Dog-Gone Shopping!

Patti Wilson of Joy Pet Products gives us the scoop on how to shop for your four-legged and fine feathered friends.

Background Check

In general, there are three categories of stores. They can all be online, brick and mortar or both. Big box stores generally offer lower price and lower end merchandise. General merchandise retailers and e-tailers offer a small selection of pet items usually at the same price points and quality level as their non pet related merchandise. Then there are the specialty boutiques, both brick and mortar or online, offering mid to higher end lines with many more options.

All Aboard

Because the pet industry is one of the few industries not suffering a serious decline in this economy, there’s a plethora of celebrities, manufacturers and entrepreneurs jumping on the bandwagon. Some manufacturers may offer only one item while some websites show a huge variety but they actually don’t stock any merchandise. These merchants rely on manufacturer drop shipping which means they receive your order then send it to the distributor. While some of these sites are reputable, it can mean you won’t receive all items together, you may wait longer, pay more and your shipping charges may be higher. Check reviews on the item and on the company itself.

What Size Is My Saluki?

There are no standardized sizing or quality guidelines in the pet industry. Always check the sizing chart for the size range offered and measure your pet. A good merchant provides sizing information, so be sure use it. Store buyers aren’t always well versed on pets and safety. You can’t assume because something is on a store shelf or site its safe for your pet. Look for the item on several sites and again check the reviews.

The Site Is On But Nobody’s Home

Many websites, especially those we refer to as aero nocturnal (fly by night,) don’t have telephone contacts and emails often go unanswered. Even when ordering online make sure a customer service phone number is available and that someone actually answers.

Small Purchase, Big Pain

Even a small purchase can be a big pain. Every retailer should have clearly posted return, privacy and shipping policies. Many stores don’t have or make policies visible enough. Check how long an item should take to get to you, the shipping costs should you need to exchange and the privacy policy.

Is It A Hunting Expedition?

Items should have thorough descriptions, not just an image. Look for where the item is made, cleaning requirements, fabrics, and clear sizing guides for apparel, beds and toys.

Check This Out

When making an online purchase make sure you see HTTPS rather than HTTP in the web address. This lets you know the site has directed you to a secure site for the check out page.

Buy It Forward

You can do a good deed for animals while shopping for your pet. A percentage of every sale of our See the Hoodie Joy, Spread It Around hoodies is donated to charity.

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