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I don’t really like shoes.  I know that may seem like an odd thing for someone to say, but it’s the truth.  I am barefoot as much as possible, and when I do have to wear shoes, I am in my Reef flip flops over 90% of the time. (Yep, I have totally adapted to my SoCal climate.  Socks?  What are those?)  When I was working outside the home, I owned 3 pairs of high heels – one black pair, and two brown pair (and I only had 2 because of a BOGO promo at Payless).  I also own a pair of tennis shoes, and a few pair of dress sandals that I’ve gotten for various dressy outfits. 

Somehow, this awesome low-cost shoe attitude didn’t get passed on in my DNA.  My daughters are shoe addicts.  Bugster doesn’t even walk, yet.  But her shoe collection is vast. 

Bugster's vast collection

Bugster sees shoes and has an almost visceral reaction.  She starts to tremble with excitement and reaches out for them.  She sits on the floor and stretches her legs out in front of her, begging me with her eyes to please, please put those shoes on her feet.  (Bugster is also going through a wonderful shoe eating phase, but I’m just going to overlook that for now . .  .)  Yes, I have bought a lot of these shoes for her.  But little girl shoes are so stinkin’ cute!  And so cheap!  If I could get tennis shoes that were cute, comfy, and stylish for under $20, I would probably own a pair for each day of the week!

I know what you’re thinking: you have 2 girls; what’s the big deal?  I have heard that, as a rule, you shouldn’t hand shoes down because they form to your kids’ feet.  So, except for some special occasion shoes, I haven’t passed any of them down from one to the other.  I should get around to asking our pediatrician if that’s even true.  I imagine I will.  Someday.

Now, The Big Cheese can certainly walk, and she does more than her share of talking (more about that in a future post), so her reaction to shoes is very much a verbal one.  She sees shoes she wants, and she lets you know about it.  About a year ago, The Big Cheese saw a picture of some red Mary Janes in a book and declared that she wanted some just like it.  One phone call to Grandma, and 2 adorable pairs of red shoes arrived in the mail.  (Thanks, Grandma!  They really are cute!)  What is it about little girls’ shoes that has everyone wanting to buy them, including me?

Yep, The Big Cheese wears all of these!

And why, oh why, are my children obsessed with shoes?  There was a rough period where The Big Cheese insisted she had to have a pair of purple tennis shoes.  Unable to find any at a less than criminal price, I stalled.  And stalled.  Thankfully, the purple shoe obsession waned and she moved on to something else.  If this continues, I may have to send them to toddler rehab for shoe addiction – and myself to therapy for being an enabler!

The Legal Eagle

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Works for Me Wednesday: Shoe Tips

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I buy most of my family’s shoes online and save $$ on good quality brands doing it!  At first getting shoes online seemed daunting.  After all, you don’t get to touch them or try them on before you buy.  But I was willing to try because I wear a size 5 which is hard to find in stores anyway.  I discovered an online retailer called Shoebuy.com and I’ve been hooked ever since.  They had so many more choices for me and brands I love.  Then I found some of their competitors and they are pretty good, too.  Woo hoo, more options!  Ones I’ve tried and would recommend are Zappos.com, onlineshoes.com, and shoes.com.

Privo Clarks

Cute shoes I found on sale

Three out of the four are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and all scored high through Bizrate. These stores also have one important thing in common.  Free shipping!  Both ways!  Not sure which shoes you want?  Order both and return what you don’t like or what doesn’t fit, hassle free.  They e-mail you the postage; you slap it on the box and hand it to the delivery guy.  That’s it!  Just be sure to keep the box until you know you are keeping the shoes.

Guess what else?  They don’t charge any taxes!  As of today, the rule on internet taxes is this:  if the company has a physical retail store in your state, it is obligated to collect taxes.  If not, collecting taxes is optional.  And these companies are online only so they don’t have to charge taxes in any state.  This is great for us consumers!  Of course, Uncle Sam is chomping at the bit to get more revenue wherever he can so this may not always be the case but enjoy it while you can.

Stride Rite Shoes

You can find deals on top brand kid shoes, too.

Over the years these shoe sites have gained popularity as more people have caught on to the convenience.  This has resulted not only in more brands willing to sell through these sites but in more thrilled consumers who are willing to give their feedback via shoe reviews.  I have found the reviews to be very helpful in determining which shoes are right for me.  And my child.  Yes, all the popular children’s shoes can be found here, too.  I never pay full price for such quality shoes as Stride Rite, Nike, Robeez, etc.  Once in a while I can find these on the shelves at discount stores but the selection is never as good.  My husband is a creature of habit.  He buys the same shoes over and over so it is a no brainer to buy his shoes online.  We already know what they look like and that they fit.

You can almost always find coupon codes for these places.  Zappos.com is the one exception I’ve found, it usually does not offer codes, it has sales instead.  But the rest do and you can either sign up on their sites to receive the coupon codes or simply Google for one whenever you are thinking about buying.  I know Shoebuy, for one, rewards loyalty by offering additional discounts to returning customers.    And did I mention that the customer service is top notch?

Still skeptical about buying things online?  A couple of these sites offer the option of using PayPal.  This means you don’t have to enter your credit card (PayPal stores this info for you) every time you buy.  Even if you don’t buy online, these sites can help you narrow down your search and decide what you really want.

Happy shoe browsing, everyone.

The Librarian

Works-For-Me Wednesday

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