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Madewell Review

Sunday, April 14th

2024 Handbag Store Reviews

Madewell Review 2.5 Star Rating


2.5 Star Rating
  • Prices from $28 to $508
  • 230 items in stock for handbags
  • Premium and low-cost options
  • Clothing and bags
  • 30-day returns
  • Free shipping for members
  • "A+" rating from the BBB

Madewell is known as a company that sells high-quality jeans. A subsidiary of J. Crew, this brand was originally rooted in workwear and established by a Russian immigrant. Then, Mickey Drexler, who took the helm as CEO of J. Crew in 2003, secured the Madewell name for J. Crew, and in 2006, he embarked on a mission to transform Madewell into a distinct brand separate from its parent company. Madewell has more than 151 stores, but it distinguishes itself from many fashion industry leaders by predominantly selling its products through partnerships with other brands, such as Nordstrom and Stitch Fix.

Back to basics

If you're interested in bags from Madewell, you're probably a fan of one of two things: either you love bucket bags or you love basic leather colors. Madewell has some really great items to choose from if your vibe is basic or staple pieces. However, since there are a lot of retailers on our list that offer these kinds of handbags, Madewell doesn't exactly stand out from the pack. In fact, the first impression of the site is "forgettable." With 230 results, it has more inventory than its sister site, but the general styling of Madewell is a functional, but not as fashionable bag type. So, if you're not interested in the basics, you might want to keep browsing. Across these options, you can find prices from $28 to $508. So, even though these bags look simpler, their prices don't reflect it.

Site could use more robust filters

Navigating Madewell's website is a seamless experience like J. Crew's with a few differences. The site's design, like its sister site, is characterized by a clean and appealing white and black color scheme. Once in the handbag section, you'll find similar filters to those at J. Crew, but fewer of them. The only filters you get are category, color, and the way you want to sort your items. Overall, the filtering system seems somewhat lackluster at Madewell.

Flat-rate and free shipping options

Like its sister site, you do have to pay a flat rate for shipping, but the economy shipping cost at Madewell is a bit lower than at J. Crew. You can get their lowest shipping at $3 per package. And, if you want free shipping, you can join their complimentary membership program. The higher tiers in the program (based on reward points) offer you free shipping at faster rates depending on your tier, so if you don't mind signing up with your email, you've got a few options.

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30-day returns are free for members

Madewell's return policy is customer-friendly. You can opt for a full refund or exchange within 30 days of the initial purchase. Madewell Insiders members enjoy the added benefit of free shipping and returns, though customers who aren't members may have to pay for return shipping. For in-store returns, it's a hassle-free process, as you can bring your items to any Madewell location, eliminating the need to repack online orders, and receive an instant refund. If you prefer mailing returns, you can print a shipping label to send your items back, with the return processing taking up to two weeks.

Complaints across the board

There are some mixed feelings about Madewell's reputation. At the Better Business Bureau, the company holds a solid "A+" rating. However, when you check out reviews from verified customers, the story isn't so great. On average customers have rated Madewell only 1.9 stars out of 5, which isn't particularly encouraging. Across the reviews, complaints ranged from receiving damaged items, dealing with rude customer service, and struggling with returns that weren't being accepted. In general, there's not much that customers aren't complaining about at Madewell.

Could be a good option for basics if they improve

Given how impressive its sister site was, we were pretty disappointed overall with Madewell. With so many complaints from customers, we just can't give it the high praise we offered for J. Crew. So, with the lackluster inventory included with the high range of complaints, Madewell has received a lower rating overall. If they improve their customer service, they have a chance to be a solid choice for shoppers whose style fits well with basic versatile handbags. But for right now, there are too many downsides to recommend Madewell fully.

Where is the Best Place to Shop Online for Handbags?

Today, handbags play a pivotal role in the world of fashion. They seamlessly blend functionality and style, offering both practicality and a distinctive fashion statement, from totes and clutches to crossbody bags and backpacks. And in recent years, handbags have witnessed a shift towards sustainability, with many consumers opting for eco-friendly and ethical options.

And now, you can easily browse your favorite styles and influencer faves from the comfort of your own home. The digital marketplace helps you explore thousands of handbags, each distinguished by its price, style, functionality, color, pattern, size, and even shipping speed. All you need is a computer or phone and you could have your next handbag on its way to you in minutes.

