Saturday, July 05, 2008

Piperlime Is The New Zappos

I'm a longtime spender at, often ordering 4 or 5 pairs of shoes at once, sometimes with multiple sizes or colours of a particular style. Free shipping! Free returns! More often than not, Zappos upgrades your shipping so that you order one day and the next day you get that magical email: "You have a package - please pick it up at the front desk." I love being able to sort by style, colour, and even heel height. In short, I'm really fussy about shoes. Zappos has been there for me through many changes of season, during which I inevitably become anxious about such decisions as whether or not to show my toes at work (currently yes) and whether I should buy boots with a heel (undecided).

Enter Piperlime, at whose email I scoffed when I first received one a year or two ago. "Oh, that's cute," I thought smugly, "Gap is trying to compete with Zappos with a shoe site. It'll never work." But I didn't unsubscribe, and eventually this year they got me with an email about trendy summer gladiator shoes.

The truth is, no matter how picky I am about footwear, I'm no fashionista, and I'll take all the help I can get. It didn't hurt that I'm keen on sandals that are a) flat and b) cover much of my feet, so the gladiators are already up my alley. But to have some sort of fashion expert reviewing the shoes and giving me suggestions seemed like a good idea, and I ordered a few pairs. When the shoes arrived, Piperlime's packaging charmed me: The inside of the shipping box is printed with Piperlime's sweet limey logo, and the invoice comes tastefully tucked into a lime green envelope. To top it all off, each shoe box came wrapped in brown tissue paper secured with a green lime sticker. Sweet times!

I decided to keep only one of the three pairs, and the other two pairs have been languishing in their boxes for the past month or so, because I vaguely dreaded the process of going to the website to print out a return label (which I keep forgetting to do at work, where I have access to such essential items as a printer). Today I finally decided to at least package them up so I could print the label on Monday and I was delighted to discover a self-adhesive return label IN THE BOX! Zappos, take note.

Now that I have a cool pair of summer sandals, I'm almost looking forward to deciding whether to get mid-calf or knee-high boots this Fall.


montague said...

oooohhh, i like! i never bought of zappos or piperlime, but with your encouragement... i might just start shopping!

Lisa said...

I think Zappos has lots of shoes but most are fug. Piperlime is mostly cute. Also, I badly want gladiators but I've yet to find a pair that fits me right. Plus completely flat doesn't work for me, I need a bit of an insole. Will I ever find them? Yours are super great, though!

Candace said...

So, what do you think of Endless?

Anonymous said...

I too am a longtime fan of Zappos (free shipping! overnight delivery! genius!). So it wasn't until Zappos was out of the shoe I wanted and Piperlime had it that I strayed. But unlike your story mine takes a strong anti-Piper turn: they shipped me 3 pairs of shoes. None of the shoe sizes corresponded to the size marked on the box. And one of the colors was wrong. Now the packaging IS damn cute. No arguing with that but Zappos has shipped me a good 30 pairs and never once fucked up. I feel like a ad for Zappos (will someone step up and pay me for this?) but it's all true and Zappos still has my shoe coveting heart. Plus, I once ordered a pair of shoes from Zappos at 11pm and they were delivered at 10am the NEXT morning. That's not good customer service - that's magic!

Anonymous said...

Interesting post.! Well, Piperlime and Zappos both are my favorite store.