Crate & Barrel
Crate and Barrel: Lots of cool stuff for the home but watch for sales!
A review by modernmarvel written on Jul 13, 2004Full review
Crate and Barrel seems to sell endless amounts of things I would like to have but don't really need. It some ways it reminds me of George Carlin's stuff routine - how many throw pillows and vases can you currently store in your house before purchasing something, such as a stylish hamper, to store all your Crate and Barrel finds?
That said, Crate and Barrel does sell lots of fun and trendy stuff for the home. Although many things, like the pots and pans, are practical, most are decorative and are, often, more expensive, than you could find elsewhere.
Crate and Barrel is also very popular for wedding registries and they have made it very easy to register and also to purchase from someone else's registry.
I recently got an email for a 40% off sale at Crate and Barrel and decided to check it out.
Furniture: Many of the web offerings are particle board, Ikea-type of stuff. Be careful to read descriptions carefully. There are also wood items as well as trendy metal and leather items.
Kitchen goods: Lots of pots, pans, bakeware, bowls, gadgets and other things for the kitchen. Many of the items can be found at a discount at other chain stores. Crate and Barrel rarely marks them down.
Bath: Lots of towels, shower curtains, bath mats and such. These items are trendy and the colors change seasonally. These items get marked down occasionally as they clear for the next colors or patterns.
Table: Tons of table cloths and placemats. Also some flatware and dishes.
Other stuff: Lots of candles, vases and other stuff you don't truly need.
SHOPPING THE SITE
The site is pretty easy to shop and is well-organized. There is an outlet section with sale-priced goods. The items on the web site are generally what you will find in the store, but not always. The site makes it easy to coordinate items and the shopping is entirely intuitive.
MAKING A PURCHASE
This is one of the easiest sites to make a purchase. They don't require you to choose a password, although you have that option. You only have to enter your address once if the billing address and shipping address are the same. My only gripe is that they didn't tell me my shipping costs until very late into the process.
I got an email acknowledging my order. I also got an email when my order shipped.
SHIPPING AND PACKAGING
It took me just over a week to get my item. It seems that it took about 3 days to leave the warehouse and about 6 days in transit. That is a little long but still acceptable.
The packaging was very good. I ordered a garden trellis and it came in a box three times its size with lots of packaging to protect it. If I didn't like the item, it would have been easy to reuse the packaging to send it back.
Here are the shipping costs from the web site:
Up to $15.99 $4.95
$201.00-Above 10% of merchandise total
I didn't make a return but, according to the web site, you can return most items by mail at your own expense. You can also return non-furniture items to the stores. The return instructions are more complicated for furniture so read the return policy before you order.
STEALS & DEALS
You can sign up for email notifications of sales. I have been getting the emails for a while and haven't seen any private sales or gotten any deals specific to customers on the email list. Crate and Barrel has few sales compared to other sites and retail outlets. As far as I can tell, Crate does not give out coupon codes freely and I didn't find any on the web. The store does not participate in Upromise or Ebates.
I generally like the Crate & Barrel merchandise and shopping on the site was a breeze. Shipping costs were a little high and the shipping time was a little long but overall the experience was very good.
DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP ON THE INTERNET? HERE ARE SOME MORE REVIEWS OF WEB STORES:
Clothing and Accessories: Talbots; The Gap; CWD Kids; Hanna Andersson; J. Jill; Tote Le Monde ; Blu Pyxie ; Miniboden; One Hanes Place; Nordstrom; Gymboree; Simple Shoes; Sierra Blue; Ebags; Shoe Dawg; Osh Kosh; Backcountry; Figleaves.
Clothing and Home Goods: Lands End; Bluefly; Soft Surroundings; Garnet Hill; Sundance; L.L. Bean.
Home and Garden: Smith & Noble; Restoration Hardware; Gardeners Supply Company; Unicahome; Homeclick; FaucetDirect; Gardens Alive; West Elm; MyKnobs; CB2.
Books and Magazines: Amazon.com; ValueMags; Magazine Values; Dover Publications.
Office Supplies, Furniture and Services: Staples; Officemax; Topdeq; Efax.
Electronics: HP Shopping; Buy.com; ABT Electronics.
Travel: Amtrak; Hotwire; Orbitz; Hotels.com.
Discount: Overstock.com; Target; Smart Bargains.
Photo Developing: Shutterfly; Snapfish.
Baby Stuff: Babystyle; Babys Here Birth Announcements; Baby Universe; SoZo; Baby Center; Baby Age; One Step Ahead.
Miscellaneous: 1-800 contacts; Movie Tickets.com; Drugstore.com.
Rebate Sites: Upromise; Ebates.
Before you start shopping, check out my tips on how to save money by shopping on the internet . I have also included some coupon codes and plan to add more as I find them.
About the Author
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Location: Basking in the Sun