9 Shopping Sites Worth Visiting

online shopping

Does online shopping ever seem a little…overwhelming? With the plethora of choices available online, it may be hard to find just the right place to spend those hard-earned dollars.

9 Shopping Sites Worth Visiting

9 Shopping Sites Worth Visiting

Does online shopping ever seem a little…overwhelming? With the plethora of choices available online, it may be hard to find just the right place to spend those hard-earned dollars. To help us navigate the top websites for clothes, shoes, accessories and more, we turned to online shopping experts Elise Loehnen, editor-in-chief of Beso and Justine Schwartz, senior editor at SHEfinds.

 

Read on for a breakdown of the best online destinations for fashion—and what makes each shopping site stand out from the pack.

Rue La La: Best For the Budget-Minded Fashionista

Rue La La: Best For the Budget-Minded Fashionista

For online deals of all kinds, check out Rue La La. This site’s great for everyone from budget-minded fashionistas to busy moms to travelers seeking deals, says Schwartz. About fifteen new flash sales are added daily, with prices ranging from home wares under $20, to $1,000 designer handbags and shoes. For extra savings, spread the word: “Users get a $10 credit for each referral,” says Schwartz. (Rue La La tracks the referral code you send to friends who sign up.)

 

Loehnen says the website is easy to navigate, and that its themed sales (like an all-cashmere event, for example, or a housewarming gifts event) stand out from the standard single-brand sales you’ll find elsewhere. “Plus, it’s nice to be able to shop all categories simultaneously–from trips to baby gifts,” she says.

 

The Breakdown

  • Free Shipping? No, but it’s a flat rate of $9.95.

  • Return Policy: 30 days, and they offer free shipping on returns for store credit.

  • Best known for: Moderately-priced to high-end fashion and accessories, from BCBG and Puma to Calvin Klein and Gucci.

  • Customer Service: 6am-midnight ET daily, by phone and email.

Gilt: Best for Luxury Goods

Gilt: Best for Luxury Goods

Got the urge to splurge? This upscale/luxury website (think GOOP, says Schwartz), is the premiere online sample sale shopping destination, with the best designers and a flat shipping rate of $5.95. Gilt was the pioneer in the world of private sale sites, says Loehnen, and the website is still wildly popular. “Their big sales still sell out in record time, and they offer some cool features, like a waitlist, which does work. It’s also nice to be able to check out what’s on offer without going through the rigmarole of signing in,” Loehnen says. (You must have an account, however, to actually shop.)

 

The Breakdown

  • Free Shipping? No, but it’s a flat rate of $5.95.

  • Return Policy: 21 days, but only on smaller sized items like apparel, footwear, etc. Returns less than $200 receive store credit, otherwise you have the option of a store credit with a free return charge or a refund minus a $9.95 return shipping charge.

  • Best known for: High-end fashion and accessories from brands like Marni, Missoni and Valentino.

  • Customer Service: 7am-10pm ET weekdays, 10am-6pm ET weekends, by phone and email.

Acrimony: Best for Boutique Lovers

Acrimony: Best for Boutique Lovers

Acrimony: Best for Boutique Lovers No stylish clothing boutiques in your area? Not a problem. All you need is a laptop to shop this curated collection of mid- to high-priced men’s and women’s clothing and accessories (plus hip items for the home). Brands such as Alexander Wang, Opening Ceremony, Rachel Comey and Le Labo are on offer at Acrimony, and good deals can be found in the sale section (including many finds at 50% off). Orders are fulfilled within 24 hours. Loehnen raves about this site’s clear, detailed product photos and descriptions and says the site’s a real find for the discerning fashion fiend. “While this San Francisco boutique doesn’t offer a compendium of labels, what they do stock on the shelves is stellar,” says Loehnen.

 

The Breakdown

  • Free Shipping? No, but it’s a flat rate of $9.00.

  • Return Policy: Seven days to initiate the return request, but no returns on jewelry, swimwear or lingerie; customers are responsible for return shipping charges.

  • Best known for: A handpicked selection of hipper brands.

  • Customer Service: 11am-7pm PST Monday-Saturday, 12pm-6pm PST Sunday, by phone and email.

Shopbop: Best for High Fashion

Shopbop: Best for High Fashion

For one-stop sartorial satisfaction, this site can’t be beat. With women’s fashion finds from Marc Jacobs, DVF, Botkier and many more, Shopbop suits trendsetters as well as trend followers, says Schwartz. Looking for exclusives from lines like Rag & Bone? They’ve got them at Shopbop. Though prices can be high, there’s a year-round sale section at 30-70% off.

 

Loehnen says there’s good reason that Shopbop is so popular among the fashion-centric set: “They offer pretty much every piece, from every label that matters–and they offer it with unparalleled customer service. Many women order in bulk to try it all on in the comfort of their bedroom.” In addition to helpful multi-angle photographs, Shopbop now features short videos of products, so you can see how the item in question actually looks on a person in motion, Loehnen adds.

 

The Breakdown

  • Free Shipping? Yes. Free ground shipping in three business days or less.

  • Return Policy: 30 days, and free returns within 15 days with pre-paid label.

  • Best known for: Mid-priced offerings from brands such as Splendid to very high- end designs from the likes of L’Wren Scott.

  • Customer Service: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by phone and email.

