Shopbop return warning

ghostmouse

Member
Dec 5, 2008
20
7
Full disclosure: I'm a habitual shopbop buyer and returner. For example, if I need a dress for a wedding, I buy 6 and keep 1.
I also buy a lot during their sales and keep a few items and send the rest back.

BUT, today, I got the below email SB:
We’ve noticed that you have returned the majority of your purchases from us in the past 12 months. We are hoping we can work with you to improve this pattern, because it could result in your account becoming subject to additional fees. If you're having trouble finding the right sizes and styles, our 24/7 customer service team is happy to point you in the right direction, and they're only a call or email away.
We hope we will see a decline in returns from you following this note. If not, you may receive further communication from us, explaining the conditions under which your account could be subject to a modified returns policy, which includes a built-in Returns Penalty Fee for each item you return to Shopbop | East Dane.

AHH!! Has anyone else gotten this? What should I do (other than the obvious not buy so much)? ?
Thanks!
 
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AugustaBlue

Member
Mar 1, 2015
185
86
I’m going to be honest and say I’m on Shopbop’s side. I can understand maybe buying 2 dresses at a time and returning one, but who needs six options for only one choice? You’re holding up a lot of merchandise for both the company and other potential buyers. Again, just my opinion, but I don’t get this level of serial buying and returns. I think you should accept the email and shop elsewhere, though I suspect this will become an issue at most places.
 

Missaggie

Member
Mar 5, 2013
104
89
After further thought I have to agree with AugustaBlue. It probably costs Shopbop considerable amount of dollars to process all of these orders. They have shipping fees, restocking costs, etc. At some point it is most likely not profitable and actually a losing proposition for them. I think we all have to be considerate and respectful of others.
 
May 28, 2007
15
5
i understand that it costs them to process returns, but also, they are an online-only retailer and it should be expected to have higher rates of returns due to the fact that we cannot try on the clothes before deciding. when i shop, it's hard to tell what size i fall into since each brand name is slightly different in fit and i will often buy 2 sizes to compare and return the other.
 

anmldr1

O.G.
Sep 11, 2006
1,332
729
i got the same email today!! i usually keep about 50% of items that i purchase from shop bop...often times ordering 2 different sizes, and keeping one...sometimes i'll return certain t-shirts that i order because of the quality....i think it's insane for them to send an email such as this, given they have a liberal return policy...why have the policy, if you don't want returns...also they are a on line only retailer...it's not like i'm going into the store, trying stuff on and then changing my mind...i think it's insane for them to think that while sitting on our computer, we will be able to tell the quality and the size of the items...they should push more for reviews to be left of the items, so people can get a better idea of how it fits or what the quality is like...i'm angry that i got this e mail...there are plenty of other places online to shop, that carry the exact same items!
 

ghostmouse

Member
Dec 5, 2008
20
7
i got the same email today!! i usually keep about 50% of items that i purchase from shop bop...often times ordering 2 different sizes, and keeping one...sometimes i'll return certain t-shirts that i order because of the quality....i think it's insane for them to send an email such as this, given they have a liberal return policy...why have the policy, if you don't want returns...also they are a on line only retailer...it's not like i'm going into the store, trying stuff on and then changing my mind...i think it's insane for them to think that while sitting on our computer, we will be able to tell the quality and the size of the items...they should push more for reviews to be left of the items, so people can get a better idea of how it fits or what the quality is like...i'm angry that i got this e mail...there are plenty of other places online to shop, that carry the exact same items!
I'm definitely annoyed. I also started moving items I had in my "hearts" over to Nordstrom and I realized once I compared the picture of the Shopbop item I didn't even like some things once I saw them on the Nordstrom website. So, I think their problem is twofold: people will be 2 sizes of things because they are online only and they are photographing things in a distorted way so you can't even tell what it's really going to look like. They may have lost a longtime customer. Thanks for your input! I'm glad I'm not the only one! ;)
 

