Zulily – a place for all you mothers out there, but not only, who are looking for cheap clothing, baby branded products and more. All organized in flash sales for you to get the most out of it!
The Zulily Company, founded in 2009 by Blue Nile executives, Mark Vadon and Darrell Cavens. The Zulily company has its headquarters in Seattle, Washington at the moment. The e-commerce shop is targeted to mothers, who are looking for special baby clothes, toys, all branded and personalised, and that is not all. Other products you can find on Zulily website include women clothes, houseware, etc. The so called daily-deals and flash-sales are a characteristic for their brand. By using the technique of flash-sales, Zulily usually clean their shelves within a day. Their deals last on the website for a maximum of 72 hours.
Since it was founded, in 2009, Zulily has expanded significantly. The company was first evaluated at $2.6 billion. In 2014, it was revealed that half of the sales on the Zulily website were made on mobile devices, by using their dedicated application.
As we mentioned earlier, they do best deals as a form of quick sale. These are changing on a daily basis, usually because products go quickly out of stock with the help of flash sales. The best thing to receive daily deals and to be informed on time of any upcoming flash sale is to sign up for their newsletter. This way, Zulily recommends that clients should check their emails early in the morning, if they want to benefit from the promotions of the day, before they go off sale.
The sale events at Zulily begin every day at 6am, and they usually last a shorter amount of time than expected, because as we mentioned before, the products are quickly sold-out. For purchasing an item or more, it is not enough to sign up for their newsletter and make an account on the Zulily website. Besides all that, you need to provide your contact information, as well as your billing and shipping addresses, as well as the payment information.
How Zulily Works?
Now, let us look at how the Zulily website is structured in terms of product categories. Zulily.com is divided into five sections, which are of course, the most important. They are the following:
- New Today – this is for all the new events that run in the current day
- Best Sellers – this section is dedicated to the most popular products on the website, and it also displays when is the due date of an event.
- Shop by Category – lets you choose products structured by categories, for example: women, babies, men, home, personal care and more.
- Shop by Size – it categorizes items by size, from babies to adults’ sizes.
Each one of these pages also mention about the upcoming events of the following week. If you want to know detailed information about a certain flash-sale, you just simply click on it to find out more.
Zulily.com also features a referral program, in which you can earn $15 for every friend that you recommend shopping from this website. This is awesome for those who have a large group of friends to go shopping with. If you can convince your friends to shop from Zulily, you will be able to save some money or even buy more items with what you earn. Because they sell a large variety of products, their prices vary a lot too, depending on what is it that you want to buy. An important thing to mention is that for the residents outside Washington State, Nevada or Ohio, you will have to pay sales tax along with your order.
That is just a little inconvenience, but it cannot be avoided. In this case, you have four shipping options to choose from: the standard, in which the transportation tax is out and the products are shipped via ground; the fast option, in which the product is delivered to you in 6-11 days; the faster, when shipping is done within 4-5 days and the fastest, with the products arriving somewhere between 3-4 days. As you can see, there are quite a few choices you can make, according to your own personal needs and interests. Of course, the fastest option is also the most expensive one, but at least, you get your products delivered in the desired amount of time.
Now, we are down to the refund policy section. One special thing to mention here is that Zulily’s return policy is not exactly the clearest of them all. And we say that because, according to their FAQ, you must contact the Customer Service Department, in case you would want to return an item that you purchased. They clearly specify that they do not accept under any circumstance as returned the following objects: intimate apparel, personalized items, swimsuits, rash guards or shapewear. To be honest, this is understandable for this type of products, just for the sake of pure hygiene.
Other than this, there are no other details provided about any other category of products they sell. Thus, we understand from this, that you should be fine in returning a product, unless it pertains to one of the mentioned categories above. At least, this is how things should work, in theory.
Zulily Pros and Cons
The reputation of the discounted online shop Zulily is somewhat mixed. They received an A rating from the Better Business Bureau, and had a total of 93 closed complaints in the last years. The most common complaints are about the customer service, which again is a common issue we addressed in a lot of our articles, the slow shipping time (although we mentioned about the four existing options), poor quality merchandise and the issue of having been billed twice for a single purchase.
