Friday, April 15, 2011

Shopping Mania

The past year or so has seen a recent shift in shopping trends. Thanks to various social networking sites and people spending more and more time on their computers and smart phones, various online shopping sites have not only mushroomed but are doing roaring business. Ladies are spending more and more time shopping for bargains online than in stores.

I must admit that even though I am not a shopaholic, i have been enticed into shopping because of some of the wonderful bargains these websites have to offer. Here is my experience with a select few:

Good Quality Designer stuff at bargain price. The sale starts every morning at 9am PST and one has to be really quick to add some of the popular items. They sell out like hot cakes. Once you add an item to your cart, you have 10 minutes to decide, it expires from your cart thereafter. The shipping is $10. They are very good with returns and have upto 21 days to return an eligible merchandise for store credit. If the item is damaged, they refund the entire amount including shipping to you. Over all great website and good sales for Men, Women, Kids, Home and even on travel.

Another great website with superior quality designer stuff mostly for men and women. The Boutique offers clothes, jewelery, shoes, accessories for both men and women. Sales for the home and occasional travel deals. The sale starts at 8am PST every morning. One cannot reserve items like on other websites. You really just have to buy it all the way if you want something. The shipping is $9.95. Deliver almost within a week of order unless notified. They are a bit stricter with returns but accommodating if the request is reasonable. 30 day return policy for store credit. Can use prepaid UPS return label which will be deducted from return amount. Final sales are not refunded. The quality of the merchandise is very good. I would highly recommend this website.

Another good website for all types of products. They have sales on high end designers and not so famous designers. They are doing so well that Nordstrom acquired them. Like other websites the shipping is flat rate at $10. Sales start at 8am PST. They have a 21 day return policy in which they issue you store credit. Once you order the item reaches within 10-14 business days. They have good quality products and are efficient.

Much cheaper than both Gilt and RueLala. They have good stuff but not all super high end designers. If you are a first row member (paid subscription) you can start shopping at 8am PST, else the sales start at 9am PST. The one good thing about this website is that you can browse the items in complete before the sale even begins. Other websites don't let you do that. This makes it easier to really focus on the items you want to buy.  The shipping is standard at $10 with a 14 day pre-paid label return policy. They are quick to ship the products and have a good variety for men, women and kids also. I would recommend this website!!

This website has so far been my least favorite for a variety of reasons. The prime one being poor customer service and the super long wait time. Once you purchase something on their site they then place the order with the merchant which means it takes anywhere between 4-6 weeks before they ship it out. The returns take the same amount of time. They unfortunately have not been very successful in tapping into very high designer bargains. I have never heard of 60% of the designer stuff they sell. Customer service is bad and unless you really talk with the manager not much get done quickly. Shipping is standard at $9.95. Sales start at 8am PST. I have shopped with them twice or thrice but would not highly recommend them unless you find a great deal.

Here are invites to these sites incase you decide to try any:

The Most Comfy Flats

I recently purchased these Ferragamo flats and I must say I am in love with them. Yes, yes i know they are pricey and some of you might think its ridiculous to spend so much on a pair of flats (not heels) but trust me they are worth every penny of it.

The minute my fleet slipped into those shoes it felt amazingly comfortable. The goat skin leather is super super soft and its lined with a rubber sole. The heel is 1cm so not a lot but not completely flat too.

The Gold Vara plate gives it a smart look. They come in other colors and also in patent leather. The Gold/pewter is another nice option. I thought the patent was a bit too shiny for me. The thing  that did it for me was the amazing color combination. I adore the blueberry and cream combination. Perfect for a nice pair of jeans. Love them and already looking forward to wearing them tonight!!

Oprah Winfrey's Oscar Taping in LA

I have applied for ticket's to Oprah winfrey's talk show numerous time and never made it to Chicago. Every year after the Oscar's on Sunday, Oprah does a special taping at the Kodak theater with a select few Oscar winners in LA. So once again i tried my luck and guess what??? I got selected to attend the taping!!!!! I couldn't believe the confirmation email and kept reading it again and again. It was the OPRAH WINFREY show and to top it all the OSCAR taping :) could it get any better?

It was fabulous and overwhelming event :) My day started at 4am, (u'll see pics), by the time i reached the parking lot (which was 5:30am) there were already a couple of hundred people standing. We stood in line freezing our buttss off (yes it was 39F) for an hour an a half till we finally reached the check-in table. After another 45 mins of waiting in line, we were finally transported to the Kodak theater.

I think there were probably about 3100 people for this show :) it was so much fun to watch girls/ladies/oldies all decked up from top to bottom clinging to their designer purses, strutting around in high heels and looking their best lol. It was like a mini fashion event going on. Quite a few generous and patient men accompanied them too :)

After the long wait we were seated in the Kodak theater and i was totally blown away!!  The theater is SPECTACULAR !!! Its beautiful all around and the majestic Oscar statue standing at the center of the stage is a piece of art. I am glad i got an opportunity to see the theater from inside. What a wonderful feeling it must be to stand on that stage amongst the best of best and accept that award for all your hard work. Just sitting there and feeling the energy gave me goosebumps.

It was loads of fun thereafter, great music, energy, excitement. Imagine a hall filled with 3000 high energy women. Everywhere you looked around it was an ocean of colors. Oprah was fabulous as ever she interviewed the winners from the Kings' speech, we had Collin firth, Anne hathaway, Melissa, Geoffrey rush....all there for the interview. I was so glad King's speech won, it was my favorite movie and I loved it  the moment i watched it. Collin Firth did an amazing job and deserved every bit of that award.

The show ended with Katy perry's performance. All in all it was a super looooooooong, tiring but a fun day. A great experience. But nonetheless i would not have missed the experience :) Oprah + Oscars was double fun!!

Here are some pics which i tired to take, not very good as i was sitting up there but still a few memories.