Monday, June 27, 2016

Stitch Fix: How to get Better Fixes

Let's talk about Stitch Fix -- the personal styling box service in which you receive great new clothes selected just for you by a personal stylist.

I signed up for this service in January 2016; compared to those ladies who have received twenty and thirty fixes, or more, I'm a novice.  But in all of my fixes, I've only returned three items: I returned one purse because even though I requested a purse, I didn't care for the color.  I returned one top because even though it was very close to one I pinned on Pinterest, it just wasn't flattering on me, and I returned a pair of distressed jeans. I requested distressed jeans, but after looking at them in person, I decided I liked naturally distressed jeans after all.

Everything else I have received has been great!  That's about a 91% "keep" percentage.

So, what is the secret to getting great fixes?

First, the background: what is Stitch Fix and how does it work?  My standard blurb:

Go to the Stitch Fix site and fill out a personal profile. This is where you can set your price points and provide basic information as to your likes and dislikes.

You can schedule a "Fix" at any time or set up a recurring date if you wish. You pay a $20 "styling fee" for each box which applies to your purchase should you keep anything in the box. If you buy all five items in the box you also get a 25-percent discount on the total. 

The box includes a pre-paid bag for you to return what you don't want to keep. Just drop the clothes you're returning into the bag and drop the bag into a mailbox.  Easy.

 For each referral, or friend you get to sign up, you also get a $25 credit to your account once their "Fix" ships. The service uses your profile that you fill out as well as access to a Pinterest board you give them (optional) where you have pinned styles and clothes you like. 

If you Google "Stitch Fix Review" you'll find lots of blogs with lots of women sharing photos and reviews of their boxes. There are also multiple Facebook pages/groups where people buy/sell/trade and discuss their boxes.

If you look at those Facebook boards, you will probably see a lot of negativity.  Don't read the comments or posts, as a rule.  Just look at the pictures of the clothes, and find what you like.

Rule No. 1:  Create a Pinterest board that you will link to your SF profile.  Before you request a Fix, take some time to pin current Stitch Fix clothes to that board.  If you pin something that is a year old, you probably won't get it.  If you pin something from Zulilly, Nordstrom, Belk, or some other site where you like to shop, you probably won't get it.  Stitch Fix has their own brands, for the most part.

When you pin something, "Edit" the picture to leave commentary for your stylist about what you
like about the pin.  "Pinning this for the purse - don't like the dress but I love the bag!" Or "Love this top but would prefer it in yellow if possible."

Where do you get these pictures?  Check the Facebook boards.  Here is one called Stitch Fix B/S/T and Discussion.  Here is another called Stitch Fix b/s/t Large and XL.  Here's one called Stitch Fix Jewelry and Accessories.  There are lots more.  Follow them, and pin clothes that you like to your Pinterest board.

Where else can you get pictures?  Follow Stitch Fix on Instagram.  Follow the Stitch Fix blog.

The more Stitch Fix clothes you pin to Pinterest the better off you will be.

Rule No. 2:  Leave detailed notes for your stylist.  Once you request your fix, you are prompted to leave a note for your stylist.  Do not underestimate this step.  This is where you tell the stylist what you would like to receive or if you have any special events coming up you'd like to prepare for, if you're pregnant, if you want to receive all tops, if you want a Kate Middleton inspired fix, if you don't want to receive any shoes....leave it in the note.  Leave it in the note even if it's already in your profile.  If you just say "Surprise me!" in your note, do not complain if you don't like what you get.  Be as specific as possible.  If you ask for something you can wear to the office - how formal or informal is your office?  Do you work at a veterinarian's office washing dogs all day or as an attorney?  Be specific.

Rule No. 3:  Leave detailed feedback when you check out.  If you return something, explain exactly why. If it's a fit issue, explain what that is: was it too long? Too tight?  Where?  Wrong color?  Too loose?  This refines your profile and helps your stylist pick better for you in the next fix. If you return something and don't leave feedback, how will your stylist know what to avoid next time?  Don't just say, "It's not me."  Why isn't it?  Leave specific feedback.

Rule No. 4:  Do not confuse Personal Stylist with Personal Shopper.  If you know you want a fringed top you saw at Ann Taylor, go get it.  If you know you want a pair of yellow shorts, go buy them.  Stitch Fix is a styling service and will send you clothes that fit a profile you submit and refine. It's not a personal shopping service.  From time to time you will get something that you initially think is not "you".  Give it a try before you rule it out.  You might be surprised.

Rule No. 5:  Update your Pinterest board each time you get a Fix.  Take off what you have received.  You might want to shuffle items bottom to top or rearrange them.  I try to put my most current "wants" at the top of my board.  The stylists don't have all day long to work on just your fix, so the easier you make it, the better.  Do not expect them to scroll through your Facebook page and Instagram page to try and figure out your style.  Can I emphasize enough the importance of the Pinterest board?

Rule No. 6:  If you like your stylist, you can keep your stylist.  If you want to keep your stylist, SAY SO in each note when you schedule.  The system is designed to keep you paired with your stylist if you keep a certain number of items, but never assume that it will work that way.  If you request a certain stylist and it by chance goes to another one, your fix will be bumped over to the one you have requested.  Always say so if you want to keep your stylist.  Alternately, if the relationship just isn't working for you, say so.  Ask for a new stylist.

Rule No. 7:  Keep your expectations real.  Inventory is sometimes limited and just because you request a Stitch Fix blouse you saw on Facebook does not mean you will get it, but your stylist will try to pick something similar.  Keep in mind seasonal changes.  They probably won't have shorts in fall.  In fact, they may not be able to send you four pairs of shorts in the summer because everyone wants shorts and inventory is limited.  Be open minded to new things.  So often I see on the Facebook boards, "I requested this top and didn't get it!  My stylist didn't even read my note!"  More likely is that the stylist just didn't have that top in inventory.

That's basically how to get fixes that will be successful.  If you get something that doesn't fit, the company will usually be able to swap sizes with you.  Just email customer service, explain the problem, and wait for an answer.  It's usually within two days.  You can hold off on returning items until you hear from them.  Stitch Fix is known for excellent customer service.

Now, go update your Pinterest board and request a perfect fix!

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