Our Review of ShoeMint
ShoeMint (located at ShoeMint.com) is the new kid on the block, however they’ve been around since November of 2011 so they’ve had some time to make a name for themselves in the shoe club world. Their parent company BeachMint are no strangers to the personalized shopping experience either. BeachMint owns and operates the hugely successful JewelMint and is using ShoeMint to try and break into the fashion niche. Working with Steve Madden, Creative Director Rachel Bilson and Style Expert Nicole Chavez, ShoeMint promises to deliver shoes that rock, and and pledge to stand by their shoe quality and their customers. ShoeMint shoes are available for $79.98 with free shipping to the Contiguous United States. They offer shipping to Canada as well, however it is not free.
When ShoeMint first launched we realized they’d have some kinks to work out. However it’s now been several months since they’ve been around so we think they’ve had more than enough time to make themselves known and to step up to the competition so we might not be as easy on them as we were in our preliminary review. If you’re looking for a basic summary of our review, you may want to skip to the conclusion at the end.
How ShoeMint Works
Before signing up for ShoeMint you are required to take their style quiz which asks you several questions about certain shoe types, wardrobe ensembles or celebrity styles that you prefer. The quiz is very quick and is used by ShoeMint to guage what types of shoes you prefer. However, we STILL do not believe that ShoeMint actually uses information from your quiz answers to deliver you personalized picks at this time. During our initial review when the site first launched we noticed that as soon as you finish the quiz your picks were automatically ready for you and we found that each time we did the quiz the shoes that showed up were the same. We figured that because they were so new they did not have a huge variety of shoes available for their launch so they were simply offering the same shoes to everyone each month.
We’re had hoped that once they grew they’d have enough inventory to be able to actually offer customers handpicked styles each month but that does not seem to be the case. We’ve tested several accounts, all of which we’ve answered the questions very differently and each month all of our accounts have the same shoes in their showroom. Some colors might be slightly different, but the shoes are all the same and the colors seem to be picked at random. For this reason alone we have to deduct major points. You can’t call yourself a personalized shopping site without providing your customers personalized selections! Shame on you ShoeMint…
ShoeMint works under a membership system where after your first purchase you will be required to take some type of action by the 6th of each new month once your new shoe “selections” are ready. You have two options with ShoeMint:
- Purchase an item
- Notify them that you wish to skip this month
If you do neither of these, your credit card will be charged $79.98 and a store credit will be added to your account which can be used at a later date. Canceling your account can be done by calling their toll free number or by emailing them which is nice and easy.
ShoeMint.com Website & Shopping
The member’s area on ShoeMint.com is very clean and easy to use, however it’s still fairly bones and their customer feedback system is still lacking. When we initially reviewed ShoeMint they had literally no customer feedback system, but at least now they’ve added a Facebook comments area which is a start. However, even with the comments it would seem to us like ShoeMint is missing out on some very key and important features other shoe clubs have that would make the customer experience much better.
As you can see from the screenshot above, here are the details available for each item in your showroom:
- High quality and zoomable photos of the shoe from different angles
- A video showing each shoe from different angles
- General details and a note from one of ShoeMint’s stylists
You are able to get a good idea of what each item looks like before buying it, and with the comments area you can get a tiny bit of feedback from other customers on a shoe before you buy it. They are still missing some type of sizing quiz where customers can submit feedback on how they feel a certain shoe fits. This is vital when buying shoes online! Not all shoes are going to be true to size so this way you can see in advance if you should be ordering a size bigger or smaller than you normally would.
They still really need to beef up their showroom if they want to compete with the big shoe clubs out there. Get to work ShoeMint!
Shipping & Returns
Shipping and returns are free within the Contiguous United States with ShoeMint. Shipping to Canada is offered at $19.99 and shipping to Alaska/Hawaii is $7.50 per item. If you need to return or exchange an item all you have to do is call them to arrange for a shipping label to be sent to you via email. You must return an item within 30 days of the original ship date in order to be eligible for a return or exchange. While exchanges are free, if you are returning an item and want to get a cash refund they will apply a $9.95 restocking fee. All of our orders to date have been fairly speedy.
This is the reason you all are here… To read about the shoes! ShoeMint has decided to take a different approach with their shoes to try and stand out from the crowd. While JustFab and ShoeDazzle offer their shoes for $39.95, ShoeMint has decided to offer their shoes for a higher price of $79.98. They claim that the higher price tag is warranted by the higher quality of their shoes. Since there are limited user reviews on the ShoeMint website, we’ve decided to post photos of a few shoes currently available along with the style notes from their stylist for that pair.Style Notes
from Nicole Chavez
This boot is all about versatility. Wear it with tailored shorts, demin leggings and skirts of all lengths for an effortless look that works at the office, about town—and well into the night.
