Tuesday, October 29, 2013

J.Crew's Shipping Method Change {upgrade or downgrade, you decide!}

"Thanks!" to many of you, including 312JCgirl & Silver Lining (in this post) who revealed some changes in J.Crew's shipping methods: J.Crew has included a new "economy" choice. The difference with standard is pretty significant, as shown below:
Economy (6-8 Business Days) Your order will ship UPS SurePost and will be delivered by USPS.

Standard (3-6 Business Days) Your order will ship UPS Ground.
Economy can take twice as long as standard to make it to the customer's residence. In part because economy is handed off from UPS to the USPS.

What is also interesting is if a customer meets the threshold for free shipping, they can choose between economy and standard. As long as they are aware of it before just clicking away. ;)

If you are below the threshold for free shipping, there is a new $5 flat shipping fee for economy. It will cost $8 for standard. Which is now a bit lower than the $8.95 they were charging before. (Hey, something is something!) :)

I am curious what made J.Crew decide to move in this direction with its shipping. I am aware that J.Crew Factory uses SurePost and a flat shipping fee of $4.95- was it just a matter of time to do the same at retail J.Crew?

I am personally not a big fan of SurePost, but I am a fan of lower-cost shipping. At least J.Crew provided more options for customers. That is a good thing.

Did you notice the extra shipping option? What are your thoughts? Is this an upgrade or downgrade?

39 comments:

  1. Well, my orders have never come in less than 6 days anyhow, so I feel good about the cheaper rate! What is the point of having to choose between economy and standard if the shipping is free (having met the threshold)? Only economy shipping is now free?

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  2. I usually meet the threshold for standard UPS ground shipping so I will always go with it. I didn't realize that I had selected the SurePost thing and sure enough my package took forever and a day to arrive. Not to mention USPS just leaves my packages on my porch! No way! If I do not meet the threshold for free standard, I'll pay for it just so that I can have piece of mind.

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  3. Thanks for the post, Alexis! SE Mom, Economy Shipping is free for orders $150 or more, or $5 if you don't meet the $150 theshold. Standard Shipping is free if you spend $175 or more or $8 if you don't meet the $175 threshold. I would advise everyone to double check which shipping option is selected before hitting the purchase button. I spend over $175 and qualified for standard shipping but J Crew defaulted to the economy shipping and because I wasn't aware of the shipping policy changes I didn't notice until after I made the purchase. Personally I would pay $3 extra to get standard shipping. I'm with you, D*ska, I would much rather have UPS shipping the entire way rather than hand off to USPS both for quality and expediency.

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  4. Economy does not appear as an option for Hawaii orders, only Standard shipping. I imaging shipping via UPS costs a lot more than shipping via USPS which is how they used to ship my stuff. It now arrives much faster though.

    My biggest concern is there appears to be a bug on the website that does not apply free shipping to my orders even when there's a "free shipping on all orders" (no state exclusions listed). I had this issue with both J Crew and Madewell recently and had to call to have the free shipping applied.

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    1. Also it doesn't say on the website yet that economy shipping is only available for the 48 contiguous states.

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    2. I was having the same issue. So you called them and they gave you free shipping to Hawaii? But then did you have to place a phone order because the 30% of sale right now is only good for online orders I think...

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  5. Sorry to be off topic but does anyone else's shopping cart get dumped right away after you've steered away from their website and get back? It's so annoying ! I need to know if it's something on my end or theirs.

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    1. This happened the other day on the mobile site. I signed in again and then it was fine, so I would try signing into your account again if you haven't already tried that. HTH!

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  6. I'm definitely a fan of free/low cost shipping. SurePost is a little strange; a lot of companies use them now and I'd estimate that 7-8 times out of 10, UPS will deliver the package directly and not transfer it to the post office. Maybe it depends on your UPS?

    As long as JC continues to process the orders quickly, I'll be happy. It's the combined "take forever to ship" PLUS SmartPost (which IMO is even slower than SurePost) that Gap brands uses that's the worst - 10 days from order confirmation to delivery, most of the time.

    I really hope that JC doesn't start doing what Gap brands do and ship me store inventory. I have a B&M nearby - I order online because I don't want something shopworn.

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    1. According to the manager at my JCF store, they are, indeed, planning to go the way of GAP brands and start shipping orders from store inventory. Not sure when it's going to start or if retail will be doing the same, but I'm not a fan either. I've had very bad luck with used and damaged items coming from GAP via this method.