luv2bling

Member
Feb 12, 2013
1,283
957
i got the same email today!! i usually keep about 50% of items that i purchase from shop bop...often times ordering 2 different sizes, and keeping one...sometimes i'll return certain t-shirts that i order because of the quality....i think it's insane for them to send an email such as this, given they have a liberal return policy...why have the policy, if you don't want returns...also they are a on line only retailer...it's not like i'm going into the store, trying stuff on and then changing my mind...i think it's insane for them to think that while sitting on our computer, we will be able to tell the quality and the size of the items...they should push more for reviews to be left of the items, so people can get a better idea of how it fits or what the quality is like...i'm angry that i got this e mail...there are plenty of other places online to shop, that carry the exact same items!
I have to agree with the bolded. One of my greatest challenges with online shopping is size and quality. Historically, my height and size has made finding clothes to fit me challenging. Length is most often the issue. As more and more ground retailers are moving products online and as availability of quality clothing on the ground becomes limited, shopping is no longer a pleasant experience for me. Over the last 10 years my shopping spend has decreased from ~$5-$7K to less than ~$1k, annually, due to a lack of, on the ground, quality clothing.
I also agree there are costs associated with processing, shipping and restocking. However, online retailers are able to reach markets they typically would not be able to with on the ground brick and mortar stores; costs associated with operating brick and mortar facilities, shipping to and stocking multiple locations, sales persons salaries, asset protection, and stock based demographics are either eliminated or significantly reduced with online retail stores.
Using the OP's example of needing a dress for a wedding; if she were shopping on the ground, for a dress, more than likely she'd take 6 dresses in the fitting room, at the same time, to try on for style and fit. Chances are she may have to visit multiple stores, trying on several dresses in her search for a dress. Transferring this shopping behavior to online shopping is not unrealistic. Also, who has time to purchase a dress at a time only to discover, after arriving, it doesn't fit or the quality is poor, package it up, return it and start all over again?

I believe online retailers need to address this dilemma, outside of sending these types of warnings to customers . Most shoppers on online sites, such as shop bop are not sizes 0-4 and 5'0"-5'3 tall.
 
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prepster

Member
Mar 4, 2016
2,082
5,339
I have to agree with the bolded. One of my greatest challenges with online shopping is size and quality. Historically, my height and size has made finding clothes to fit me challenging. Length is most often the issue. As more and more ground retailers are moving products online and as availability of quality clothing on the ground becomes limited, shopping is no longer a pleasant experience for me. Over the last 10 years my shopping spend has decreased from ~$5-$7K to less than ~$1k, annually, due to a lack of, on the ground, quality clothing.
I also agree there are costs associated with processing, shipping and restocking. However, online retailers are able to reach markets they typically would not be able to with on the ground brick and mortar stores; costs associated with operating brick and mortar facilities, shipping to and stocking multiple locations, sales persons salaries, asset protection, and stock based demographics are either eliminated or significantly reduced with online retail stores.
Using the OP's example of needing a dress for a wedding; if she were shopping on the ground, for a dress, more than likely she'd take 6 dresses in the fitting room, at the same time, to try on for style and fit. Chances are she may have to visit multiple stores, trying on several dresses in her search for a dress. Transferring this shopping behavior to online shopping is not unrealistic. Also, who has time to purchase a dress at a time only to discover, after arriving, it doesn't fit or the quality is poor, package it up, return it and start all over again?

I believe online retailers need to address this dilemma, outside of sending these types of warnings to customers . Most shoppers on online sites, such as shop bop are not sizes 0-4 and 5'0"-5'3 tall.
Online retailers have stripped away the expense of running a brick and mortar establishment, and are essentially warehousing and mail processing, so returns are the cost of doing business.

