Married to Medicine

Married to Medicine

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Zulily: How To Shop It + Review of Brands (KIDS)

I love shopping on Zulily, but it helps to strategize.  In this post I want to tell you how best to use the site and I also want to have a review of some of the lesser-known brands.  This post is limited to children's clothing but Zulily also carries adult and home items plus toys (KidKraft kitchens, Melissa & Doug, etc), strollers (Phil & Ted), and much more.

How To Shop It

Zulily can either be a decent deal or an amazing deal, depending on how it's done, because shipping charges cut into your savings.  Here are a few tips on how get the biggest bang for your buck:
  1. Purchase "staple" items on Zulily so that you can get free shipping on other purchases.  If you know you need a Halo Sleepsack, or Stride Rites or Crocs or Keens, wait and purchase them on Zulily.  On those items, you'll fare slightly better than you would Amazon, even with shipping charges.  Then you'll get free shipping on any other Zulily purchase for the rest of that day (or weekend, if it's Friday).  And those purchases are the ones you'll really score savings on.
  2. Purchase one item at a time, and purchase your lightest weight item first.  This will minimize your shipping charges.  So if you know you need a Halo Sleepsack and you're also getting some sort of Thomas Train set, purchase the sleepsack first, pay the shipping on it, and then get free shipping on the heavier item.
  3. Know the brands.  It's hard to take advantage of your free shipping if you're totally unfamiliar with the other brands on sale that day.  Some of them are absolutely amazing and others are not worth your money.  I've polled my two local list serves for feedback on lesser-known brands and this is what I've come up with.  I'll cover the known brands first just in case you're really a newbie.  If you're reading and you've tried out a brand not mentioned here, please post a comment and let us know!
  4. "Heart" your favorite brands so that you're notified when they're on.  You probably don't have time to look over everything in your daily Zulily email.  If you "heart" a brand, Zulily will send you a reminder email the day before it's on so that you don't miss it (if it's something like MiniBoden, be sure to check Zulily right at 9 am because stuff sells out quickly).  To "heart" a brand, search Zulily for that brand.  If they carry it, it will come up with a little heart outline icon.  Click the icon to "fill in" the heart and it will be on your "favorites" list.  You might want to start by "hearting" Mini-Boden, UGG Australia, Stride Rite, Tea Collection, Hanna Andersson, See Kai Run, and Keen, to name a few.
  5. Join my Facebook group (click here) and set notifications to "receive all."  I constantly scour for sales and I only post the best ones on the best brands (and not just Zulily!).  
  6. RESELL!  I can't say it enough.  Any time you purchase a high-end clothing item, keep it nice and recoup what you can on ebay.  Check out my other blog entries "Designer Baby on a Budget:  10 Steps" and "Ten Tips for Reselling Children's Clothing on Ebay."
The Brands - Known Brands
  • Hanna Andersson.  Oh boy, it doesn't get much better than this.  Heirloom quality knits by a Swedish-American designer.  These are soft and gorgeous, they last forever (fantastic resale value if you keep them nice), and they're actually pretty practical for playing in.  Hanna Andersson really shines in fall and winter - you just can't beat their sweaters and sweater dresses.
Hanna Andersson outfit with See Kai Run shoes.   To die for.
  • Halo.  Not sure what people did before sleepsacks.  They come in two types - 100% cotton and "mircro-fleece."  I always do the micro-fleece in the winter for warmth.  And we used extra-large cotton ones the year my son figured out how to climb out of his crib but wasn't yet ready for a "big boy bed" - bought us some time.
Love this Halo sleepsack for my little ladybug.  
  • Mini Boden.  Ultra high quality duds by British designer Johnnie Boden.  These are gorgeous and all the rage.  I have to be honest and tell you that I don't find every last Boden item to be drool-worthy.  But when they do hit the mark, it's ahhhh-mazing.  And they recently used a child with cerebral palsy as a model - how fantastic is that?
Boden:  T. D. F.
Click here for 20% off your first order if you order direct from Boden's website.
  • Tea Collection.  Super soft "globally inspired" Earthy-but-modern clothing.  The designers actually travel the world twice annually to find inspiration.
Tea is also often featured on GILT, and you can get free shipping on GILT if you pay with a Master Card.
  • Oilily.  If you like bright colors and lots of patterns, this is the designer for you.  
  • Carter's.  Carter's is not that exciting but it's high-quality stuff for the price.
  • UGG Australia.  Need I say more?
  • Stride Rite.  The go-to for high-quality kids' shoes.  
  • See Kai Run.  Stride Rite quality but with a more "modern" look.  Less "sneaker-y."
See Kai Run is also often on GILT and RueLaLa.
GILT gives you free shipping any time you pay with a Master Card.
  • Crocs and Keens.  The summer shoes.  Crocs are easier to keep clean and sometimes Keens get stinky and need to be run through the wash.  But Keens are more attractive and they seem like they'd be more comfortable too.
  • Pediped.  Kind of a cross between Stride Rite and See Kai Run.  They pride themselves on comfort.
  • Primigi.  The luxury version of children's shoes.  Simply to die for.

