Never Again, Overstock!

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I will never order a single item from Overstock after the experience I had in May of this year. I happened to see a rug on Overstock which was exactly what I was looking for to serve as the centerpiece for my living room makeover, so I ordered it on Sunday, May 16th, shortly after midnight. About seven hours later, I noticed that I had ordered one size larger than what I needed, so I hopped onto Overstock’s online chat to cancel that order. The representative told me the order had shipped and could not be canceled, which I didn’t believe for a second. I asked what the situation was with return shipping, and was told I would be responsible for it. When I expressed my displeasure over that information, the representative suggested that I join Club O which would entitle me to free returns. I figured I had no other choice, so I paid $19.95 for Club O, and then placed an order for the proper size rug which I needed.

I then received emails from Overstock on May 20th stating that both orders were ready to ship, with an estimated arrival date of May 24th. How could that be if the first order I had placed had supposedly shipped on May 16th? Though I didn’t believe that the orders would ship on May 20th, I anticipated their arrival on May 24th. May 24th came and went, with no rugs in sight. I then got two text messages on May 25th (NINE DAYS after I placed both orders) informing me that the rugs had shipped on that date from northern California (I am in southern California). Honestly, why send emails and texts with estimated shipping and arrival dates which are completely inaccurate?

Both rugs arrived on May 27th, propped up against my garage door. I immediately called Overstock to initiate a return on the larger rug, and was told that I would have to pay $208 in return shipping. I mentioned that I had Club O, and the response from the representative was that with Club O, members only get store credit, no credits back to their original form of payment. The only way I could receive a refund back to my original payment method was by paying return shipping. By this time I was livid, and asked to speak to a supervisor, only to have the call cut off, so I had to call again. The best the second representative could do was to cover $101 in return shipping, so I begrudgingly agreed to the offer, knowing that $107 would be deducted from my refund. I also insisted on having my Club O membership canceled and the membership fee credited back to my account, with which the representative happily obliged.

The rug I was returning was picked up by UPS on May 28th, and Overstock received it on June 4th. On June 10th, I started wondering when I would receive my refund, and was prepared to call them, when I noticed that I had a new voicemail on my phone. What was strange was that the voicemail message was left by the first representative with whom I had spoken on May 27th, and she stated that her supervisor was willing to make a one time exception and cover the full cost of return shipping. I have no idea why my phone didn’t alert me for 15 days, but that’s a whole other issue. I called Overstock on May 11th and was able to arrange for Overstock to make an adjustment on the return request to cover the full return shipping cost.

I was told to wait 3-5 business days to receive a refund from receipt of the returned rug, which means that I should have received a refund by June 11th. I FINALLY received a refund on June 22nd, but it was only for the rug, and not for the 5 year protection plan. I had to contact Overstock yet again to inquire about the missing portion of the refund. By June 23, I received a refund for the protection plan. Sorry Overstock, but no customer should ever have to endure what I did just to get my money back.

Thank goodness I love the rug I kept, because I would be especially irate if the smaller rug hadn’t worked out. In addition, with the exception of the rude online chat agent I spoke with on May 16th, the representatives I spoke with on the phone were all so professional and friendly that they made the whole miserable experience more tolerable. Nevertheless, I will do everything in my power to avoid Overstock, which is a shame since I have purchased some wonderful items from the site over the past 20 years. If you happen to see something on Overstock you happen to love, do some price comparisons and research, because you might be able to find a similar deal on Amazon or some other site which won’t try to gouge you with outrageous return shipping charges. And forget about Club O, it’s a complete ripoff.

How Coronavirus Has Changed Our Shopping Habits

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Shopping habits have changed dramatically since the appearance of COVID-19 and the subsequent scramble to socially distance and protect ourselves.  Grocery stores and retail pharmacies now have plexiglass shields at the checkout stands, and there are shoe stickers on the floors as visual reminders of the six foot distance we are urged to keep from each other.

Malls are nearly empty, and many merchants haven’t even dared open their doors.  The days when you could just hop over to a local store and pick up a couple of items have been replaced with long lines of people waiting to get in, and staple items which are perpetually low in stock or completely depleted.  Let’s not forget about all that toilet paper hoarding which defined the earlier part of 2020.

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The new normal when it comes to consumer spending is largely confined to purchasing only the essentials, but there has also been a peculiar yet predictable surge in what can reasonably be described as online retail therapy.  Since we’ve basically been forced to become homebodies, our shopping preferences have changed to reflect this lifestyle shift.  Online streaming services have increased dramatically in popularity, as people search for shows and films to chew up some of their time at home.

Industries which have seen an uptick in their sales since the global pandemic hit include food delivery and takeout services, alcohol, exercise equipment, health supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer, and beauty and wellness products.

Some people have been compelled to stock up on bundles of essentials like pasta, toilet paper and the like, while others have fallen into the habit of purchasing unnecessary items, perhaps a long coveted item which was purchased with the attitude, life is short, might as well buy it.

The following excerpt from an article by Leanne Italie is an excellent description of the purchasing habits which many of us might find ourselves falling into as this lockdown continues:

“Shopping as therapy has been shown to reduce negative moods and boost overall happiness,” he said. “The big downside, however, is that such relief is very short-lived. That good feeling very quickly dissipates.”

