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Etsy is expanding beyond handmade “Live Laugh Love” bathroom signs with its acquisition of thrifting app Depop for $1.6 billion.
For Etsy, whose median seller is about 39, it’s a strategic move meant to court Depop’s overwhelmingly Gen Z user base: More than 90% of its users are under 26.
For those of us past our quarter-life crises, here’s the need-to-know on the secondhand shopping platform:
More than 26 million users across 147+ countries buy and sell apparel and accessories.
Revenue, which mostly comes from the commission Depop charges per sale, doubled last year to $70 million.
Depop’s sales grew faster last year than its fashion resale rivals, Poshmark and ThredUp. More than $650 million worth of goods traded hands on Depop in 2020.
Looking ahead…thrifting is expected to get more popular as Gen Z ages into greater spending power and more shoppers favor sustainable products over fast-fashion. But if that’s the glass-half-full take, here’s the OJ-and-I-just-brushed-my-teeth one: Etsy has warned shareholders of impending “possible deceleration” caused by “reopening headwinds.”
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As the second online auction site on the internet, eBay is one of the oldest commercial websites still around. It was founded in the fall of 1995, just months after Onsale.com, the first online auction house.
With age often comes maturity and security, but wondering about the safety of using eBay is a valid concern. Both buyers and sellers frequently wonder about the relative safety of using the site.
eBay is relatively safe to use
The good news is that using eBay, particularly as a buyer, is considered safe. The site has implemented a variety of protections over the years, so the most straightforward problems which victimized early eBay customers decades ago, like fraud, are now largely a thing of the past.
Daniel Foley, a cybersecurity manager for Halcyon London International School and director at Assertive Media, said it’s generally a safe bet for buyers. “Defective products, scams, items that arrive ‘not as described,’ and other issues are all covered by eBay’s extensive buyer protection program,” he said.
Foley said that if a seller refuses to accept a return request, eBay often resolves the case in the buyer’s favor and compensates for the loss, while account termination, fines, and other restrictions can be imposed on the seller.
But eBay’s protections aren’t as robust for sellers, said Aaron Bossig, a former eBay seller. “I stopped selling on eBay about five years ago because eBay changed its feedback policy to offer no incentive or safety to the seller,” Bossig said. In particular, he noted the company’s change to disallow sellers to leave any negative or neutral feedback for buyers as a reason for his leaving the platform.
eBay’s protections for buyers
Over the last 25 years, eBay has implemented and enhanced its protection for buyers in an effort to make the site feel like a safe retail environment. Today, buyers are amply protected through eBay’s Money Back Guarantee.
The eBay Money Back Guarantee covers most transactions on eBay. Excluded items are specifically identified as exempt and generally fall into categories like motor vehicles and real estate. If there’s a problem with an order, the buyer is eligible to get a full refund from eBay for the full purchase price plus any shipping charges the buyer paid. Most of the time, the buyer also needs to return the unsatisfactory item to the seller.
Moreover, buyers are protected when they do the following:
Purchase an eligible item using an eBay-approved payment method, like PayPal.
Pay for the item in a single transaction (you can’t make multiple payments).
Pay using the “Pay For It” button on the eBay invoice page or by clicking the “Pay Now” button on the eBay item page.
If there’s a problem with an order, buyers can make a claim in the eBay Resolution Center within 30 days of delivery (or eBay’s estimated delivery date).
eBay’s protections for sellers
Sellers are also offered some protection, though many sellers contend it’s not as robust as what eBay offers to buyers.
Here are the kinds of protections that eBay offers to sellers:
Negative feedback given by “abusive” buyers can be challenged and removed. Abusive buyers are individuals who make false claims, demand things not offered in the original listing, misuse messages, bidding, or returns, or who refuse to pay for items they committed to buy.
If the buyer damages a product and returns it, the seller can deduct up to 50% of the item’s value from the refund.
Sellers can be refunded the listing fee for an item a buyer won the bid for but opted not to purchase.
