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Author "Real Marketing: Throw it against the wall and see what sticks." Journal           2484 Views
Susan Epperson
Vice President of Retail








Holyoke, MA

Zappos + Crafting = True Love
created 11/30/2010

It's only appropriate to start this journal with a story that exemplifies my love of marketing. I can summarize it in one word: Zappos.

I've never been a girly-girl. I don't get manicures. I hate pantyhose. And I could not care less if Coach is having a sale. Shoes don't rev my engine like a trip to the craft store. But, we need shoes, and like it or not, shoes make a statement. [Note to the gentlemen: Women will judge you in 15 seconds based on your shoes. Fair or not, it's true.]

So shoe shopping has never been exciting for me. Considering the fact that I have duck feet (wide in the front, narrow in the back), shoe shopping has always seemed tedious. Then I made two little boys. Am I dragging them with me to intensify the agony of a trip to the shoe store? No way!

Then I found Zappos. Free shipping. Both ways. Buy as many pairs as you want. Try them on. Walk on your rug. Try out the stairs. Try them with different socks. Try them with different outfits. Do it at 2pm or 2am. IT'S EASY!!!

Yep, it costs about $2 - $5 more per pair. But, that's worth my time and my sanity. A trip to UPS during lunch is the only hassle.

But now....now they did it. I can't imagine ever leaving them. Here's my story.

One Sunday night I decided I wanted to be tall. I'm 5'3". Tall is a big deal to me. But remember, I'm not a girly girl. So finding the right heels has never been easy.  I went to Zappos and ordered 3 different pairs. They arrived the next day (Zappos always sends them the next day.)

There was one pair...close. So close. A pair of beige platform heels. (No, they didn't look like shoes that Julia Roberts would have worn in Pretty Woman. These were legit.) But, they slipped a little on my heel. Quack...nice duck feet. So, I called. I put the computer in my lap AND called Zappos.

Vincent answered and helped me do math and measurements and figure out if a different size would work. We debated leather color, heel color and why a tiger striped shoe would be named "natural." We decided to try an exchange. Vincent assured me that he would take care of everything and he was sending me a UPS shipping label for the remaining shoes that didn't work. Before I hung up with him, he had already credited my credit card and was processing the return.

I got the shoes the next day (of course). And they didn't fit just right. No biggie. I figured out how to make the first pair work.

Then, it happened. Yesterday I got a handwritten note from Vincent in the mail. He wanted to check on my shoes and my service. AND, he had printed out a picture of MY SHOES, cut it out and pasted it into my notecard. VINCENT HANDCRAFTED A THANK YOU NOTE TO ME!!!! Who does that?

I'll upload a picture of the note soon (so you can see his handiwork and I can prove that the shoes were not inappropriate).

I'm getting ready to buy Tony Hseih's book. They sell lots of stuff at Zappos, but the most amazing thing they sell is service. And isn't that would good marketing is all about? I'd love to hear your Zappos story.

www.zappos.com