Despite all this, Zulily has managed to deal with their customer complaints in a diplomatic and clean matter, in other words, we’d say, without too much hassle. Or at least, that is how things appear.
For the sake of highlighting the pros and cons of the Zulily online shop, we will remind you the most important aspects of it, such as the fact that their system of selling is organized in event sales or flash sales, which last between 24-72 hours maximum. Primarily, you should receive sale alerts through email, if you signed up to receive their newsletter, and if you also created an account and became a member on Zulily.com website. As per their saying and they have a large selection of products and items. Their products mostly address mothers who want to buy clothes and toys for their babies, houseware and many other things alike, but not only, as you may even find men clothing on their website as well. And the last positive aspect worth mentioning in this list is the ability that Zulily has in dealing with customer complaints, often managing to successfully close them out.
Moving on to the cons, there are quite a few things to mention in here as well. The first thing would be that the shop is primarily for women and children, and less for men. This is an inconvenience for single fathers out there, for example, who raise their children without a mother, and would need a shop that is addressed to them as well. The next one is something that we have mentioned earlier in this article, and it deals with customer complaints, especially their reasons for complaining of Zulily.com.
Such reasons are not easy to ignore, especially when it involves the quality of the merchandise, which, some clients are stating it is downright poor, customer service issues, and the fact that some orders take forever to arrive at its destinations. Last on this list is the vague, or the not so self-explanatory refund policy. The fact that Zulily has only specified that it does not accept returning products such as personal apparel, but it they don’t mention anything else regarding the rest of the product categories they are selling on their website, which are in great number, by the way, makes the customer confused.
A customer who is not properly informed about what products can buy, knowing that if something happens, you get to return it and get your money back, is a customer who will think twice before actually buying something from Zulily. This is addressed especially to the ‘’tech-savvy mothers’’ as they call their target audience themselves. A mom looking for the best deals and cool items for her baby or even for herself, won’t hesitate into researching out everything there is to know about the store they’re about to shop at.
Zulily Customer Experiences
On to re-addressing the customer service issues, we have a story of a woman who had a bad experience with Zulily. She reportedly, had her Zulily account hacked and there 13 purchases in total made in her name. When she realized it, she immediately called customer service to refund her for everything, but they only refunded three out of 13 orders. The excuse a customer representative gave to the woman was that most of the products had already been delivered to the specified address, and she should further address this issue with PayPal, if she wanted to receive all her money back.
Bottom line is that the woman was so disappointed that Zulily failed to refund her for all 13 purchases that were fraudulently made using her account, that she promised never to buy from there ever again. Her review was made public on the internet, so that other people could be aware of the potential dangers they are facing when shopping online, and to reinforce the idea that Zulily doesn’t seem to care for its customers that much, especially if this was related to a case of fraud.
As a popular online shop, that offers such a great deal of various products, they should have built a better identity check system for customers, so that things like that would not happen as often. It is true that online fraud is becoming more and more common these days, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop caring about a customer, just because the money that were spend from their account already reached yours.
Another customer left a milder review this time. She only had problems with cancelling an order and receiving the money back into her account. She made others know that, by using a debit card instead of a credit card, there would be a longer period until you will be refunded. In the end, though, the customer seemed to have been fully refunded, so she wasn’t totally criticizing the Zulily shop.
Although this is a ‘’common practise’’, it does not mean that again, the shop from where you purchased something, in this case Zulily, must not get involved in the process of refunding a customer. In the latter case we described, the customer did not pay through PayPal, but with her own debit card, which seemed to be the main reason she revealed for the delay of her refund. But if she were to use PayPal, things probably would have developed in a more serious trouble. But then, again, her account wasn’t broken into and she didn’t experienced fraud either.
All in all, the Zulily shop does offer indeed a variety of products for mothers and babies to choose from, but shopping online is not always the safest bet when it comes down to clothes. Maybe you don’t always get what you see online, and the material may differ as well, like it happened to a customer who purchased a pair of pants presumably made from cotton. She then realizes that they were made from synthetic material, which was a disappointment for her. This made her avoid Zulily.com, because she said that you should get what you bought, and not something else.
Zulily.com may be good for occasional shopping sometimes, but always be careful how you buy, if you can return the purchased item and if there are no other hidden fees. Other than that, you should be good to go and make the most out of your shopping experience.