If an item arrives at the buyer late for reasons beyond the seller’s control, eBay can remove negative feedback for the transaction.
eBay can be a perfectly safe retail and auction environment, but just like any online activity, you need to be careful and take precautions.
Safety tips for eBay buyers
Never take a conversation or transaction off the site. You’re only protected by eBay by operating within the site’s virtual borders, so ignore requests from possibly unscrupulous sellers to complete a deal elsewhere.
Read the complete product description and item details. Make sure you understand exactly what is being offered, and its actual condition. Beware of misleading phrases or descriptions that imply things without being explicit.
Consider the seller’s rating. Every seller has a rating that indicates how many ratings they’ve received and their overall feedback percentage. Sellers with few ratings or low ratings are less trustworthy than sellers with thousands of happy buyers, obviously.
Safety tips for eBay sellers
Write a detailed and accurate product description. Be sure to include photos you have taken yourself, showing the item’s current condition.
Use PayPal. Tightly integrated into eBay, PayPal makes it easy to demonstrate a full audit trail and transaction history, to ensure payments are complete, and to trace fraudulent buyers.
Keep all paperwork and documentation. Be sure to keep shipping receipts so you can prove how and when you shipped the item.
Wish, the popular e-commerce platform, is known for its affordable products. You can buy clothes, computer parts, furniture, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
However, like any shopping site, you might occasionally have issues with an order. If this happens – maybe an item arrived defective, or you just never received your purchase – there are a few ways to get in touch with Wish’s customer service team.
How to contact Wish customer service
The best way to fix issues with your account, or with multiple orders at once, is to call or email Wish support.
To speak with a Wish customer service representative over the phone, call their customer support number: 1-800-266-0172.
Contact Wish via the app
The Wish app offers a 24-hour support chat feature and support prompts for certain issues.
1. In the Wish app, tap the icon with three lines at the bottom-right of the screen.
2. For general questions, scroll down to the “Support” section and tap “Customer Support.”
3. Tap the prompt that best matches your issue. Options include “Track an item,” “Help with a recent order,” and “Update payment info.” Here, you can also view Wish’s refund and return policy.
4. If you want to get help with something else, or aren’t sure what you need, tap “Contact Support” at the bottom of the page. A chat box with a customer support robot will pop up. You can interact with the robot by tapping preset responses. If you can’t fix your issue here, try the email and phone methods above.
How to contact Wish for help with a specific order
Wish notes that for issues regarding past orders, their app is the quickest way to reach the support team and have your issue resolved.
1. In the Wish app, tap the icon with three lines at the bottom-right of the screen.
2. If your issue is related to a specific item you purchased or an entire order, tap “Order History” in the Account section.
3. Navigate to the item or order in question, then tap “Customer Support.” You’ll be given all the options to contact Wish about it.
A source told Recode that Amazon may have pushed 2021’s Prime Day up a month to boost its second-quarter financial reporting since June falls in Q2 and July in Q3. Doing so could help the company show investors greater growth from Q2 2020 to Q2 2021.
In a statement to Insider, an Amazon spokesperson said, “we have not made any announcements about Prime Day.”
Amazon enjoyed surging business during the pandemic, when customers were driven into their homes and resorted to online shopping. In its Q2 2020 earnings, the company reported $45.8 billion in global online store net sales, compared to $45.7 billion made in the 2019 holiday season just months prior.
Sources told Recode that the company has also discussed creating another shopping holiday in the fall in addition to Prime Day in the summer.
Dress sales are on the rise. Jeans are coming back. People are shopping for dress shirts. After over 12 months of stretchy pants, sweatshirts, and no shoes, shoppers are ready to start looking good again.
As vaccinations rise nationwide and political leaders predict a return to normalcy by this summer, retailers are beginning to see a shift away from at-home clothes.
It’s part of a broader trend that some are calling “hot vax summer.”
The rise of comfy clothes
When it started to become clear last spring just how widespread the coronavirus was becoming and how much it would disrupt daily life, retailers took action.
