A few words about Zappos

By Mir
December 13, 2007

It’s no secret that I pink puffy heart Zappos. The truth is that I have affiliate relationships with half a dozen shoe stores, but it’s Zappos that I recommend 90% of the time, because they are quite simply the best. Their customer service is amazing, the ordering, pricematching, and (if need be) return processes couldn’t be simpler, and I am always left with a warm fuzzy feeling after I shop with them. In fact, I nearly always buy from Zappos (with pricematching, because I’m like that and you know I still need to save some dough) when getting shoes for myself or the kids.

You may have noticed that there’s some buzz going ’round the internet about how Zappos has changed their pricematching policy. Read on to set your mind at ease.

On their pricematch guarantee page, there is now a little asterisk that corresponds to this bit of text:

Please note that this offer is valid for 10 days after you make your purchase. Each customer is permitted to apply this offer to a maximum of one (1) item during any given calendar month.

The deal boards are in an uproar, and unnecessarily so. This policy applies to when Zappos lowers the price on their website for an item you already bought. You can still pricematch to other websites to your heart’s content. I may have done so with four pairs of shoes this month already, but I am pleading the fifth. (Hey, kids’ feet grow fast! I have to buy them shoes two pairs at a time!) You can continue to follow my handy directions for pricematching and order all the shoes you need from Zappos.

Now, do keep in mind that while Zappos has excellent customer service, not all of their reps have the same level of experience. I have heard tell of reps trying to refuse a pricematch on the basis of the new policy (though it’s never happened to me), and if that happens, well, I suggest you thank them for their time and call back. You’ll get someone else, and hopefully the someone you get will be clearer on the rules. (It’s true that you could just argue with them, but I prefer the path of least resistance.)

Let me just leave you with this: I have never, ever paid full price or even close to it for a pair of shoes at Zappos. In fact, the way I work the pricematching, by the time they do that fabulous (free) overnight shipping, I suspect they are paying to send me the shoes that I buy. (Seriously. I cannot tell you the last time I paid more than $10 for a pair of shoes there.) And guess what I got in the mail this week? A hand-written holiday card from a Zappos rep, thanking me for my business and wishing me a happy holiday season and new year.

Zappos is the greatest store on earth, people. They get customer service, and they go above and beyond on a regular basis. Do not allow talk of new modified policies scare you. They’re still awesome.


  1. I tried price matching for the first time but I called first and did it over the phone. I was told that I could not price match again this month. I will try again and see what happens. Thanks.

    Love your site

  2. Hmmm…good to know. I have been using shoemall.com for their great deals. I may have to relook at Zappos.

  3. I just got done with my first pricematch. Best customer service EVER. The guy even offered to search for other lower prices. I’m sold!

  4. I think it is important to note that taking advantage of pricematching programs ultimately rises prices on all other products for other consumers.. The only one who benefits from the sale of a pair of shoes for $10 is the individual buyer. In my opinion, the retailer can only afford to do this for so long, and either prices go up, or the level of CS will go down. I love to find a good deal as well, and often do from Amazon, Overstock, and Zappos – However, I feel that some (if not all) level of responsibility for policy change needs to fall on those who abuse the policy itself.

  5. Hi Brian—You make a valid point in theory, but I think Zappos is a classic example of how to do business, and I doubt that they’re in trouble. In an era of lousy customer service becoming the norm, Zappos stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of cheerful, competent service. Their word-of-mouth marketing is outstanding. They’re doing plenty of business at full price (read: full profit), and those of us who are pricematching are not “taking advantage,” we are availing ourselves of a service they offer. In return, most of us have become Zappos evangelists. 😉

    Are they making money on my purchases? Probably not. Are they making money off the fact that I blog about them constantly and tell everyone I know how great it is to shop there? I’m sure they are. Which is exactly how a successful business should work.

    Just my $.02. 🙂

  6. Mir’s response to Brian is excellent. I would like to add that what Mir (and others here and elsewhere) do vis-a-vis Zappos pricematching is emphatically *not* an abuse of the policy. It is simply making use of the policy. These are not loopholes or tricky backdoor deals.

    Zappos has a pricematching policy–presumably they have that policy because they believe that it brings them business that might otherwise go elsewhere. From what everyone here has said, I believe that they are correct. And this policy combined with what, by all accounts, is excellent customer service develops loyal customers, which then increases their business.

    But making use of an existing policy is certainly not an abuse of that policy.

  7. I have pricematched thanks to LOVELY Mir, and I appreciate those times I am able to do so. IMHO, pricematching is comparable to sending in rebate forms (which few people actually get around to doing) or clipping coupons.

  8. That’s a great clarification, Mir. Thanks.

    I price matched a couple days ago (I only got $0.90 better than the other site, but wanted to give Zappos the business), and was told that there was a change to the policy. It’s good to know I can continue to buy my shoes there with no worries.

  9. My husband price matched for the first time a couple of weeks ago and he pulled it off flawlessly. My first thought was Mir will be so proud!

  10. I’m size 10. Can you find me a pair of leather boots? 😉

    (I’m halfway serious here!)

    Mir, I don’t know how you do it. Under $10? Really? I’ve looked at their site and I’m just overwhelmed. And I give up. I’m gonna have to set aside some time………

  11. I tried to pricematch twice in one day with some kids’ sandals from endless. I was told the second time I called that I was not eligible for Zappos price protection guarantee because they now only allow one per 30 day period. That was clearly not in line with the information here.

    I still love Zappos. I called at 9pm Thursday night and the shoes were at my door by 11 am Friday.

  12. Hi Mir,

    I read your reply, and agree that good service, selection, and price matching policies deserve positive recognition. In my opinion, that doesn’t entitle the customer to game the price matching system with unlimited PM-ing. At $10 per pair of shoes, I am sure Zappos is losing money on every transaction. Additionally, it is one thing to blog about the service a company provides, another thing to provide instructions to your reader community on how to take advantage of the price matching rules. I don’t want to come off as judgemental, because everyone enjoys a good deal. However, I am sure that price matching strategies are meant to retain customers and through that retention ultimately make a profit on those customers. In this situation, that is not happening, and the people who follow your instructions above will only make the policies more restrictive, and products more expensive for everyone else. Being a small business owner, I have experienced this sort of thing before, and it is a tough situation to handle. Anyhow, I hope that I provoke a little thought, and I wish you the best.

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