Primigi shoes are also often on GILT and RueLaLa.


The Brands - Lesser-Known Brands

This, I really think, is where it's at with Zulily.  The truly "boutique" brands are often the very best deals because they don't quite have the name power to drive the world's hardest bargain, but their quality is out of this world.  However, it's hit or miss if you're unfamiliar with a brand and sometimes the sizing is off (if it is, by the way, I've found that Zulily will take it back in spite of their stated no-return policy).  So in the name of more "hits" and fewer "misses," here's what I've found and what I've been told:

*** lesser-known brands are harder to resell.  Make sure you include the words "boutique" and "designer" in your subject title on Ebay.  Plan to relist several times.


Toffee Moon (0-24 months, boy and girl)
This is an absolutely fabulous brand out of the U.K.  I got the sweetest EVER romper for my daughter, one of my all-time favorite pieces.  Super soft material and I used the heck out of it with no pilling whatsoever.  Consider ordering a size up for the rompers; the dress and cardigan ran true to size.

Best Romper Ever.
Toffee Moon romper.  Wish these pics were better.

Our latest addition.  SO IN LOVE. 



Cloud Mine 
Downright divine.  Ethically made in the U.S.A.

She's 18 months here, wearing 9 month leggings and a 12 month dress - that's all they had, but it worked.


P'tit Mom
I got this dress and I'm just kind of "meh" about it.  I was really hoping the material would be softer and have better movement :(



ELK Shoes
These shoes are gorgeous, and the top ones go perfectly with so many of our outfits.  So far they are holding up really well - LOVE.



Petite Amie
Just gorgeous.  Here's the mint "lei" dress I got for Claire.




Twirls and Twigs 
I am IN LOVE with this whimsical but still practical brand that is ethically made in the U.S.!  And I see some Ebay listings that appear to be holding their value VERY well - maybe because it's also found at Nordstrom's?

We have this dress and I am IN LOVE.
Fabric is soft and quality, dress is lined and divine in every way.  Runs small if anything.
Me Too
I loved this dress by them.  But I haven't really seen anything as cute as this in awhile.  Boo :(

Summer dress by Me Too.

Nanette Baby
Hit or miss, but a hit is a great one.  I absolutely adored this outfit.  Delicate, vintagey, a change from the pink, flattering, easy to wash, soft, and easy to wear anywhere.  Lots of compliments.

Nannette Baby outfit worn for professional photoshoot.
Photo Credit:  Kelly Fitzsimmons Photography (Boston-area) - "like" her on Facebook!
By the way, my son is wearing a Janie & Jack sweater from Ebay and Talbots Kids pants from my local friend Sarah...
I love dressing him too, but we just buy all Sarah's old stuff since her stuff is so good.