By the end of March, H&M, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Ross Stores, and TJ Maxx canceled orders for new merchandise – by April, Gap nixed orders for both summer and fall in an effort to cut costs. An October report from workers rights groups found that between April and June of last year, retailers outright canceled or simply refused to pay for $16.2 billion worth of orders.
At the time, these reactions portended just how long and intense the pandemic would be. And while ecommerce sales flourished throughout the year – online consumer spending in 2020 was up 42% from 2019 – those purchases were mostly confined to comfy clothes and athleisure. From March to July 2020, sales of shorts, sweatpants, and sports bras were on the rise, despite overall apparel sales dropping 34%.
Which means that for more than 12 months, the market for going-out tops, sundresses, and high heels has been dormant – until now.
Parallels to the Roaring 20s
On March 11, President Joe Biden made an announcement: July 4, 2021 could officially become Independence Day from the coronavirus in the US. There was a “good chance,” he said, that we could all have small, outdoor parties to celebrate the 4th of July.
The announcement is thrilling on several levels. Most importantly, it means that months of suffering and death could finally be coming to an end, and that schools and businesses that have been disrupted during the last year might finally reopen.
But it also means that the fun elements of life – parties, nights out, weddings – can resume as well. Enter what many are calling “hot vax summer,” a time of general hedonism following this time of mass isolation.
“I’m most looking forward to having a ho phase,” Sherin, a 21-year-old Chicago resident, recently told Insider’s Julia Naftulin. She added that she can’t wait to go out with friends and flirt and hook up with whomever she pleases.
Hot vax summer has also been endorsed by brands, most notably Suit Supply, which put out a raunchy advertisement showing hot people licking each others’ faces. The tagline said: “The new normal is coming.”
“People are looking to get out and about again,” Fokke de Jong, Suitsupply’s founder and CEO, recently told Insider’s Kate Taylor. “Parallels to the Roaring 20s are being drawn on a regular basis.”
A ‘peacocking effect’
But there can be no hot vax summer if we’re all still dressed in baggy sweatshirts, and retailers are already preparing for what’s ahead.
Amid the vaccine rollout, fashion retailer Revolve, a destination for trendy going-out clothes, has dedicated an entire section of its website to “vaccine ready” tops: shirts that expose the shoulders or arms to provide easy access when you go get your shot.
Gap’s CEO, Sonia Syngal, said last month that the company is very optimistic about a return to dressing to impress, forecasting what she called a “peacocking effect” that will happen as people emerge from the pandemic.
The company, which also owns Free People and Anthropologie, has seen a “striking change” in what’s selling – during the last week of February, seven of the 10 top-selling items on Anthropologie’s website were dresses.
“We’re particularly excited by the recent uptick in demand for ‘going-out’-type apparel and believe this bodes well for our spring and summer seasons,” Hayne said.
According to a report from the Washington Post’s Abha Bhattarai, there’s been renewed interest in products like high-waisted jeans, blazers, dresses, stylish tops, and sandals in bright colors and patterns among shoppers at retailers like Everlane, American Eagle, and Madewell.
“All of a sudden apparel and footwear sales are starting to show some signs of life,” Marshal Cohen, a retail analyst for market research firm NPD Group, told the Post. People are planning to socialize and go on vacation again and look forward to a time after the pandemic.
“And so what are people doing?” he said. “They’re saying, ‘I need a new outfit. I need to feel good again. I need to feel alive and refreshed.’ “
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You don’t need to be an online shopping veteran to know that it’s a tricky affair – the whole process occurs without you ever seeing or trying the product. To make buying a little easier, many retailers offer helpful policies, like free online returns. Especially with holidays like Mothers’ Day around the corner, it’s good to know which stores you can easily make returns to.
We’ve rounded up a list of retailers offering free online returns, below.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
Get free online returns on orders at these companies:
Style & clothing
ALDO: Aldo will refund unworn, unwashed, not final sale items returned within 60 days of your purchase.