Mr. Galak said some research points to “shopping while bored” as a variation with less emotional payout.

“Browsing for things that one doesn’t need fills the time and then clicking `buy now’ just naturally follows,” he said. “Consumers may find themselves on page 20 of a search result for a new pair of shoes, a place that when engaged and not bored, they would never reach.”

Jennifer Salgado, 42 of Bloomfield, N.J., is a shopper with many heads these days.

“Resourceful me has purchased: a pasta roller and drying rack, because now I’m Ina Garten; stuff to make hand sanitizer, because I’m now a chemist; and dog nail clippers that my 76-pound bulldog noped out of real fast and is now looking like Snooki from the ‘Jersey Shore,’” she said.

There’s also “luxurious me,” Ms. Salgado said, snapping up 96 macarons from a bulk-buying store, along with the Jennifer who needed 24 pounds of frozen peas.

“Most of the time, I forget what’s coming,” she said, echoing others who accepted long delivery dates out of fear. “And most of the time, I realize I never really needed these things in the first place.”

Kellie Flor-Robinson of Silver Spring, Md., just may be a combination of all of the above.

“I ordered a case of Moet,” she said. “I’m not sure that it was an accident, though — this thing has me buggy.”

 

 

The Amazon Genie

Shopping isn’t what it used to be, thank goodness. As one who cannot stand the arduous process of shopping in brick and mortar stores, I am so thankful for the advent of online shopping. Within a few minutes, you can now purchase just about anything under the sun via your computer or phone, saving you the hassle of driving somewhere, battling crowds, and dealing with the frustration of traipsing from store to store in search of the item you desire.

I know there are people out there who get some sort of enjoyment out of visiting stores and browsing through merchandise, but for the rest of us, online shopping is truly a godsend. Online stores have also grown into megastores, with arguably the largest one being Amazon.

Amazon is like a magic genie which can grant just about any wish to a shopper. Did you say you want a gold glitter lamp? Ta-da! Your wish is granted: https://www.amazon.com/14-5-Inch-Rainbow-Glitter-Clear-Liquid/dp/B015EEPKJW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505102175&sr=8-1&keywords=gold+glitter+lamp

Gold Gliiter Lamp

Or maybe you have your heart set on a pair of orange running shoes…here you go:
https://www.amazon.com/ASICS-Gel-Kayano-Running-Orange-Safety/dp/B017SAAB0I/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&qid=1505102905&sr=8-17&keywords=mens+orange+athletic+shoes

Orange Athletic Shoes

If you aren’t happy with the selections or the prices you see on Amazon, you can hop onto eBay, or do a Google search which will yield numerous options for you to select from. On the plus side, you can’t beat the convenience which comes with online shopping. On the minus side, a whole generation of people who expect instant gratification has sprouted up. The demand for more esoteric and bizarre items has increased as a result of the plethora of merchandise which is available out there. It’s a whole new age.

My Favorite Stores For Hot Dresses

One of my favorite hot dresses is this gold bandage dress from Hot Miami Styles

One of my favorite hot dresses is this gold bandage dress from Hot Miami Styles

I love hot dresses, but I honestly can’t stand shopping. The mere thought of stepping into a mall to shop makes me cringe. Thank goodness for online shopping! There are several sites which I turn to for hot dresses, all of which have decent prices and lots of cute styles.

http://www.hotmiamistyles.com/ I love the bandage dresses from this site, and I also love two very distinctive and comfortable maxi dresses which were purchased from this site. However, I haven’t had any luck with the other maxi dresses, because they all are cut to fit someone over six feet tall! My advice to anyone who is shorter than 5’10” is to stick with the shorter dresses.

http://www.venus.com/ This is a great site for maxi dresses, and I have found also found nice dresses for work. However, this is not the site to visit if you are into the club dress or bodycon look, because their selections are a bit on the modest side.

http://tobi.com/ The clothing on this website is trendy, yet well made, and the prices are fair. Their cuts fit a willowy fashion model type very well, but often hide the hard work that a fitness gal has. That being said, I love their cut-out designs, and one of my favorite dresses is a dress which looks very modest and sedate, but features a very sexy open back.

http://www.amiclubwear.com/ and http://yandy.com/ I used to love these sites because they both have TONS of selections, and the prices are amazingly low. However, you have to dig through a lot of trashy and cheap looking designs to find the good designs. I think it’s worth it if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. If you are a fan of club dresses, you’ll enjoy these sites. I have stepped away from the club dresses, so I don’t find myself perusing these sites anymore.

http://www.zaful.com/ This site has so many selections that you could probably visit every single day and find something new that you will want to buy. The prices are unbelievable, and the quality of most of the items is quite decent. However, I would advise you to read the size charts for each item very carefully, and also read the product reviews before buying anything, because these items are shipped from overseas, and returns are difficult at best.

http://www.hellomollyfashion.com/us/ This site is based in Australia, but ships to the US and has US dollar pricing as well. The clothing is SO cute, and there is a pretty big selection. My only beef about this site is that too many of the items are pink, which I absolutely hate and refuse to wear.

http://www.fashionnova.com/ Cute stuff, big selection, and great prices. The quality is a bit cheap, and the materials used are rather flimsy, but the site is good for trendy, bodycon type, “throw away” fashion.