Another great outfit by Nannette Baby
FeatherBaby
Heaven on Earth.  This is the softest fabric I have ever felt in my life.  LOVE them for infant rompers.  I got no end of compliments on the footless romper my friend gave me for my daughter.  I'm actually not sure if Zulily features these anymore, but GILT definitely does, and shipping is always free on GILT if you pay with a Master Card.

FeatherBaby romper I cannot bring myself to resell.  LOVE.
Ciao Bimbi Shoes 
Okay this brand I've only seen on MyHabit (a site just like Zulily - but owned by Amazon!) but I had to update this entry and include it because I just got these boots for Claire and they are to DIE for.  They were $53 … not that much more than Stride Rite and these are $200 dream boots!  Going to try to get them in the charcoal color next time this brand is featured.

Ciao Bimbi boots - this brand is on MyHabit (just like Zulily but owned by Amazon).
Llum
Now I'm just sort of adding in my favorite brands from MyHabit and GILT.  Luum is an ultra-high end brand often featured on GILT and these are their "petticoat" dresses.  They retail for something like $90 but are just $43 (or less) when they're on GILT.

I cannot exaggerate the amazingness of these dresses.  The sash is super long, making for a gorgeous bow in the back.  The petticoat underlay adds not only a new fabric but also a bit of texture to the bottom, for a hint of poof - but not so much that you couldn't wear it to the park or on a playdate.  It's a throwback to the 1800s, but with modern patterns, and soft easy-to-wash cotton … simply, *simply* divine.  





Petit Lem
Ultra high-end French designer clothing.  Makes my heart flutter just thinking about it.  I don't own any of their girl stuff but even their little jammies and baby outfits are to die for!  (Lately I'm finding this brand more frequently featured on GILT - not sure if they still do Zulily).

Petit Lem lounging outfit - check out the tiny little cuffs, it's all in the detail.
Worn with See Kai Run "Smaller" shoes.  LOVE.
Lucky Top
I got these boots, size 4 for my daughter ... fantastic price and they make adorable fashion boots!  My daughter can walk with them easily.  Not sure they'd hold up in inclement weather but they are just too cute with dresses and leggings.




Pink Vanilla
Quality seems excellent, I'm loving this dress.  Runs VERY small (at least this dress does) - this is a 24 months and fits perfectly right as she's turning 18 months.



Sweet Potatoes
Excellent quality and super cute but this brand also runs extremely small.  And I've heard from others so I know it's not just this particular outfit - it runs 1-2 sizes small.

Size 24 months fits my daughter at 18 months.
PipSqueaks 
These sandals are to DIE for and they go well with so many things!  Quality seems excellent.  BUT BUT BUT be very careful when you order.  I ordered a "Toddler 5" and it was huge.  It measured 6 inches and had a Euro 23 marked on the bottom - making it really a 7.5 in US sizes.  I complained and Zulily made it right - LOVE their customer service.  If you're going to order this brand, I guess be sure you look at the actual measurements box.  Apparently that box would have told me that a "5" was 6 inches.  Even though every other such box I've seen, including others on Zulily, measure a toddler 5 as 4.75 inches.



P'tit Mom
I've only tried one dress by them, and it's very pretty and fits nicely but the material isn't as soft as I was hoping for.  It's fine... not excessively stiff or anything, but I was hoping for soft with some degree of stretch.



Rachel Shoes
LOVING these.  Got a pair of white sandals with bright flourishes on consignment and they are holding up spectacularly well.  Super cute stuff - some of it is very "Livie & Luca" but WAY cheaper - these were $16 on Zulily.

Like Livie & Luca but WAY cheaper - $16 for these on Zulily!
Classy Couture
This romper is super cute in real life and so far washes very well.  I love the ribbons.  I'm not a big fan of this fabric, but this is whatever the classic fabric is for all those smocked outfits.  Runs true to size.



Mole Little Norway
I'm OBSESSED.  I love nordic stuff and this is just divine.  This sweater is smooth and soft with amazing detail.  I definitely want to try more of their stuff this fall/winter.

