FRYE Boots

Zappos Versus The Mall Buying Boots Online

Of course it’s best to buy local, but sometimes it makes sense to shop on the Internet.

FRYE BootsSHOPPING AROUND | A lot of people I know really do try to shop close to home because they believe in supporting local businesses. But sometimes the price difference between products sold here and elsewhere is too shockingly different to ignore—and you know that as much as you might prefer to, shopping local just doesn’t make sense.

Kaelin Gets Her Boots

Kaelin, the 17-year-old daughter of my dear friend Roxana Palku-Johnston, works at a coffeehouse after school to earn money for the extras she wants, like the pair of Frye Boots she spotted recently at a store in the mall. Priced at $456 including tax, Kaelin was prepared to part with her money when her mother suggested she first look online to see whether she could find them any cheaper.

“Kaelin was reluctant to look on the Internet because her heart was set on those boots, and she didn’t believe she could find them for less money anywhere. But she did, and for a lot less,” says Palku-Johnston, describing how Kaelin researched and discovered the exact model she wanted at zappos.com sale-priced at $208 Canadian.

Zappos.com does not ship to Canada (zappos.com/ca ships across the country, but its selection is limited), but it will ship anywhere in the U.S. for free. Palku-Johnston had the boots sent to a friend in Los Angeles who brought them up when she came to visit. She says if she hadn’t had the option, she would have had them shipped to the border at Blaine, Washington, and driven down and picked them up there (CLICK HERE for our story on receiving parcels at the border).

Palku-Johnston says buying shoes on zappos.com works best when you know the size you take in a particular brand, because even though you can return the product at no cost to you, “it’s still a hassle when you live in Canada.” She’s absolutely right of course, but when the savings potential is this great, if may be worth taking a risk. —C. Rule

For more on Zappos, visit www.zappos.com

Photo: Frye Boots

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