Wondering is Zulily legit? Here’s my personal experience with the company, plus info on this off-price retailer.
To the uninitiated, Zulily is one of those stores that can seem too good to be true. Zulily carries quality brands, that are usually priced well-below retail, so if you’ve suddenly happened upon the site and are wondering if you’ve found a deal or are about to be scammed … you can rest easy.
Zulily is legit.
I first shopped at Zulily probably 10 years ago, and have placed a number of order since then. I also used to work for one of the brand’s competitors, and often looked at what Zulily was doing as part of my regular research. And, I also used to live in Seattle, where the brand is currently headquartered, and would walk by their office often when I was downtown, so I’ve had lots of experience with the company and can say with confidence that it’s the real deal.
What is Zulily?
Zulily started during the flash sale heyday in the 2000s, alongside sites like Gilt Groupe, RueLaLa, One King’s Lane, Joss & Main, etc (remember getting all those emails everyday around 11 am?). Zulily set itself apart because it focused on kids items, but eventually expanded to include men’s and women’s clothing, along with homeware and pet items, too.
The company was started by former executives from Blue Nile, but was later acquired by private equity.
Why is Zulily so cheap?
Like other ‘flash sale’ and discount-model retailers, Zulily offers name brand items at a big discount. Each of these retails has their own sourcing and pricing strategy, and Zulily’s is ordering in bulk.
The site basically offers the items on its website for a limited time, and when the time window is over, Zulily places orders with manufacturers for all of the items sold. The orders are placed in bulk instead of individually, so the company has to pay less for shipping. Because there there is no warehousing and they spend less on shipping, Zulily is able to offer lower prices.
Or, as the company puts it “The secret to our deals is in our shipping. We wait and bundle items from multiple orders, using fewer boxes. Then, we pass the savings on to you. Sometimes, it takes a little longer, but our customers say it’s worth the wait.”
Does Zulily sell authentic items?
Zulily only sells authentic items. The company works directly with brands to secure its deals, so all items come straight from its brand partners. It works with a wide range of brands, everything from higher-end designers like Gucci, Ray Ban, and Golden Goose, to more moderately priced manufacturers like New Balance, Adidas, Ugg, etc., and doesn’t sell dupes or fakes.
What to buy on Zulily
While most of the items on Zulily nowadays are clothing-related, my favorite things to buy on Zulily are actually seasonal home decor and kitchen items, along with kids shoes and clothing. The kids shoes, in particular, tend to be heavily discounted, especially when it comes to things like rain and snow boots, or dress shoes.
I also always see great deals on accessories and beauty products (think sunglasses, perfume, high-end skincare), but I’ve never purchased these items myself.
A few things to note about the company
There are a couple of downsides to Zulily that I wanted to share in the interest of being up front, and those are:
-Shipping can take a while. This is not the place to shop if you’re looking for two-day shipping. Zulily items generally tend to take a week or two to arrive, just because of how the company’s fulfillment process works. In a world used to 2-day shipping, this kind of feels like forever.
-You have to pay return shipping. If you don’t like something, you can return it, but just note that you will have to pay for return shipping, which I don’t love.