The Silly Sissy
They have some cute stuff but I've tried two dresses and neither was my absolute favorite.  Fabric on the dress pictured here is simple cotton, wrinkles easily, no stretch or give.  Runs true to size.



Sweet Charlotte
I purchased this dress for my daughter.  I *love* the design (retro and Parisian) and it's lined so that's nice, but the fabric feels like very cheap cotton.  Not soft at all, and seems like it would be very difficult to get a stain out of.  Still, it's very cute.



Leveret French 
A friend loves their fleece, footed pajamas.  Reports that they are super soft and have a very nice fit and weight.



Nohi by Nktoo
A friend loves the material of this loungewear - reports it's soft, stretchy, and holds it shape.  She also appreciates the cute, modern, different designs.


Truffles Ruffles
A lister tried this brand but it was a bust, which is good to know since it appears SO adorable in Zulily's pics.  She ordered black and white striped pants only to discover that the stripe was printed on rather than being part of the fabric.  Thus it wore horribly in all the places where the fabric needed to stretch.

Sage Creek Organics
A lister tried this brand and got a pair of leggings that were fantastic.

IPlay
A lister loves this brand for swimming gear and hats.  She reports that the swimming attire is soft, true to size, and has simpler and classier designs than a lot of other brands.  She says their hats are "the best" - thin enough that they're not at all hot, and they dry quickly so they work great in a pool, and the only hat her son doesn't try to pull off (possibly because it has a little elastic around it).

Nui Organics
Very soft and comfortable, runs a little small.  Watch for lots of buttons during diaper changes.

Kickee Pants
A fantastically soft brand using fabric made from bamboo viscose.  Super silky, especially great for summer, and lovely mod prints.

Sweet Peanut (babies) and Peanut Buttons (toddlers)
Another favorite.  Well made, cute patterns.  Runs small.

Lazy One
Very cute but sizing seems erratic.  Jammies seem very tall and skinny, hoping that they will stretch some.

Vitamins Baby
In my humble opinion... don't waste your money.  Quality is lacking and sizing seems completely erratic.

Silkberry Baby
Amazing thin fabric, awesome for summer, and very soft and smooth.  "I just want to hug my baby non-stop when he's wearing the romper."  Be sure to wash on gentle cycle though - fabric is so thin it did start ripping around the snaps.  Runs true to size.

Petite Pomme
Runs small but is super cute, durable, and comfortable.

Frangipangi Kids
Adorable and great quality.

Parade Organics
Runs slightly big, if anything.  Quality seems all right.

City Threads
One lister's all-time favorite brand.  Adorable and the knit pants fit over cloth diapers.  Be sure to price check on diapers.com before ordering on Zulily.

Kushies
Awesome footed pants for infants - the 0-3 months size fit a newborn and still fit well at 4+ months, somehow.

Bambino Land
Fabric was not soft - felt like slightly-scratchy muslin.  Disappointment.

John Deere
Cute, durable, runs small.

Little Traveler
"One of my favorite boy brands, the quality and fit are great and it runs true to size."  Machine and vehicle themes for boys.

Jelly the Pug
I've heard mixed things about this brand.  One friend got a dress she is head over heels for, the other said that her outfit was cute but fell apart in the wash.

Max & Ella
I haven't tried them myself but a lister responded that this is her all-time favorite stuff she's ever gotten from Zulily.  She reports that it wears extremely well and that it runs slightly small.

Wonderboy
Excellent quality, true to size, very attractive attire.  More of a solid-colors type theme.

And there you have it.  All the information I could compile about Zulily.  If you have additional knowledge or brand reviews, please share it with me and I can add it to this blog entry!  I can be reached at lisa dot murakami at gmail dot com.




