a specific size of shirt or a specific brand. But once I have this list, the sorting options are limited. I can't, for example, choose to see the entire list sorted by price. I can choose "under $35", "under $50", etc., but even if one of these price ranges is selected, one cannot sort by price. The items will be presented to you in a random order (marketing driven, I am sure), with the prices scattered.
As for the checkout and payment, Macys.com is better than many other online stores. First, you don't need to establish an account to complete an order. Creating a profile will make future shopping easier, but it isn't necessary. You can quickly bypass the account setup screen, fill in your shipping info, and finish your order. The credit card options are also very nice. I don't own any of these other store credit cards (mentioned above), but it has been a long time since I found an online store that accepts so many different cards.
Shipping is efficient at Macys.com and if you select standard shipping, you can expect to receive your order in about six or seven working days. The free shipping option is a big plus, but it varies from time to time. Depending on the promo offer for the given month, you might get free standard shipping on a $50 order, $75 order, $100, etc. You have to check to see what the offer is for the month. And keep in mind that the free shipping is not automatic, like with other web sites. You have to enter a special promo code or else the free shipping offer will not activate. One the negative side, Macys.com does add sales tax. This is becoming more and more common with online retailers, but I still frown a little when I see the words "sales tax" and an additional charge added to my order.
Macys.com is very good for returning unwanted merchandise. Returns can be made directly to a nearby Macy's store, provided you have your sales receipt and provided you return the item within 180 days of purchase (with a few exceptions, like jewelry, which must be returned in 30 days). Again, there are not many retailers that make returning items this easy or that offer a six month window in which to make a return. I particularly like this option with clothing, because you never really know if an item of clothing is going to look the way you thought it would look (based on nothing more than an online photo) or whether it will fit. With this easy return policy, you just drive to your local shopping mall and the job is done.
Overall, Macys.com is a nice retail web site with many good things to offer. In truth, I like Macys.com better than the actual Macy's physical stores and I hope to receive more Macys.com online gift cards in the future. It would be nice if Macys.com would improve its sorting options, but this is still a good web site with a large selection, efficient shipping, and a generous return policy.