Available in black and taupe suede.
from Nicole Chavez
For a delicate look, pair the black suede with long, flowing fabrics or match the blush suede with bold cuts and colors for more of a statement.
Available in blush and black kid suede
from Rachel Bilson
A great bootie is a staple in any woman’s wardrobe. Wear with tights and a short cut dress or skirt to elongate your legs. Or, for a more casual yet chic look, wear with skinny pants and your favorite tee.
Available in black and grey kid suede
So now the big question is, are ShoeMint shoes worth the extra cash?
We decided to order Edith for our very first test run. The shoes arrived and were packaged very nicely. The packaging was actually quite impressive and we were excited to get it opened up to see how the shoes themselves looked. At first glance, the shoes looked nice in person and they were made with real suede. However, for a pair of $80 shoes we were a little bit disappointed with the overall quality. The shoes seemed to be unusually stiff (even for new shoes) and it looks as though these shoes would take a very long time to break in to where they were even remotely comfortable. Another knock on these shoes has to be the soles… They look very cheaply made and there was a very apparent glue smell that was kind of off putting.
From what we’ve found over the last several months and from reading users comments on other blogs and forums online, these shoes do not warrant the $80 price tag. Yes, the fact that they use real suede and real leather for their shoes is nice, but in our opinion they are not worth it. You can get shoes that look and feel just as good for half the price from other clubs. Maybe they aren’t real leather, but if they look just as good and you don’t harm any animals while producing these shoes, and you save some money at the same time, that’s a win win win.
So as far as the quality goes, there is not a big difference between ShoeMint and other clubs. However, they do have some very nice looking and unique styles show up from time to time that you might not find elsewhere. So this alone could make it worthwhile to keep checking in on your Showroom from time to time to see if something you absolutely are in love with shows up.
ShoeMint offers a number of different ways to contact their customer service. You can use their live chat option, email or phone their toll free number. Their customer service hours are Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm PST.
To test out their customer service we decided to phone their toll free number in order to cancel our membership with them. During our initial test several months back we found out that if you don’t get through to a customer service representative right away, you are pretty much out of luck and have to keep calling back. You can leave a message with them, but our calls were never returned! After a number of attempts over the course of a couple of days we eventually got through, but it was very frustrating and a very poor way of handling customer service.
Thankfully, they’ve wisened up and their toll free number now has a queue/holding system if you don’t get through right away. Their hold times are fairly minimal unless you’re calling at the start of each month. During our latest test, the the customer service rep we spoke with was nice and she canceled our membership without any issues.
When we wrote our first review, ShoeMint offered absolutely nothing in the way of extras. They offered shoes only and no specialty items. You could not request alternate selections each month, you couldn’t earn points or free credits from referring a friend, and their social media presence was pretty weak. There was lots of room for improvement here and thankfully over the last several months they listened and have begun to improve some of these areas.
To start, they now offer a small selection of handbags for sale at the same price point of 79.98. The bags are nice looking, but fairly plain and the styles are limited to only two. They have a tote that comes in two colors and a satchel that comes in three colors. The price is also too high for what you get, but at least they’ve got something. Below you can see what the two styles look like.
Hopefully they get on the ball and start producing a wider variety of handbags, but we aren’t holding our breath!
ShoeMint now also has a rewards program where you can earn points from every purchase and later redeem them towards store credits. You can also earn points by referring friends. For every dollar you spend you receive 10 points and for every friend referred, you receive 1,600 points. You need 8,000 points to receive a free credit. This means you’d need to spend $800 or buy 11 shoes before you’d have enough points for a free credit. You’d also receive a credit after referring 5 friends. Compared to other clubs it is much harder to earn free shoes with ShoeMint, but their shoes are more expensive so if you take that into consideration it is not quite as bad.
We still think that even after being around for almost a year, ShoeMint still has a long ways to go if they want to compete with the likes of JustFab and ShoeDazzle. They do not offer a true personalized shopping experience, they have minimal shoe styles to choose from and the shoes themselves seem way overpriced for what you are getting. Right now, unless you’ve seen a particular style offered by them somewhere that you absolutely have to have it might not even be worth your time to sign up. We are still hoping to see some major changes and improvements as they continue to grow, however they need to get moving fast!
We’ll continue to check in with them month after month and will update this ShoeMint review as we see fit.