27 comments:

  1. Great post! I've heard of people re-selling clothes on ebay, but I haven't gotten around to trying it yet. How do you know how much to charge for shipping? Do you take it to the post office, get it weighed, and then post it on ebay? Seems like so much work, but I'm totally tempted. I adore kids clothes as well. By the way, my husband's a fellow at MGH as well. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess I should do a post on that! For shipping I charge $3.50 for most baby/young toddler outfits. I charge $6 if it's going to be heavy (like a "lot" of a few T-shirts and shorts). Sometimes I take a small hit on shipping, but sometimes I make a small gain. I buy plastic self-seal shipping envelopes in bulk so I packaging only costs me .20. I also ship "economy" when they let me (has to do with weight) - it's slower but usually significantly cheaper!

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    2. I finally wrote that post! You can find it here:

      http://bostonwed-murakami.blogspot.com/2014/03/five-tips-for-reselling-childrens.html

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    3. I so want that Toffee Moon outfit :)

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  2. I found your site through your vaccination post. I'm a lawyer and my husband is a resident. I really enjoyed reading some of your posts, especially on vaccinations. I couldn't agree more with you, especially since just last week my husband diagnosed a case of whooping cough. I hope your posts makes people at least question where they are getting their information from!

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  3. Fantastic post, thank you so much for sharing your experience!

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  4. I remember you mentioning something on FB about a place on your blog where you post all the current deals. Is this that post?? Thanks so much for outlining all the brands!

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    Replies
    1. Yes! I update the very first part ("Deals of the Day") when I see something good. I also post the deal to my blog's Facebook page, "Married To Medicine Blog."

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  5. Okay, so is this the only post I need to refer to for deals? I'm going to pin it so I know exactly where to go. Also, is this the only post that discusses brands and baby clothes in general? I'm so out of the kid clothing loop and I need all the help I can get!!

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  6. Great post. I also wanted to ask if the gilt deal is still on, I signed up using your link but did not see the 25$ credit.

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    Replies
    1. I somehow missed this comment until now. They stopped doing that deal, unfortunately, and I took it out of my blog, hopefully not missing anywhere. The best deal right now for new customers is MyHabit, it's a $20 credit but you have to spend $50 to apply it. Right now they still have some Oilily dresses... other good brands they sometimes feature include Joyfolie, See Kai Run, Disney stuff, Zutano, and Hanna Andersson.

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    2. Oh - and Zulily has free shipping if you use the VISA checkout. Be sure, if you do the MyHabit deal, that you click through one of the hyperlinks in this blog - it's only for customers referred by a friend, you won't get it if you just google MyHabit and sign up on your own.

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  7. Amazing, Your daughter is super cute so are the outfits.

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  8. Nanette for 4T seems to run small wish I had bought 5T. My twins will not wear their leggings and tunic very long. Wish that Zulily had the ability to return.

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    Replies
    1. I have had Zulily take something back where I took a picture of it next to another brand in the same size to show that it was way too small, to the point where the size wasn't accurate.

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    2. Interesting! I will have to see if I can do that!

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  11. I am mad at you because I was googling "Zulily affiliate" when I stumbled across your blog, saw that gorgeous Sweet Charlotte dress, and bought a different one that had me at teal sash. Oh well, what little girl can't use a killer dress? This is a great post. I love all of the shoes. I love Kai & just bought my first pair of Primigi shoes - they are gorgeous! Big though.

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    Replies
    1. Awwww enjoy!!! Teal sash sounds fab! And you will LOVE the Primigi!!!

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  12. I am mad at you because I was googling "Zulily affiliate" when I stumbled across your blog, saw that gorgeous Sweet Charlotte dress, and bought a different one that had me at teal sash. Oh well, what little girl can't use a killer dress? This is a great post. I love all of the shoes. I love Kai & just bought my first pair of Primigi shoes - they are gorgeous! Big though.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am mad at you because I was googling "Zulily affiliate" when I stumbled across your blog, saw that gorgeous Sweet Charlotte dress, and bought a different one that had me at teal sash. Oh well, what little girl can't use a killer dress? This is a great post. I love all of the shoes. I love Kai & just bought my first pair of Primigi shoes - they are gorgeous! Big though.

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