This New Service Is The Holy Grail For Compulsive Online Shoppers

Photo: Via Try.
When you shop in an actual store, you're not charged to try something on. So, why should online shopping be any different? Now, Try.com lets you test-drive clothes at home for free.

When a friend of mine told me about the site, I was skeptical. I'm an avid online shopper — in fact, I probably shop more online than I do IRL (don't we all at this point?). I'm pretty set in my ways, and I've never had a problem returning anything if I don't like it. And although I receive dozens of emails a week from start-ups like Try.com that claim to make my online shopping experience easier, most of these services have made the process more annoying.

But, last week, I finally decided to give Try a whirl and ordered a few pieces I had my eye on at Zara. The site gives you 10 days to decide what you want to keep or return — just ship back the ones you don't want, with the pre-paid return label, and you'll only get charged for those you keep. And (here's the real game-changer, for me), since you don't pay until you've tried and kept your desired items, there's no more need to make a return and wait to be refunded.

What I realized while using Try.com is this: There are actually so many things I opt out of buying online because I don't know how they'll fit. Especially since I'm petite and don't have quite the same proportions as most e-commerce models. Turns out, this service is perfect for items like jumpsuits, shoes, sunglasses, or pricey moto jackets that you always wish you could try on before buying online. As promised, my Zara box arrived a few days later, and I ended up shipping back the "looked better online" dress and the "slouchy" jeans (that weren't actually slouchy at all) without getting charged for them. And I went on my merry way with my new faux-leather moto jacket.

Try works as a button on your browser. As soon as you see an item you're interested in, just click "Try" instead of "Add To Bag," and a box of stuff shows up on your doorstep in a few business days. There is a catch, though: You can only try five items at a time, so if you were planning on going on some crazy shopping spree, hold your horses. And, right now, the service is only available with select retailers — including some of our favorites, like Zara, ASOS, Barneys, and Reformation. But Try is adding retailers frequently, and the drop-down menu on the "Try" button even has an option for requesting integration on sites that don't yet have it.

How does Try work, from a business perspective? It functions almost like a bank. The company told us that its relationships with retailers vary, but essentially, Try pays for the items so that we can try them for free. It only works with retailers that have free shipping and returns, so part of the cost is typically covered by the retailer. Of course, when a sale is completed, Try gets a cut.

Currently, the service is invite-only — this is so that the Try team can pick and choose eligible, trustworthy users who won't abuse the service (they know there are some who would make a habit out of wearing and returning). Luckily, the team has offered R29 readers a link to give Try a spin immediately. Let us know what you think.
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