Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Aug 9 2015 21:07:57

Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

By: Ina Steiner

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A new service called Try.com is letting online shoppers receive up to five items from retailer websites and take 10 days to try them on before deciding whether to keep them and pay for them, or return them to the retailer. Some major retailers are part of the program - including Neiman Marcus, Urban Outfitters, and J. Crew.

Shipping and return shipping are both free - and, the site says, shoppers can get free expedited shipping from select retailers including Asos, East Dane, and Shopbop when they use Try.com.

The advantages to shoppers are obvious - there are many types of items that are difficult to know the fit without trying them on - bathing suits and pants, for instance - and sometimes the feel of the material can come as a surprise - too clingy, too flimsy, or too rough, for example. With Try.com, the shopper doesn't have to spend a penny until they decide which items they wish to keep.

But is a service like Try.com setting shopper expectations too high - and is it making it too easy for shoppers to "rent" clothes and return them? 

Fashion sellers in particular have a problem with buyers ordering clothing and then returning items - and many complain items show wear and tear. 

In a FAQ on the site, Try addresses this issue: "Can I wear the clothes and then send them back?" The answer: "Try everything on at home, but don't wear them out unless you intend to purchase them. Clothes that are worn, damaged, or have tags removed will be charged to your account."

But then there are the stories like the one from an eBay seller who said a blogger purchased a hat, returned it and gave them a negative feedback - but not before allegedly posting a photograph of herself wearing said hat on her Instagram account.

Large retailers set higher expectations about shipping costs, now it looks like they may be about to set even higher expectations around returns.

You can read more about the service in Monday's Newsflash, and let us know what you think.




Comments (33) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

by: Owen This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 9 21:24:46 2015

Many large retail corporations have liberal return policies. Zappos.com has their own try and return policies, and they work well for them. They pay for shipping both ways. I have returned shoes from them a couple of times when the fit wasn't right.

They can afford to absorb such high costs. Small sellers cannot, which is why liberal return policies cause such angst. Small sellers cannot compete with huge corporations.

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

by: Owen This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 9 21:28:42 2015

And, by the way, I'm not really good with buying a garment which one or even several other people have worn for 10 or more days at a time. Might just as well go to the Salvation Army on sale day, where you know that your garment has been worn, and you can then take it home and disinfect it. Could save you a ton of money.

Too many skin diseases and other diseases floating around that can linger in the seams of clothing. And if you are going to return it, you will not be allowed to wash it, before wearing it.

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 9 21:35:11 2015

Big deal, this is eBays model already. Nothing new here.

I wouldn't join anything like this. Those manufacturers listed can afford the losses aka the gambling on what the customer will keep.

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Aug 9 23:13:45 2015

This will buyers of the kind that ebay has trained so well.

I predict and hope for the quick failure of try.com.

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 9 23:21:21 2015

Hmm shouldnt it be steal.com, rent.com, eBay.com, abusesellers.com or something similar?

How about we do it with food? I wouldnt mind taking home 6 steaks, making them, eating most of each of them - then returning the bones with just abit of meat left on each one! LMAO!

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 10 01:19:32 2015

As they say "There is one born every minute." I am sure some savvy investors just jumped at the bit for this pitch.  

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 10 02:07:23 2015

What could possibly go wrong?

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Aug 10 03:31:24 2015

Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?
No.
What a HOAX.
The insanity never ends.
Who is MORON that came up with this idea ?

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Aug 10 04:07:45 2015

There is no such thing as "free shipping." "Free shipping" both ways is built into the price tag in tiny little code you are pretending not to see or notice. What a colossal waste in fossil fuels and wear-and-tear on vehicles. If you need clothes, go shopping. If there are no stores near you make a day of it and drive to one.  

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Aug 10 04:09:33 2015

By "drive" of course I mean stock up. Another colossal waste if you drive for a solitary shirt.  

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 10 06:22:48 2015

Ditto - what could possibly go wrong?

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 10 07:44:45 2015

Betcha after someone "tries" 10 or 15 items and doesn't buy anything, the little "Try" pop up will stop popping up for them!

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 10 07:48:42 2015

Okay, just tried "Try".  You need a code to sign up - it's by "invite only", a la the moribund 11main.com.

Entered my email address, zip. It said - now get this:

"We'll be in touch when we launch in your city."

WTF???

Thought this was for online sales???

Guess what, azzhats - my city already has this thing called a "Post Office", which actually brings stuff to my house!

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 10 08:30:36 2015

At the Two-Headed Monster [feeBay/PayPig] it's ALREADY "try before you [really] buy!" How could it be considered otherwise, with a ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAY RETURN policy implemented by Devil Wingnut's chief seller leg [dare I say "ball?"] -breaker, PayPig?

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by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 10 08:32:37 2015

@pace306

eBay scammers wouldn't return the bones..they'd return the steaks after they're passed through their digestive systems.

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

This user has validated their user name. by: baconsdozen
Web Site

Mon Aug 10 08:50:48 2015

Ebay already have a similar system. Its called "Buy,try,return,refund". Its like hiring but it's free.

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Aug 10 09:44:09 2015

Will eBay sue them for intellectual property infringement?  Isn't this eBay's business model? LOL

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Aug 10 10:03:07 2015


From the article I take it is designed to be a tool for major retailers or larger sellers of new clothing, based on the examples of who it using it?  

Sounds like it could be used for them to get a handle on their returns.  May make the buyer return an item does not work for them quicker instead of holding on to it.  

Five items at a time is a limit in itself.  

''Clothes that are worn, damaged, or have tags removed will be charged to your account.'' - Those words are only as good as their enforcement! (ahem, eBay)

Sounds like as long as there is tracking, if USPS is slow and their account gets charged they will be refunded when the item arrives.  


Not something I would use, but it would be interesting to follow up with the retailers to see how it goes for them.

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Aug 10 10:05:08 2015


To address the worry about skin diseases - at a younger age I worked in a high end big name department store.  You just do not want to know just what is found in the dressing rooms in the form of ''biologicals'' of all kinds.  In most cases, those clothes go back out on the rack.  The room gets a quick clean up by the store's cleaning staff and a temporary ''out of order'' while it dries. A ''try on'' has its risks everywhere.  

Point: whether buying used or new clothing, assume the unseen.  Even if item is still sealed in the manufacturer's bag, you should always launder the clothing well before you wear it.

Perminate Link for Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?   Can 'Try Before You Buy' Work Online?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Aug 10 10:10:22 2015

@Ming

Why would "hope" that a new start up "fails" and goes out of business?

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