Derived from the Spanish word “Zapatos”- meaning shoes- Zappos.com was originally founded in 1999 with the sole (pardon the pun) purpose of selling, you guessed it right- shoes. Loads of them.
Then, like Amazon— which coincidentally acquired it in 2009 for an all-stock deal of $1.2billion USD— the brand expanded its offerings from a single category to a wider universe of fashion offerings such as clothing, handbags and accessories, to cater to a wider audience for top-to-toe shopping at lower than market prices with year-long discounts.
While the idea of discounted items usually come hand in hand with notions of mass market and cheaply made products, Zappos bucks the trend by sticking their inventory with better known brands that have reputations to uphold. We noticed while browsing through the site, that the word “better made” kept coming to mind.
Take for example, their namesake category of footwear. Just their shoe category alone hosts over 384 pages of selections for heels, boots, booties, sneakers, platforms, espadrilles, pumps, dress sandals, wedges, you name it— with brands that include Steve Madden, Adidas, Chinese Laundry, Fitflop, Nine West, Sam Edelman, and more. Although these names may not fall into big league luxury wear, they certainly aren’t small in the playing field either. And as any sole maven worth her salt knows, any single pair of these goodies would outlast the majority of the cheaper factory made goods one could easily get off the Wish or Shein app.
Mass produced shoes, just like fast fashion, may be cheaper on the wallet and are easily found on all shopping apps these days; but better made shoes that would last for years, are better for the gait, and sold at discounted prices? Not so much— which is why anyone on the lookout for better made, higher quality apparel that would endure plenty more washes and wears should put Zappos on their favorites list- stat.
Due to the size of its inventory, one could spend hours in Zappos without realizing it, just virtually wandering about the shoe category alone. But the often beautiful, chic and classy offerings that the browsing throws up are truly worth the walk. Plus, we love how Zappos is size inclusive too. Whether you have petite or long feet, there is definitely something for you within their expansive selection of shoes.
For example, we found these extremely wearable FARYL by Farylrobin Pamela x The New Nude Collection Nappa Leather sandals that come in 5 different shades of leg-elongating nude- Camel Nappa Leather, Chestnut Nappa Leather, to Sand Nappa Leather, Cocoa Nappa Leather, Russet Nappa Leather and Sand Nappa Leather. ($53.27- $75.99USD size: US 5-16).
These pretty gems for your gams go up to size 16 and are manufactured with the mouth-watering buttery softness of Nappa leather. At varying prices discounted from the usual USD$84.99, we don’t imagine the colours and sizes to last very long. So grab them before they run out, or click “notify me when this is back in stock” to indicate your size and colour ahead of the next shipment.
Women's Shoes: Boots, Heels, Sneakers & More
Men's Shoes: Gym, Hiking, Running & More
Back-to-school Shoes for Girls
And while you browse the rest of the shoe section, we recommend opening a new tab at the Zappos Women’s/ handbags section pronto to swipe yourself one of these newly arrived Tory Burch Kira Small Top-Handle Satchel in Tempranillo too. Featuring a rare colour blend of deep ox-blood/ brown. The hue is so unique we haven’t quite seen anything similar out there in the market.
Fresh from one of Tory Burch’s latest seasons, this fetching handbag made of lamb leather has a rather reasonable price of $598USD as compared to higher-end luxury lambskin bags with price tags that are generally in excess of five grand apiece, making it virtually a steal. ($598USD, One Size).
Women's Bags, Handbags, & Backpacks
We mentioned shoe size inclusivity earlier, and thought we should also mention how we also love the large sizes for men at the Big & Tall Men’s section- an entire category dedicated to dressing larger men for all occasions- with better made outfits that will take them from going smart casual to preppy in a snap.
Take for example, this Johnny Bigg Big & Tall Serge Melange Linen Shirt in Pink, which would go with any trusty pair of blue jeans to spiff him up for lunches, parties or new year gatherings, and wouldn’t look out of place in our less than formal office settings these days either when paired with chinos. ($65USD size: AUS XL to AUS 8XL)
Or perhaps, this Polo Ralph Lauren Big & Tall Men Pineapple Print Linen Shirt for everyday wear- sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face- which will also double as a go-to shirt for making happy impressions during first time meetings ($125USD Size: 1XB - 4XT).
We’d normally lift off an adorable tee or dress from the kid’s section to feature, but our browsing in Zappos this time unearthed these Calvin Klein breathable underwear in quick-dry mesh for boys that we had to highlight— given how the importance of putting quality underwear on children is often overlooked— despite them having thinner and more sensitive skin than adults and are prone to scratching when wearing uncomfortable fabric even for short periods of time. Load these up in your cart while they are still around as they apparently run out pretty quick in sizes. ($34.99USD/ pack of 4)
Underwear for men, women and kids.
Everything for your kids from clothing to shoes and accessories.
The listed prices on Zappos literally provide bragging rights for their customers when they find quality buys at bargain prices. Yet the website furthers the value-for-money adage in their themed sale sections, where another universe of deeply discounted items await. We checked into the themed swimwear sale this week and found that just the swimwear sale section alone carries 27 pages of price reduced swimwear for men, women and children.
The offerings range from coverups for pool hangouts to accessories, and currently feature brands such as Rip curl, Roxy, Maaji, Polo Ralph Lauren, Speedo, Oakley, Jessica Simpson, Kate Spade and more. If you are looking at a cute outfit for your tot to frolick by the waters for the holidays, this Paul Smith looking Long Sleeved Colourful Party One-Piece in Turf Green Dreaming by Roxy would be perfect to protect little girls from the sun while having them look adorable and sand-castle building ready. ($49.13USD reduced from $60USD, size XM-2XL)
Swimwear galore for that casual dip in the pool or relaxing day out at the beach.
With year long deals like that, you’d have to hurry on checking out after adding to cart as some of the popular products in their inventory deplete quickly upon listing. You can buy with peace of mind as the store has a 365-days return policy, which almost guarantees zero regret buys ending up on Carousell or Craigslist. It is due to this happy customer oriented service culture that, despite the lack of fanfare and fame, Zappos has managed to quietly build up a loyal customer fan base through its two decades in e-commerce. That, and the fact that they are rather well known in the market for internal policies that sustain high morale and happiness within the staff too. And as we all know, happy staff is ALWAYS good for business.
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