Kim Triegaardt finds that buying shoes online can be a rewarding experience.
I wanted a pair of long dark brown boots and my searches in the stores in Christchurch were unsuccessful.
A late-night glance at one of the ads on my Facebook site, however, and it was love at first sight. On theiconic.com.au I was face to face with a pair of Jo Mercer Giovanna Italy leather boots that captivated me.
I can't say how much they cost because I lied to everyone about that. What? I'm the only person who doesn't tell the truth about the actual amount of money they spend on clothes and shoes? I probably also conveniently forgot to mention that the price was in Australian dollars as well but I didn't think $300-ish was too bad.
They were tick-the-boxes boots. Long and over the knee, dark brown, real leather, flat and actually a bit cheaper than ones I'd looked at in the shops in Christchurch. What about size? Luckily I have fairly average feet, no obvious bumps, size 9 (European 40) and not that wide. Although that's no guarantee as size does vary between different styles. There was one pair of size 9s left. I'm nothing if not cynical so thought it was a marketing ploy and ignored that. I wanted those boots so badly.
I've bought books from Amazon over the internet but nothing else as the endless stories about fraud and internet charlatans always puts a damper on things. I'll often see something I like, get all the way to the point where it says Confirm Payment and I'll get cold feet. An acquaintance made a remark recently about second thoughts being more telling than first ones and I'd always be on my fourth, fifth or sixth thought at the point of sale and hence never went through with it.
This time I lunged for my wallet, whipped out my credit card and entered the details before the first thought was even half way through my brain. Of course, the transaction declined, saying there was a problem. I knew there was money there so I phoned the help desk and a honey-toned voice that reminded me of a sexy Israeli ex-boyfriend answered.
No problem, he said, just give me your credit card details over the phone. My consciousness ratcheted back to my default distrust position and I said don't worry, blabbed some excuse why I no longer needed the boots and put down the phone.
I headed back to the site, never having wanted a pair of shoes so badly in my life. I don't have a good history with shoes. I'm tall so tend to err on the side of flats which are usually fairly boring. I entered all the card details again and this time the deal went through - it pays to get the details right the first time.
Shortly after, an invoice was emailed through and in horror I saw that it didn't have my delivery address as Christchurch. I must have left out the city when I filled in the form. I phoned the help desk again. I didn't get honey-tones this time but someone who sounded like his equally hot cousin. No problem, the voice soothed, I did fill in the city, it just didn't show up on the invoice.
That was Thursday night. On Tuesday morning, a courier arrived with a box that could be only one thing. The box was smaller than I thought it would be for long boots and I tried to quell rising disappointment. I'd been warned off buying shoes on the internet and maybe everyone was right. The boots were, however, perfect. Butter-soft leather, just the right colour, and they slipped on to my feet like they were made for me.
Now I'm a regular on the site, although the real test will be when something doesn't fit and I have to send it back. At least I'll have an excuse to call the help desk and talk to the honey-toned voice from my past. And then I'll be 22 again on a sun-kissed beach, only this time I'll be wearing really hot shoes.
- © Fairfax NZ News