Allbirds: The buzzy shoe brand allows returns for 30 days with no questions asked, even if you’ve already worn the shoes around. You can return or exchange any shoes for free that aren’t to your liking.
Bonobos: Men’s clothing and accessories store Bonobos includes a pre-paid return label with every order for hassle-free returns. If you make your return within 45 days of your purchase, you qualify for a refund using your original payment method. If you return within 90 days of your purchase date, you qualify for store credit instead.
Bloomingdale’s: Bloomingdale’s has one of the best return policies of any store. You can return an order for free for up to a full year. Just print a mailing label at home for your order.
Everlane: All purchases from the popular clothing brand Everlane can be returned for free for up to 30 days after your ship date. That even includes Choose What You Pay purchases. Plus, you can also return anything you bought at a brick-and-mortar store via mail.
Macy’s: Macy’s offers free and easy returns on most items by mail. Just print a pre-addressed shipping label and send your items back. They’ve also extended their return window from 30 to 90 days.
Neiman Marcus: Almost all merchandise can be returned to Neiman Marcus free of charge if received within 15 days of the delivery date. However, you may want to double-check their return policy as a few items aren’t eligible for free returns, including anything bought on clearance.
Nordstrom: The department store offers free returns in the US via a postage-paid return label. Your return is generally processed within 10-14 days.
Patagonia: Outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia offers free returns on all items, though they’re currently delayed due to staffing and safety requirements. Even better, they also usually offer free repairs on all Patagonia items, though this program has temporarily been suspended due to the novel coronavirus. They do, however, have free DIY repair guides online.
REI: If you’re not satisfied with any purchase from REI, you can return it for up to a full year for free. Return shipping labels come with all invoices. The only exception is outdoor electronics, which can be returned for free within 90 days.
Shopbop: Shopbop is known for designer women’s fashion apparel, which means items often come with a high price tag. Items returned within 15 days after receipt are refunded with no extra cost – though they’ll accept returns up to 30 days after with a $10 fee tacked on.
Sunglass Hut: With summer on the horizon, you may be eyeing new frames from Sunglass Hut, the sunglass retailer that carries brands from Ray-Ban to Gucci. Shop with confidence knowing you can return items for free for up to 90 days with a printed shipping label.
Urban Outfitters: Returning items to Urban Outfitters is easy. Just start a return online and print a free pre-paid shipping label. Returns made within 30 days of your delivery date qualify for a refund using your payment method; if it takes place after, you may qualify for store credit instead.
Zappos: Zappos has long been heralded as a gold standard for customers when it comes to returns. Return shipping is always free and you have 365 days to do so for all purchases – no exceptions.
Bed Bath & Beyond: Bed Bath & Beyond offers free return shipping on most items. You have a 90-day window after purchase to exchange or return.
Chewy: Pet owners will be pleased to learn that returns to Chewy are easy. If you’re not completely satisfied with your items, you can return them free of charge within one year. Just send a message with your order number to receive a shipping label.
Home Depot: While there are a few exceptions for bigger items, many orders are eligible for free online returns. Once you start a return you’ll receive a free UPS shipping label via email to print and attach to your package.
Target: Shoppers at Target have 90 days to return or exchange items for free. RedCard holders get 120 days.
Walmart: Walmart makes it simple to return items for free. Just log into your account, initiate a return or replacement, and print a free return label. Refunds or replacement items are issued as soon as the store receives the item. You have 90 days after purchase to make a return in most cases.
Williams Sonoma: Foodies and home chefs will like that Williams Sonoma allows for free returns by mail within 30 days for any items under 70 pounds. You can use the form attached to your invoice or quickly print a label online.
Best Buy: Most items are eligible for refunds if you return them within 15 days of receipt. It’s important to note, however, that some items (like cell phones and DSLR cameras) will incur a restocking fee.