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    2. Ugh! I once received a 6-piece order from gap.com that was all shipped from a store...with all of the security tags still on. I'm glad they have free return shipping because I was not about to deal with returning that order to a store. They (Gap brands) seem to also have trouble processing returns in-store for online items that were shipped from stores. I don't think it's across-the-board trouble, but it's still inconvenient/annoying.

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    3. I really hope that J.Crew does not go that route. I stopped purchasing from Gap/Banana Republic online for this reason.

      I found that the items sent to me were dirty just because they didn't take the care to package it properly. Plus, I remember getting two sweaters from BR that had random hairs in it (I am a brunette and the hair was blonde) in addition to whatever lint was on it. I returned it and I ended up using the lint roller on it before I did because I was embarrased by its appearance.

      Plus, if I ordered like 8 pieces from Gap/BR online, they would come to me in 5 separate packages as they were being sent to me from different stores around the country. Pain the butt!

      I think J.Crew is better off just having stores send back their merchandise to the warehouse and having someone there inspect it before putting it back in stock. Even now, they miss a few pieces. I just can't imagine a store associate getting 20 online orders to fulfill, taking out the time to careful inspect each piece, in addition to all the other store related duties they have to do.

      This is a downgrade for J.Crew. :(



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    4. Hi Alexis - I agree completely. I order from Gap brands online because often they have much better promotions than in-store (plus I don't want shopworn things). So often, when they ship me something from the store, it originates in the Phoenix area (even though I've seen it at my B&M in the Northeast!), and ships FedEx SmartPost which takes forever (Gigi and I joked on her blog that it often takes so long, we don't remember what's in the grey bag when it finally shows up!). The other thing I don't like about getting store inventory is that sometimes it shows up with no tags, which also doesn't make it convenient to return if necessary.

      They always, always split my orders into multiple shipments. If JC starts to do this I will definitely order less. I've felt very free to order multiple sizes and try things I may not usually because JC processes and ships orders so quickly (and all at once, unless backordered).

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    5. I hate that about ordering from GAP. One order comes in a bunch of different packages. It's really annoying, and while the merchandise I've received hasn't arrived damaged or gross (yet), it has arrived in re-used tissue paper (it's all crumpled up), more than a few times. I'm not happy J. Crew is moving in this direction.

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    6. Although I haven't had an issue with receiving shopworn items from retailers that use their retail store inventory to fulfill online orders, I do think it causes delays and inaccurate inventory. Although J Crew online is not perfect, it far better than other retailers like Anthropologie and Loft who rely on in store inventory that is often inaccurate and not up to date. Sure an item may be in the store when the order is placed but by the time the order is fulfilled may have been sold to an in store customer. I cannot tell you the number of orders I've had cancelled by Anthro and I order from them far less than J Crew. It would be nice if J Crew added a store locator to its website so customers could look up and call the store themselves.

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    7. I really hope Jcrew does not start shipping from store inventory! I don't like shopworn items but sometimes that's what happens with retailers like Loft. I mean people do need to try on items at the store. Generally, the items I order online from Loft are in very good shape, being that they are coming from a store. I wonder if JCrew is indeed headed in this direction.

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  7. I like this new shipping option because usps delivers on Saturday while ups doesn't. So if I order something after Wednesday I'll be sure to pick economy ;)

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    1. Big Heart, that is exactly what I was thinking! I love the Saturday delivery. I don't mind SurePost anyway, because half the time UPS just ends up delivering it early.

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    2. I like having both options. I travel a lot and I will select the slower or quicker option depending on my own schedule.

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  8. :Hates: UPS SurePost! Depending on where the weekend falls, it can take up to 10 calender days for a package to reach my house. By then, I've almost forgotten I even ordered something! The only way this might have been a positive thing is if J Crew had lowered the minimum $$ to achieve free shipping. Otherwise, a downgrade for sure!

