It seems almost any woman under 40 who has a Facebook account has seen the tantalizing sidebar ads featuring a lovely dress and directing the viewer to visit Modcloth. I, like most other Modcloth shoppers, first discovered them after clicking on a Facebook ad featuring a lovely dress by an indie designer. I’ve been shopping there for a little over two years now, and here is what my experience has been:
Quality of Selection
Perhaps the biggest draw of Modcloth is its sheer volume of selection. They post new clothing designs every day, which keeps customers coming back to see the latest designs. Their array of offerings is truly mind boggling. They sell everything from clothing to apartment decorations and their selection of dresses is jawdropping. They also feature one new genuinely vintage item every day, so vintage lovers need to check the site frequently in order to get their hands on true vintage. Though I can always find something I like on Modcloth, their constant rotation of selection often means popular items are out of stock. They buy items in small batches and so the truly beautiful items will often sell out in less than a week. If you see something you like on Modcloth, it’s a safe bet to snap it up now and skip the debate with yourself in case it’s gone tomorrow. The good news is that they offer a feature that will notify you if a beloved item comes back into stock.
Quality of Clothing
The quality of Modcloth’s clothing has been, for me, very hit or miss. It seems I return about half of the items I buy and really, really love the other half. Some items are not made from quality material or have irregular and inconsistent fits. If you buy from modcloth, you need to be prepared for the possibility of a return. The good news is that, when you get a great piece from Modcloth, there truly are no words to describe its greatness. Modcloth seems to stock the clothes I’ve had in my fantasies for years but have been unable to find anywhere else. The bad news, of course, is that this means when an item goes out of stock on Modcloth, you’re unlikely to be able to find it anywhere else.
Quality of Fit
As a general rule, Modcloth’s items seem to run a bit large, especially the dresses. They also tend not to stock a lot of plus sizes, though customer feedback has recently caused that to begin to change. Modcloth has promised to begin stocking larger sizes, and about ten percent of their current offerings can be purchased in an XL or larger.
Value For Price
As modcloth has gotten bigger and more popular, their prices have slowly moved upward. When they first started, most dresses were under fifty dollars, and now they tend to be in the 60-100 dollar price range. The raise in prices has not, in my view, been a result in an improvement of quality but rather has been caused by increasing demand, so if a dress is sixty dollars this does not necessarily mean it will be higher quality than a thirty dollar dress. I have, however, found that dresses priced over a hundred dollars are of universally excellent quality, so as the prices go up, so does the value.
Modcloth has built its brand on consumer feedback and the site resembles a social network. They allow reviews from buyers, have frequent contests, and have a Facebook page where you can ask fashion questions here. Each item has a detailed description and suggestions for how to wear it. Modcloth’s “Be the Buyer” program also allows site users to vote on fashions to sell on the site. A user could easily spend all day on the website reading and writing reviews, asking for fashion advice, and commenting on blog entries. Picture Facebook turned into a clothing store and you’ve got Modcloth.
Modcloth has marketed itself as a friendly, even cutesy, company. Its employees respond to every negative review with an offer of help, and Mod Stylists can frequently be found on Facebook telling Modcloth customers how adorable they look in Modcloth clothes. And for the most part, I’ve had good experiences with Modcloth customer service. They have live chat available, which means you can get help on the weekends and at odd daytime hours, and their “simple returns” truly are easy. They also charge a flat shipping rate, which means your order cost isn’t going to double when you get to checkout and pay for shipping. Modcloth, however, is a company and they seem to be struggling lately with whether or not they want to be a large corporation or a small mom and pop. As a general rule, I’ve found their customer service has become less responsive in recent months and less willing to fix mistakes. Fortunately, they’re so focused on the buying experience that mistakes are relatively uncommon. As mentioned above, their easy returns process makes returns a snap. However, unlike most online companies, you cannot exchange one item for another. This is a huge oversight that, in some cases, might result in less incentive to shop there. Nevertheless, they always quickly refund money on returns, and they will let you exchange an item for the same item in a different size or color.
Overall, I’ve had excellent experiences with Modcloth. I hope they’ll work on improving quality and descriptions in some of the less expensive pieces, and they need to offer exchanges instead of just returns. Given the dizzying array of beautiful clothing and accessories they offer, however, these are two very minor complaints and most people will be delighted with Modcloth.