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Online Clothes Shopping in Switzerland

Don't tell me you haven't noticed. If you're anywhere in or near Switzerland you must have seen at least one ad or commercial for Zalando. Advertisements for Zalando shoes or clothes have been flooding newspapers, television and the internet. A very funny one is the Zalando game show commercial.

So what's the big deal? Is Zalando really better or cheaper than other online stores? I asked myself exactly this question when I embarked on my Zalando-testing journey.
a selection of Zalando dresses

Why I wanted to shop at Zalando

Since I've been trying to buy a cute and colorful summer dress without success, I decided to try online clothes shopping for a change. I've ordered stuff online before but mostly books or household items. To order clothes online was gonna be a totally new experience. Little did I know that it can be just as tiring as going shopping in the real world.

Where I went online clothes shopping

To make things a bit more interesting I checked out the two most popular online clothes shopping sites of Switzerland: Zalando and Bonprix. Both websites advertise their merchandise as being inexpensive and good quality. Also, both claim to have simple ordering processes, fast delivery and easy ways to return items. A lot of promises, right?! I ordered a dress and a shirt or shorts on both websites and here's what I found out.

My Experience - An Overview

Browsing:

Both Zalando and Bonprix offer an enormous amount of shoes, clothing and accessories on their websites. Almost too much to handle I believe. It felt like I was being flooded by pictures and colors and items and such. True, there is the possibility to browse through the items using a search filter but that didn't always work to my advantage. For example, when searching for "summer dresses" in size "S" it also showed me dresses that were sold out in size S. Pretty annoying when you finally find something you like and then realize they don't have it in your size or color. Maybe less would be more but then, I am not a frequent customer and possible there are more effective ways to browse these mountains of clothes. You think I'm exaggerating? Check it out for yourself: Zalando currently offers over 30'000 items of clothing and Bonprix probably not much less.

Ordering:

When I finally figured out what I wanted to buy, I was ready to order. For this purpose you have to open a user account. Despite this, the ordering process was quite fast and smooth. I especially love that you can pay on receipt of invoice and not only with credit card. I'm not very fond of giving out my credit card number online, so that was a plus.

Prices & Fees:

Here lies the big difference between the two websites. Both offer reasonably priced clothing. It's more or less the same price you would be paying at a local retailer, maybe a bit cheaper depending on the item. However, the two have a totally different fee policy:
  1. Zalando does NOT charge for delivery! Even returning an unwanted item is for free
  2. Bonprix charges 6.50 CHF for every delivery. If you want to return an item you have to mail it back at your own cost!

Delivery:

Delivery was alright for both websites. After a week both packages arrived safely at my apartment.

Returning Items:

I only had to return an item to Bonprix so I know the returning process for Zalando only in theory. Nevertheless, I dare to say that Zalando is a bit more convenient and customer friendly.
  • Zalando: Login to your account, print out the return return note and stick it on the package you want to send back. Bring it to the next post office and send it free of charge. Your bill will be lowered the relevant amount or you'll receive your money back (straight to your bank account).
  • Bonprix: Wrap the item in a bag and stick the return note onto it. Mail it at the nearest post office. You'll receive credit on your Bonprix account for the amount the item is worth.


Conclusion

Personally, my experience with Zalando was much better. The whole process seems a bit simpler and is definitely cheaper! I'll probably give it another try sometime soon.





UPDATE:
I also tried online shopping at La Redoute. You can find my review here: Online Shopping #2




© 2012 IRENE WYRSCH "A HUMOROUS GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND" ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Comments

  1. consider this recent news article: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/wirtschaft/unternehmen-und-konjunktur/Boeses-Erwachen-fuer-ZalandoKunden/story/12642388

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've seen those articles also and they seem credible. However, in my personal experience and according to my friends experiences Zalando is still way better than any other online shopping site for Switzerland....

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a really well written article. For someone who normally skim read, your style is quite engaging, so I read every word! Thanks also for your views on both clothing distributors. I was particularly intrigued by your assessment of the the buying process since I recently started on online gallery in Switzerland with PayPal as the mechanism for handling the financial transaction. What's your take on them? Please feel free to have a look at my website also - www.experiencejamaique.com.
    Thanks again. Think I'll read your other articles :0)

    ReplyDelete

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