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    1. I agree. I really don't like SmartPost. In addition to the glacial pace, I've had a number of issues with my Factory SmartPost deliveries. Once the package is transferred to USPS, UPS takes no responsibility for its whereabouts. One time after my package was transferred to USPS, it showed no movement for days. I called Factory CS and they waned me to contact the post office to track it down. I was like, wha'? is that a joke? have YOU ever tried to deal with the post office for anything? Especially for a package that I PAID to have shipped. CS finally resent me the order via UPS. I never did get the original package. Another time a Factory order came to me in a box that was clearly not a J Crew box (also, my address was clearly cut out from another package and taped to the box) with an item from a mass big box retailer in the box! The Factory item looked like someone ran a truck over it. I am sure there was a mishap at the post office with my original package.

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  9. Crewcuts has free shipping all the time - and that's a huge factor in my choosing to buy from J Crew. My daughters are aging out of Crewcuts, so it remains to be seen how much for them I buy on-line in the future. For my clothes/shoes, I often wait for a big sale and no shipping before I bite. Not always, but often.

    (Why does JC consider it beneficial to provide free shipping for kids and not adults?)

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    1. Cousy, my guess is that they are trying to boost CrewCut sales as it probsbly is not as established as regular JCrew. Another logic could be that parents are much less likely to take small children shopping to try things on, so free shiipping may be necessary to entice more parents to buy. I am by no means a marketing expert, but those are the reasons I've also assumed CrewCuts has offered free shipping.

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  10. Not a fan of this AT ALL. I abandoned a checkout on both Madewell and J.Crew when I saw I'd have to pay $5 for the courtesy of using UPS. I didn't realize dependable shipping results is a commodity now.

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    1. *sigh* Grammar fail. See how upset I am? LOL. That should be *are* a commodity now.

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  11. It's a plus for me, since I don't get to my US mail box often enough. It saves me some money if I have a below the threshold order.

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  12. I'll probably try economy once and see how much longer it takes. J.Crew usually arrives very fast for me--once my order leaves the warehouse it generally arrives at my door the next day.
    Although, with many J.Crews in convenient driving distances, I'm very conscious of only ordering online when there's free shipping on all orders or when I hit the $175. So who knows if and when I'll need to consider the economy shipping option.

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  13. I'm not sure why jcrew having more shipping options would be a negative thing. It's not like they took standard shipping away. You just have a choice now. I've always found jcrew shipping very reasonable compared to other retailers. One order I placed with Bloomingdales $30 purchase, cost me $16 to ship plus it didn't arrive for three weeks! Ridiculous. At jcrew I can place an order and receive it within two to three days. Options are always good.

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    1. I think the complaint is that free shipping (once you hit the necessary minimum expenditure) always came quickly via UPS. Options are good but now one has to pay more for something that used to be standard/free/quick. In a nutshell, prepare to wait longer or pay when it used to be free.

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    2. I agree with bug pin. Yeah, options are good and I see why SurePost would be a good option for some. It's a tough adjustment to pay for something that used to be free, especially when the price on their clothes is higher than it's ever been.

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    3. Nice to see you, bug pin, and I also agree!

      There are TWO components to this change:

      1) the downgrade in shipping, which may offer more choice but is slower and no longer free

      2) shipping some items from retail stores rather than warehouse stock, which manages inventory better for JCrew but may result in customers receiving shopworn goods

      Both these changes cut costs for JCrew and decrease value for customers. I'm really bummed when I see prices going through the roof, and quality/service going through the floor ...

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  14. I like to order online instead of retail because of the 60 day return window and getting clean non-shopworn items. I'm not so sure I like this idea of stock coming from stores. It will be a massive wwfify and we know how efficient that is (not!).

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  15. Not sure I understand why some don't like it. Isn't the option to use UPS still available the same as before, except that if you are below the price threshold for free, you get to use it for $.95 less? What am I missing?

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  16. I just placed a Factory order and the threshold for free economy shipping there was $75. I tried it...we'll see how it goes.

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  17. I placed a Jcrew order on Monday and haven't recieved a shipping confirmation yet. In my experience, I can expect the order at my doorstep within 3 days! I wonder if this has anything to do with the new shipping policy (FYI I chose the "standard" shipping)

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  19. I placed a JCrew order on Monday, received shipping email on Tuesday, and still no shipping activity on UPS network. Very frustrating. Gone are the days of fast shipping.

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    1. SLG in my experience the item may take a while to show up on the UPS tracking site but still gets delivered in good speed IF UPS is delivering door to door (i.e., no transfer to USPS)

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    2. You are right 312JCgirl! Fast delivery through UPS.

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