Thursday, June 9, 2011

Trying Out Sole Society - I Purchase The Sofia Shoes

When I first learned about Sole Society I thought that there couldn't possibly be a scenario in which I wanted to belong to a subscription shoe service in the same way that I belong to Send the Trend and JewelMint. I've never been a huge shoe buyer - new shoes are often synonymous with pain (in the form of blisters) and ridicule (from my husband). In general I usually try to avoid it.

That being said, I found myself with a need for a comfortable wedge heel in black. Browsing my closet for Sole Society I stumbled on the Sofia shoe. I hemmed and hawed about the purchase for quite a long time. I looked up comparable shoes on Zappos and such and realized that Sole Society's price for this type of wedge wasn't bad. So I made the purchase....

Warning... Toes!!!

Sole Society Sofia Shoe
Sole Society Sofia Wedges in Black

What is Sole Society
Quite simply put, it is exactly like the subscription accessories service. You sign up, they give you a "personalized closet" and you can choose to purchase or pass. The cost of shoes is $49.95 with free shipping. It's not a bad deal when you consider most quality shoes are higher priced than that. And of course you can pass a month after a certain time period at the beginning of the month (I am pretty sure it's the standard 5 days).

What Are the Drawbacks?
  • Selection is very limited. There are only a certain number of shoes a month.
  • They only show you six shoes at a time.
  • You can send a request for a "new closet" but you have to wait up to 24 hours for your closet to reappear and refresh.
  • Sole Society does NOT publish a list of all of their shoes being offered or have an easy way of finding them (unlike JewelMint and Send the Trend where you can see more than your personal selections). This is the most annoying thing EVER!!! Especially if your closet doesn't really fit your tastes or what you are looking for.
Ways Around The Drawbacks
As you can probably imagine, the last drawback I listed above is a frustration for many buyers. Therefore, there are some solutions that are cropping up from within the community on Facebook:
  • Go to Sole Society on Facebook - you will always see users posting screenshots of their closets at the beginning of the month. This community is full of enablers who are willing to help you find the shoe you want if it doesn't show up in your closet.
  • Quite often, a buyer will post a Facebook note consolidating all the shoes for a month. See THIS example 
  • Check out The Shoe Doctor Blog - This shoe obsessed blogger may actually be the same person that posts the notes on facebook. I'm not sure. But a few days into the month this blogger usually has a listing of all of the Sole Society offerings with links and pictures. AWESOME!
  • .If you know the NAME of the shoe you are looking for, you can go to the Trends page on Sole Society and enter the name of the shoe in the search field on the right. Not the easiest place to find it, quite honestly.

My Purchase - The Sofia Shoe Itself
I still got blisters, but these absolutely fit the bill for what I want. the straps tend to cut across my front toe and with enough walking, it rubs the wrong way. Time, a few wears, and maybe some tootsie TLC will solve that problem. It shipped very quickly and the shoes arrived in good condition.  I am very pleased with this purchase.

Customer Service
From reading the posts on the Sole Society Facebook Page, Sole Society seems to be very interested in helping their customers with their issues. You will often see them interacting with people who have issues and other posters talking about exchanges. I'm sure there are complaints, but nothing stands out in my mind. I have no direct experience with Sole Society customer service but I'll let you know if/when I do.

Bottom Line
I hate "The Closet", but it is worth signing up for Sole Society and waiting for the right shoe. Once you make that purchase, then skip each month until another pair lovely shoes up. Also, haunt the Facebook page!

If you want to join Sole Society,  I would be honored if you would use my invite link.