Tag Archives: Amazon

Ask Amazon, Walmart online customers for product info

I do a lot of online shopping. While it is a convenient way to find affordable products, it does have its downfalls. One is that you cannot see or try out the product you are viewing on the Internet. In some cases, you can find the same product at a local store and examine it there, but this is not always the case. That’s why I’ve been excited to discover helpful tools offered by Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

Both retailers have an “ask-a-question” feature on their product pages that allows you to post an inquiry about a specific product and get answers from other customers. I have been amazed at how quickly questions I posted on Amazon get answered and by how many people take time to share their input. Often, I will get an answer within one to two hours of posting my question on Amazon.

Answers come more slowly on Walmart.com, sometimes taking a few days or even weeks.

Both websites give you the option of being notified by email when your question is answered, so you don’t have to keep revisiting the product page to look for a response.

It can be a bit tricky to find the “Ask a question” feature on Amazon. You have to click on the link to customer reviews found just below the product name at the top of the page (behind the product’s star rating). Once the reviews page loads, you’ll see this heading on the right side of the page: “Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers.” Type your question in the box provided.

On Walmart.com, it’s not readily apparent where this feature is, either. After you open the product page, scroll down to the “Item description” section, and look for this wording at the end of the description: “Do you have questions about this product? Ask a question.”

I’ve only encountered one instance where customers disputed the correct answer to my question, and that involved a technical specification on a specialty electronic device. While there are no guarantees you’ll get a right answer, I’ve found the responses I receive to be generally helpful, friendly and accurate.

Are there other websites where you have found helpful customer question features?

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Amazon delivers a quick refund on failed shredder

In my last post, I explained how an Amazon Basics shredder I’d purchased failed after just a few weeks of use and how impressed I was by my initial customer service experience with the company when reporting the problem. I promised to follow up after the transaction was complete.

I dropped off my broken shredder at a UPS store on Monday, Feb. 4. Return shipping was paid for by Amazon. Because I live so close to Amazon’s return processing facility, the company received received my shredder the day after I dropped it off. Today, two business days after the drop-off, I received a notification my return had been processed, followed by a notice of my refund.

Between the time I requested a return merchandise label and the date I shipped the item, I emailed a couple of questions to the Amazon customer service team. Each time, I received a prompt response.

After shipping my item, I could log into my Account, then select “Return or replace items” and “Manage my returns” to track my package. The only improvement I’d make to this section is adding the notification that the return was processed and the refund issued, but that is a very minor flaw.

Besides the fact my shredder was a poor quality product, I really have no complaints about my Amazon shopping experience. Within a week of requesting to return the item, I have my money back and can now purchase something else.

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Endless.com absorbed by Amazon

It’s been a while since I bought a pair of shoes, so I was rather surprised when I visited my favorite shoe store online and discovered an announcement that it is no longer in operation. Endless.com is one of the stores I featured in a post earlier this year about sources of hard-to-find women’s shoe sizes. Now it’s been absorbed by its parent company, Amazon, and its offerings can be found at amazon.com/fashion. It will no longer exist as a separate website.

I’m glad the shoes offered by Endless will still be around, but it’s disappointing they’re now incorporated into the Amazon website. The Endless website was easier to search and use than Amazon’s is. One of my favorite parts of shopping with Endless was that it offered free shipping and free returns, allowing me to try on shoes without costly shipping charges. According to its online returns policy for shoes, it looks like Amazon will offer free returns on many products, but not all of them will have free shipping both ways. Make sure you look for the words “Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping and Free Returns” if you’re interested in this benefit.

I’m glad that I haven’t totally lost access to the shoes offered by Endless, but it appears some of the benefits the site offered are gone for good.

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Where to buy women’s shoes in hard-to-find sizes

If you wear a size 6, 7 or 8 ladies’ shoe in a medium width, consider yourself fortunate. You can walk into almost any shoe or department store and find a wide selection of styles, colors and fabrics to choose from. Shoe shopping can become a chore for women who wear larger sizes, especially sizes 11 and up. Those who need narrow or wide widths can also encounter shopping challenges.

Thankfully, there are some shoe retailers who care about customers with large and hard-to-find shoe sizes. Three of them make shoe shopping especially easy by providing free shipping and free returns, allowing you to order and try on shoes without shelling out $8 or more each way for shipping:

Endless.com: This is a company from which I’ve ordered the most hard-to-find sizes. They offer very quick shipping, with delivery in two business days. If the shoes don’t fit you well or aren’t what you expected, you initiate your return online and print a prepaid UPS return label from the Endless website. Affix the label to your package and drop it off at your nearest UPS location. I’ve found Endless processes returns and refunds the purchase amount to my credit card very quickly. Endless is owned by Amazon.

Zappos: Another place to find a wide selection of large, narrow and wide shoes is Zappos.com, another company owned by Amazon. Like Endless, Zappos offers free shipping both ways for shoe purchases. Returns of Zappos purchases also begin online. While Endless focuses primarily on shoes and accessories, Zappos also sells a wide range of other items, including clothing and housewares. This may explain why it takes them longer than Endless to process returns and credit your account.

Shoebuy.com: My final source for hard-to-find shoes with free shipping and free returns is Shoebuy.com. Shipping here is not as quick as Endless; it can take up to 10 business days to receive your shoes if you choose the free shipping option. One benefit of Shoebuy is that you can often find a promo code to apply to your purchase. Zappos states on its website that it does not offer coupon or promo codes. I just sent back my first Shoebuy order, so I can’t comment yet on the speediness of their return process.

You can get an extra discount at Shoebuy and Endless by shopping through Ebates to get cash back. Zappos is not an Ebates participating retailer.

If you can’t find the shoes you want at these sites, there are others offering hard-to-find sizes for women online. However, most of them charge for return shipping or shipping both ways. This can add $8 to $23 to the cost of your purchase and/or return.

If you know of other sites offering free shipping and returns for large, narrow and wide women’s shoes, please post a comment with the details.

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