Dell: It can be nerve-wracking to buy pricey electronics sight unseen, but you can shop easy at Dell. Ship any items back for free within 30 days of your invoice date for a full refund.
Amazon plans to set up more delivery stations in New York City to power the last-mile of its order process and provide faster deliveries to customers, the company said.
The tech giant will launch ten delivery stations in the Big Apple throughout 2021 and beyond, two of which are now operational, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Insider in an email this week.
The new sites will be located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.
Amazon has five operational delivery stations across the five boroughs including two in the Bronx, one in Brooklyn, one on Staten Island, and one in Queens, according to the spokesperson. It also has two operational delivery stations on Long Island and a sortation center and a fulfillment center on Staten Island.
As online shopping surged during the pandemic, with people staying home to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Amazon went looking for warehouse space to expand its footprint in New York City, the country’s biggest market, the New York Times reported this week. None of Amazon’s competitors, including Walmart and Target, have a warehouse in the city, the Times said.
“We want to get as close to the customer as possible to ensure we can offer fast shipping speeds to customers,” the Amazon spokesperson told Insider.
Each delivery station will offer around 100 to 150 jobs with a wage of $15 per hour and work benefits, the spokesperson said.
Amazon has had a fraught history trying to set up in New York City. In 2018, Amazon announced it would build part of its second headquarter in New York, saying the project would provide 25,000 full-time jobs and a $2.5 billion investment in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens. The company would have received an estimated $3 billion in tax incentives.
However, the tech company faced backlash from local politicians, New Yorkers, and labor union representatives who argued that the project could increase rents, overcrowd schools, and congest the subway system.
Later in 2019, Amazon confirmed to Insider that it signed a lease for a new 335,000-foot office in New York City that is set to open in 2021. Located in the Hudson Yards area, the new office will employ over 1,500 people, Amazon said.
Amazon plans to continue benefitting from the online shopping surge throughout 2021 as it looks into ways to facilitate delivery and reshuffle inventory such as boosting its air cargo operations.
It launched over 200 new sites across the US in 2020, including fulfillment and sortation centers, and delivery stations, according to the spokesperson.
Whether you’re a seller or a buyer, there are several ways to contact Etsy customer service if you have an issue. Etsy’s customer support service can help sellers resolve shop issues, help buyers with orders they’ve placed, and more.
Calling, emailing, or starting an online chat are all options if you want to contact Etsy Support. Plus, the process is virtually the same whether you’re a buyer or a seller.
Life happens, and sometimes we need a break from it all. For Etsy shop owners, there’s an option called Vacation Mode that allows you to step away from your shop for some time.
As the name suggests, Vacation Mode allows Etsy sellers to take a break from managing their Etsy shop. While it’s on, you won’t receive any new orders, but you’ll still able to manage and fulfill existing orders. You’re also still able to issue refunds to customers, cancel orders, and print Etsy shipping labels.
You’ll also be able to set up an auto-reply to anyone who messages you, and put an announcement on your shop page letting people know that you’re away. Here, Etsy shoppers can sign up to be notified via email when your shop returns.
Here’s how to set up Vacation Mode.
You can turn off Vacation Mode later by returning to this menu and clicking “Off.”
Claiming an order links it to your Etsy account. Creating an account and claiming your order will also allow you to review the item you purchased.
Luckily, doing this is easy. You can’t use the app, however – you’ll need to go to the website on your desktop computer or mobile phone browser.
How to find your order confirmation receipt for your Etsy guest purchase
If you’re unable to locate the email with your receipt, check your spam or junk mail folder for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Use your email search function to find emails from that address. If this doesn’t work, contact Etsy Support.
If nothing happens when you click the email’s confirmation number, double-check to make sure you’re viewing your order receipt. Other notification emails, like shipping updates and new message notifications from the seller, don’t include links for claiming your order.
If you see an error page, sign out of Etsy and sign into your account associated with the email you used during guest checkout. If you’re trying to claim the order on a mobile browser, make sure you’ve signed out of the app first.