Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: American Eagle Outfitters | Online Shopping Canada

Once a week I will pick one of my favourite online retailers and do a review. I've decided to start with American Eagle Outfitters (AE).

As a plus size gal, I can't think of a time where I've walked into an AE store and bought something off the rack, but online is a different story. The sizes on their site range from XXS-XXL, and they also have a kids store known as 77 Kids which has some pretty cute stuff, in addition to their active & intimate apparel under the Aerie brand. Recently they have added AE Outlet to their site, and it's a great place to find some great deals.

I love Aeries underwear selection, the 5 or 7 pairs for $26 is a great deal, and the undies are so much more comfortable than those you find at la Senza. I'm also a huge fan of their Slim Gym Foldover Waist Yoga Pants - great for mommy's like myself who have a little belly to contain while working out. But the bra selection is lacking - if you are small-mid size in the chest area, they have a super cute selection of bras. If you are bigger than a DD 38, you are outta luck.

AE does have a rewards program called AEReward$, but you have to be a frequent shopper for it to be worth it. Each dollar you spend is worth 1 point, and they only last 3 months before they are totalled up, zeroed out, and you are given a percentage discount for your next purchase depending on how much you spent in those three months. For example, it takes 100 points ($100 purchase) to get 15% off your next purchase, 200 points for 20%, 350 points for 30%, and 500 points for 40%. AND the worst part, the discount is only valid for a month. This is probably one of the chintziest reward programs I've participated in.

Also not so awesome is their shipping & duty charges - unlike other online retailers like Old Navy, all the products are shipped out of the states so duty is tacked on to all orders and your order total has to be over $100 in order to get free shipping. Also unlike Old Navy, return labels are not included with your order, so you'll have to find the nearest store or pay shipping to return any items, but will be refunded. You can find their return policy here.

In addition to the AE Outlet part of the site, each of the brands do have a clearance section where you can score some pretty sweet deals. And they release coupon codes pretty frequently, such as the 40% off + free shipping one this past Memorial Day weekend. These codes far outdo the rewards program so keep an eye out - I will be posting them as I find them on this site.

Tip: Browse during the week, but check back on the weekend to take advantage of sale codes. Most weekend codes go up Friday at 12:00am EDT (Thursday 9:00pm PDT) and some items sell fast when it's a good deal, so Friday is the best day to shop at AE - or Thursday evening for us west coasters :)

Review: they have great styles in a better range of sizes than in store, but be prepared for to wait for a coupon code to get a great deal - especially on shipping.

The Good:
Size Selection
Deals when codes are released

The Bad:
Shipping & Duty Charges
Reward Program

Overal, I'll give them 3/5. Not perfect, but good enough that I shop there at least a few times a year.

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