December 10, 2010

Online Shopping Highs and Woes

I started writing this post a couple weeks ago, but somehow it got lost in the shuffle. With my latest shopping woe, I've decided now is the perfect time to share a failure and a victory. 

I typically love Cyber Monday. I started doing the majority of my Christmas shopping about 5 years ago and loved the opportunity to take advantage of the many deals and perks that online shopping has to offer. The main perk is no crazy shoppers and no lines. While that still holds true, I have found that as Cyber Monday has blown up to mass proportions, there is a lot more frustration when trying to do my online shopping. Many sites simply were not prepared to handle the capacity. Some sites didn't work properly and items would mysteriously disappear from my cart. If you don't checkout fast enough your items get removed from your cart. What used to be the easy way to do my shopping is slowly becoming more of a pain in the ass.

I'll start with the FAIL. I've never been a big fan of ToysRUs. I'm especially now not a fan of their website, my online shopping experience with them and now, customer service. I ordered gifts for my nephews on Cyber Monday. Nothing crazy or big or that would sell out- I was merely taking advantage of decent pricing and free shipping (to an extent... don't publish free shipping when it's not really free because that is super annoying). I even removed the large Step2 kitchen from my "cart" because we found it cheaper with LEGITIMATE free shipping directly from the Step2 website. Nearly 2 weeks have gone by and I have yet to even see that my items have shipped let alone be pulled from their shelves (by the way I got that huge Step2 kitchen within 4 days by buying direct from Step2). One of the gifts was to be a birthday gift for my nephew. His birthday party is tonight. I had to go to Target to buy him a new gift since ToysRUs obviously failed me. Contacting ToysRUs has proved to be impossible as well. So, I did what any socially savvy pissed off mama does. I took it to Twitter and told the world what a piece of crap ToysRUs is. As if I wasn't crabby enough about the holidays, they made me go into the madness to buy a last minute gift because I guess timely shipping isn't important to them. Or apologies. Or having customers in general.

I want to end on a high note, so let me talk about a huge online shopping WIN! Shutterfly is seriously one of THE BEST web companies out there. I love their website, their tools and most importantly the customer service is second to none. This post was going to be dedicated only to Shutterfly but I wanted to make sure that I got the chance to talk about both a horrific and an awesome experience. I was going to write this post to Shutterfly to get my free 50 cards for writing a blog post about them (which is just ridiculously awesome in and of itself) but I don't even care about getting something free. I simply want to talk about how great they are. Every year, I shop around to see if there is a better way to go about doing my Christmas cards but I always come back to Shutterfly.  Uploading my pictures is easy. Dropping them into my design and customizing my cards is easy. Changing my design over and over and over again (because they are all so darn perfect) is easy. Easy. Easy. Easy. Isn't that what all busy working moms want during the holidays? In a word. YES!! Here are a couple samples of what we were considering:

And the winner design for our 2010 Christmas Card:

I got an amazing price on these not to mention cute matching labels to go with them, also at a massive discount. There was little wait time for them to arrive- even with the standard free shipping deal I got them quickly. I have done so much with Shutterfly over the years including my son's beautiful birth announcment:

Even going back to our wedding- we used a Holiday Shutterfly Card for our Save the Date:

I just cannot say enough about Shutterfly. I use them for all my photo gift needs- there are so many creative things you can do. Bloggers- you can rave about Shutterfly awesomeness and still get 50 free cards but today is the LAST DAY to register so HURRY!

I hope your holiday shopping brings you only happiness and good feelings!

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