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Handbag Store FAQ

If you're a collector of handbags, you already know that there are so many to choose from! Today's most popular styles include crossbody bags, tote bags, shoulder bags, hobo bags, satchels, clutches, and bucket bags.
You may want to have at least three handbags at the ready: a large one for toting bigger things like tablets, a water bottle, or even a laptop; a medium-sized one that can carry your wallet and mobile phone; and a dressier evening bag. Pair your handbag with the occasion - because you'd feel silly bringing a sequined clutch to the gym, or a big leather tote to the opera!
That's a matter of personal preference. Matching your shoes and handbags offers a classic look, while slightly mismatched accessories presents a more modern vibe. Whether or not they match in appearance or style, your handbag and your other accessories should have a similar feel - like flats with a crossbody bag or pumps with a clutch bag.
Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, designer brand handbags appeal to some shoppers and not to others. If you love the feeling of having the latest Tory Burch bag on your arm or collecting something new from COACH each season, go for it! On the other hand, if you're just looking for something fun or functional, you'll find more affordable options outside of the designer brands.
The care and cleaning of your handbag will largely depend on the materials from which it's made. Be sure to see if your bag comes with any special instructions or recommendations for cleansers. Some handbags may be dry clean only, but most can be gently spot-cleaned with a damp, soft cloth. Preventing dirt and stains is the best way to keep your handbags clean: try to remember to put them on a chair or table instead of the floor when you go out.
Most designer handbags come with a cloth dust bag for storage. You can also use a pillowcase or bubble wrap, but avoid using tissue paper because it can attract moths. If your bag has buckles or straps, loosen them before storing your handbag so that they don't leave marks in the material. Finally, if your handbag has a chain handle, keep it stored inside the bag so that it won't scratch the outside surface.
Where else will you find the world's best selection? Online retailers put every imaginable style, color and brand of handbags at just a click away. Many stores offer competitive pricing and fun perks like rewards programs or spin-the-wheel discounts, and you'll often get free shipping on your order.
Most of the time you can, as long as it's in unused condition with the original packaging. Some stores even give you up to a full year to make the return, which is fantastic if you're shopping early for a holiday or special occasion. A few retailers charge a small fee for the postage-paid return label and deduct it from the amount of your refund.
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Continued from above...

Handbags possess a rich historical legacy, with roots tracing back centuries. In the 17th century, these accessories served as small concealed pouches for both men and women, carrying coins, keys, and snacks. As time progressed into the 18th and 19th centuries, women's evolving fashion styles ushered in more ornate and decorative handbags, often crafted from luxurious fabrics and adorned with intricate embroidery.

By the 20th century, handbags had become symbols of both status and style, epitomized by iconic designs like the Hermes Birkin and Chanel 2.55 bag, showcasing the burgeoning importance of brand recognition. Influencer culture and social media have further fueled the popularity of specific handbag designs, cementing their place as an essential and evolving accessory in the realm of fashion and style. Whether you want vegan leather or a Coach clutch, there's something out there for everyone.

With so many retailers that offer high-quality handbags it can be hard to know where to start. So, to help you figure out which handbag stores aren't cut from the same cloth, we've put together some key things to consider to help you find the best place to pick your next must-have accessory:

  • Wide selection. Some retailers offer a vast array of handbags, offering thousands of options, while others curate a more limited assortment. Stores with expansive collections can help you find your next bag faster. So, checking sites with large inventories may help you with your shopping spree.
  • Price. Hey, budget is a big deal. We get it. Getting the most value for your money is a huge help when picking out accessories that are functional like handbags. The online marketplace is one where you might encounter handbags priced as modestly as $11 or as extravagantly as $50,000. So, keeping your budget in mind as you shop can help you narrow down your choices.
  • Reputation. Trust is paramount when shopping online. Does the company you're looking at have a track record of selling high-quality merchandise? Do other handbag customers have good experiences with the company? Exploring the Better Business Bureau's insights and checking out fellow customers' reviews can help you make an informed choice about your next shopping destination.
  • Return policy. Return policies matter to online shoppers. If the handbag that arrives at your doorstep falls short of expectations, whether due to size discrepancies, color mismatches, or a simple change of style preference, it's important to know if returning it will be a problem or a hassle-free process. Ensuring that you can get a full refund provides peace of mind while you're shopping for your next must-have handbag.

To help you on your way to the height of fashion, Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed and ranked the best online handbag retailers available online today. Since a good handbag often becomes an everyday companion, we know how important it is to pick the accessory that fits your unique style. Whether your quest is for a daily commute companion, a vacation-ready tote, or a show-stopping clutch for a night on the town, our reviews can help you express your inner fashionista!

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