For the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring online, worldwide marketplaces in search of the best of the best: the one that offers the most quality experience, the most quality product, and the best shipping. We’ve considered clothing retail, cosmetic retail, and general retail marketplaces, and many have been neck-in-neck. Amazon offers exclusive, never before seen quick shipping on an unbelievable inventory, and Forever21 has hit the nail on the head with a vast selection of affordable clothing, and still other retailers have unique things to offer.
In reviewing clothing retailers, we’ve discovered some pretty unexpected, pleasant experiences. Grana, a company that cuts out the middle man and offers luxury clothing at a fraction of the price, astounded me with their quality and fast shipping from the other side of the world. Free People, who receives very mixed reviews on many of their products, offers unique pieces that can’t be matched anywhere else and product details that make selecting products a breeze. And Forever21’s plethora of styles and low prices were surprisingly impressing.
When analyzing general marketplaces, I took the internet’s word for it in choosing Amazon and Walmart, and my experience at each was extremely similar. I’m an Amazon Prime membership holder, so I receive free 2-day shipping on most items, and Walmart - who offers the same service for free on many products – took me by surprise in winning my favor as well.
The most intimidating experience for me, and perhaps the most rewarding, was shopping for online cosmetics through Ulta and YesStyle. Ulta, a Western-based company who offers Western cosmetics, delivered promptly and carries brands I trust. YesStyle, on the other hand, was in no rush to deliver my order, but their unique-to-me products were exciting and pleasant to try.
This is the hard part, hands down. I thought it was difficult to choose which products to order and which stores to order from, but comparing website interfaces, reviews, processes, and shipping times was even harder. All the stores I chose were fantastic, but if I have to choose one – drumroll, please! – I would say the ULTIMATE online shopping marketplace is…
Amazon. It’s not that the other marketplaces I experienced weren’t fantastic. They were. I was blown away by some, and others met my expectations. But no one can compete with a marketplace that sells practically everything in the world, and with free two-day shipping for members. While Amazon has its small downsides (it’s important to make sure that items marked “Prime eligible” actually offer 2-day shipping, because just a few aren’t actually in stock), it’s overall an innovative, unrivaled platform that caters to anyone and anywhere. AmazonPrime is created for United States shoppers, but AmazonGlobal, which sells all Amazon-fulfilled products, is available internationally and ships much quicker than other US-based marketplaces.
You won’t go wrong with any of the marketplaces I’ve reviewed if you know what to expect. They’ve each got their benefits, and if you choose the retailer that’s best suited to your own personal desires you’ll not be disappointed. But overall, Amazon takes the cake, and I believe it offers the best options for the most people.