Friday, November 6, 2015

Never Shop (Online) Without It: PayPal and Online Shopping

I learned an important lesson today, after a certain celebrity-sponsored clothing line took my money and a month later sent me no product and no replies to my many email queries.

I love online shopping. Etsy is one of my favorite places for unique items. Amazon is my go-to for books, household items, and tech accessories. Instagram is my favorite place to find out about different black-owned small businesses across the US and the world. Being able to patronize businesses via their websites gives me the chance to get unique items that I want without the hassle of salespeople, long lines, and missing out on cool items sold in cities far from me, and also the opportunity to read reviews and compare prices. Plus, shopping online offers more options for discounts, often not offered in stores. For example, I recently bought a Calvin Klein coat from macys.com, originally priced at $325 at the store, for $112 plus free shipping, due to a combination special online pricing, sales, and online coupons.

I have had very few bad experiences with online shopping. I usually get my purchases in a timely fashion and have been easily able to return the items that I don't want. But, this experience that I had with this clothing brand, which came to my attention due to Beyonce wearing one of their flannel shirts, could have easily turned me off to online shopping, if it was not for the purchase protection that PayPal offers. For the past three weeks, I have been trying to get someone from the online clothing company to tell me when I would receive my merchandise. They took my money immediately after I clicked "submit order" but didn't answer one email I sent after I had yet to receive my order after a month of waiting. Luckily, I paid for my order with my PayPal account and I was able to get them to contact the company. Less than two hours after reporting the company to PayPal,  my order was cancelled, and most importantly, my money was refunded to my account. Three weeks of complaining and trying to get this company to give me my order or my money back, and PayPal solved the issue in two hours.

Lesson of the day: Always pay for online shopping orders with PayPal.

If you don't have a PayPal account, I highly recommend you get one here.