Piperlime: Best for Shopping Like You’re in a Department Store

Piperlime: Best for Shopping Like You’re in a Department Store

Thought they just sold shoes? Think again. “Piperlime is Gap’s high-end, stylish sister,” says Schwartz. Clothing brands like Rachel Zoe, Michael Kors and Joe’s Jeans are on offer, among other mid- to high-priced women’s, men’s and kids’ brands. Coupon codes are available year-round, as are free shipping and returns. Loehnen says shopping on the site is easy to do, as well as easy on the wallet. “They offer tons of helpful filters for paring down the selection, including color, size and price. And they offer loads of incentives if you join their mailing list, which means you’re always assured of getting a good deal,” she says.

 

The Breakdown

  • Free Shipping? Yes. Free standard shipping (your order usually arrives in 3-5 business days).

  • Return Policy: Free returns within 30 days with pre-paid label.

  • Best known for: A department store-like selection of fashion, handbags and shoes.

  • Customer Service: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by phone and email.

Amazon: Best For, Well, Almost Everything

Amazon: Best For, Well, Almost Everything

As most of us already know, you just can’t beat this online behemoth when it comes to cheaply and conveniently re-stocking all sorts of essentials. What you might not know is that Amazon sells clothes, shoes, jewelry and accessories from brands ranging from Levi’s and Adidas to Rebecca Minkoff and Kate Spade.

 

The company has raised their style bar by launching Amazon Fashion, featuring e-stores for brands like 10 Crosby (Derek Lam’s contemporary line). Loehnen says the low-priced retailer’s recent foray into (full-priced) fashion has raised a few eyebrows: “It remains to be seen whether they can appeal to a more stylish set.” Still, even if it’s not the most inspiring place to shop for clothes, Amazon compensates with its wide selection and renowned customer service.

 

The Breakdown

  • Free Shipping? Yes, on orders $25 and over for items marked Eligible for Free Super Saver Shipping. Customers can also join Amazon Prime and enjoy Free Two-Day Shipping for $79 a year.

  • Return Policy: You may return most new, unopened items sold and fulfilled by Amazon.com within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.

  • Best known for: A one-stop destination for head-to-toe style, featuring a great selection of popular brands across clothing, shoes, accessories, along with most everything else you could ever want to purchase.

  • Customer Service: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by phone and email.

Zappos: Best Customer Service, Hands Down

Zappos: Best Customer Service, Hands Down

This company is all about the customer. They started out as an online shoe emporium and soon branched out into fashion and more; but since they market to web shoppers of every kind, Zappos’ style might best be described as nondescript, says Schwartz. The pluses? Fast, free shipping and returns on a substantial selection of shoes, clothing, accessories and home goods.

 

The site has good sales, and prices are truly wide- ranging, with everything from flip flops under $10 to $1,000 designer shoes. Loehnen loves how Zappos has shown its wares on videos starring real employees so you can see how purchases will actually look when worn. “And they layer in loads of customer reviews, plus filters that include things like heel heights and widths for shoes, and inseams for jeans–great for people who are hard to fit,” she adds.

 

The Breakdown

  • Free Shipping? They’re well-known for their free standard shipping.

  • Return Policy: A whopping 365 days, and they offer free shipping on returns.

  • Best known for: An un-edited, endless stock of shoes and accessories; check out the site’s specialty fashion shop, The Style Room, for a more curated collection. And their excellent customer service.

  • Customer Service: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by phone and email.

ASOS: Best for Hot New Trends

ASOS: Best for Hot New Trends

For the latest looks, you’ve got to bookmark ASOS. With a dizzying display of trend-led women’s and men’s clothing, shoes and accessories, ASOS — which originated in the UK — is the site to beat when it comes to scoring the look of the moment. “It’s inarguably the most exciting fast fashion option in the US,” says Loehnen. ASOS sells a house line, ASOS Collection, along with a marketplace of international brands, and they’re all served up in a cool (but not too edgy) way, according to Loehnen. Besides loads of on-trend pieces that ring in for under $100, the site also sells plus, maternity and petite sizes. Added perks: 10 percent off for students and free shipping both ways.

 

The Breakdown

  • Free Shipping? Yes. Free standard shipping.

  • Return Policy: Free returns within 28 days with pre-paid label.

  • Best known for: Low prices on a wide range of trendy finds from brands like Cheap Monday, River Island, House of Holland and Warehouse.

  • Customer Service: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via email; most are replied to within six hours.

Refinery29: Best For Shopping Like a Fashion Editor

Refinery29: Best For Shopping Like a Fashion Editor

To dress like an editor, check out Refinery29 Shops, the fashion shopping site from the eponymous fashion e-magazine. It’s made up of mini-boutiques selling both new and vintage finds. You can shop from their editors’ picks in beauty, as well as picks from their favorite indie designers. The website itself best describes their high-low mix of offerings (and the closet of their target customer): “Yes, here at Shops, Hermès lives very happily right alongside Keds.”

Although Refinery29 is best known as a top-notch fashion editorial site, they’ve actually always had a store concept, says Loehnen, similar to the site FarFetch, selling a handful of picks from their favorite boutiques. “Now, they’re more focused on vintage, and clearing out the closets of their editors as well as those of notable style setters,” she says. They also offer up vouchers (which basically work like coupon codes) redeemable at the official sites of partner vendors like the lingerie company Only Hearts.

The Breakdown

  • Free Shipping? Free ground shipping for orders over $75; otherwise, it’s a $5.95 flat rate.

  • Return Policy: 14 days, but no returns on items like makeup, fragrance, intimate apparel and vintage; free returns if customer uses pre-paid label.

  • Best known for: A quirky mix emblematic of the Refinery29 editors’ tastes.

  • Customer Service: By email only, and queries are usually answered within one business day.

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