One thing that would help is if online and catalog retailers would photograph a garment with more views, and more importantly, as it actually is IRL. Instead they show two views and then nip and clip clothing to make it look better fitting. I can't tell you the number of times I've ordered "slim" legged pants that look so lean and sleek in the ad, which, when they arrive, are practically bell-bottoms. They also nip in the waist of jackets to make them look better tailored, and clip the neck of turtleneck sweaters so they appear to fit higher and more snugly. If they want to show what an item looks like after tailoring, then indicate that's what they have done. Otherwise, I can only assume that the intention is to make inferior products look higher quality than they actually are.

I hate returning things. It's a hassle to package it all back up again, so I shop very carefully, and study the photos intently. I will not knowingly order a garment that isn't what I want, but I have only their photos and descriptions to go on so I'm relying on them to be accurate. If they want fewer returns, they need to be honest with their photos and detailed in their descriptions. If returns are a problem, they may want to look at their own business practices, rather than blame the consumer.
 
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ProShopper1

Member
Jan 11, 2016
318
159
If you hate online shopping so much stop doing it! Your options might be more limited in real stores but then at least you can try every item on and then decide. I don't think online retailers really have a problem with you buying two and then returning one. I think it's when you have people who abuse the liberal return policy like the OP that causes issues. If you don't like the way Shopbop displays their products you have 2 options. Research the products you're looking at better (like another poster said she looked at Nordstrom) or don't shop there anymore. Shopbop is probably trying to keep its liberal return policy in play for all of their customers, but if everyone returns like the OP it wouldn't be cost effective to do that. So they had to make a choice, limit the top abusers or charge everyone to make up for them. Which sounds like the most fair option?
 
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ProShopper1

Member
Jan 11, 2016
318
159
No one said they hate online shopping.
I wasn't replying to you directly. You shop the way I do. I look at things carefully on multiple sites to help ensure I'm getting what I want because I hate the hassle of returns. I'm inferring that some of the other posters, like love2bling, dislike online shopping because finding a proper fit is difficult. I also figured (and I could be incorrect but only the OP can comment on this) that the OP is not the biggest fan because she ends up returning the majority of the items she purchases. To me, that just sounds like one big pain in the tush and not so enjoyable. If you don't like their business practices the answer is quite simple, shop somewhere else.

But again, if the online retailers only budget x amount for returns and 1% is abusing that and skewing their numbers you can bet they're not going to say "let's lose money," they're going to pass the bill onto the 1% or to EVERYONE. The latter is definitely not fair.
 
Jan 15, 2011
8,579
18,217
Hmmmmm...
I am a major Shopbop customer also and I do a pretty sizable amount of returning. I didn't get this email (yet) but I got an invite to their VIP program so I am wondering what volume they base this on.

Personally I see nothing whatsoever wrong with ordering six dresses because you need one. Wouldn't you try on at least six in a department store to end up with one? Shopbop and their competitors want you to shop on their sites, not go to Barneys. So you order, you try, you return - Shopbop (which btw is owned by Amazon) charges $10 for returns that arrive after fifteen days so at most, your returned items are out of stock for 2-3 weeks. As long as you are careful with try-ons and return things neatly this seems like a sensible way to shop, on both sides.
If Shopbop were a department store, they'd be paying for retail space, utilities, the salespeople who would BRING you the items and theoretically help you choose, etc., etc. And you'd still have tried on six or more garments which would need to be re-hung and returned to racks. No, the items wouldn't be away for weeks, but have you read the horror stories about department store dressing rooms?

Not to mention what other posters have said - I too am a hard to fit size and it is IMPOSSIBLE to tell what is flattering or even good quality from any online photos. Net-a-porter does the best job of photographing clothes IMO yet I still return things that are very much not as pictured. (And no, I am not quitting online shopping.) The easier returns are, the more I am likely to use a site. (FWIW, for $25, NAP will hand-deliver a rack of clothing to you in NYC or London same-day, and come pick up whatever you don't want.)

I agree with prepster, it's the cost of doing business if you're an online retailer.