What Is Zappos? (History, What It’s Known For + More)

If you’ve ever bought shoes or clothing online, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Zappos. In 20 years, this online retailer grew from a tiny startup into one of the largest e-commerce sites in the United States.

But even though you know the name, you may still have questions about Zappos. Not to worry! This guide will answer some of the most popular questions related to Zappos, so keep reading.

What is Zappos In [currentyear]?

Zappos (or Zappos.com) is an American online shoe and clothing retailer headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. Shoes make up 80% of the company’s business, with handbags and other accessories accounting for the additional 20% of revenue as of [currentyear]. Zappos was founded in 1999 under the domain name Shoesite.com and was acquired by Amazon in 2009 for $1.2 billion.

If you’re wondering if Zappos is legit, how fast they ship and what their return policy is, then keep reading this article for more facts!

What is Zappos Known For?

In addition to its massive inventory of shoes, handbags and accessories (over 3.5 million items from 1,200 brands to be exact), Zappos is known for providing a top shopping experience, excellent customer service and an inclusive company culture.

From its beginnings, Zappos has always aimed to give customers a “wow” experience. That means a lot of things, but in the most basic sense, it means going above and beyond customer expectations.

Some examples include upgrading a customer’s shipping so they receive their order in time for a special event or connecting over the challenges of finding narrow-width shoes. 

However, the company’s “above and beyond” culture doesn’t stop with customers. As an organization, Zappos does everything it can to make employees happy at work.

This is because top executives believe happy employees drive higher engagement and profitability and stick around longer. Some employee benefits include free food, nap rooms and an on-site wellness service.

Is Zappos a Legitimate Site?

Spending money online is always a bit nerve-wracking, but you can feel confident making a purchase from Zappos. In other words, Zappos is legitimate.

Zappos has a massive selection and competitive prices when compared to other online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores.

The company also keeps years worth of inventory, so if there’s a color or a style you haven’t been able to find elsewhere, there’s a good chance Zappos will have it in stock.

What’s more, shipping is always free and takes between 4 to 5 days. If there’s a problem with your order, Zappos employees will go out of their way to resolve it for you.

How Fast Does Zappos Ship?

Zappos offers free standard shipping on all orders (i.e. there are no order minimums), and you should receive your order within 4-5 business days.

However, note that shipments to the US Territories, PO Boxes or Military APO/FPO addresses will take longer.

Does Zappos Ship Internationally?

Does Zappos Ship Internationally? Amazon

Zappos does not currently ship internationally. However, the company does ship to US Territories (e.g. Puerto Rico, Guam) and military APO/FPO addresses in foreign countries.

What is the Zappos Return Policy?

If you’re not completely satisfied with your Zappos order, you can return your item(s) for a full refund within 365 days of purchase.

To be eligible, returns must be unworn, in the same condition you received them in and have their original packaging. However, Zappos handles exercise sneaker returns differently.

Through a program called Runlimited, Zappos allows customers to try out shoes for 30 days. If you’re unhappy with the shoes, Zappos will take them back, even though you’ve used them.

How Do I Return Something to Zappos?

Simple, easy, and fast returns are one of the cornerstones of Zappos’ customer service experience. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to return something to Zappos:

  1. Log in to your account on Zappos.com, using your email address and password
  2. Click on the order number of the item(s) you want to return
  3. Check the box to the left of the item(s) you’re returning
  4. Click the “Return Checked Item” box
  5. Choose to print the label from the website or have it emailed to you
  6. Click “Return Item(s)” at the bottom of the page
  7. Print your label* and tape it to the outside of the original box

Zappos prefers that you ship using the original packaging, however, make sure to cover any old labels or barcodes. If you don’t have the original packaging, place a copy of the return confirmation inside of a plastic bag and include it with the merchandise.

Once your package is ready, drop it off at any authorized UPS shipping location. However, don’t drop it off at a drop box.

Most returns take 5-10 business days, including shipping time to the fulfillment center, inspection, inventory processing and issuance of a refund.

If your refund is being issued to a credit card, it may take an additional 2-10 business days for the credit to be applied to your account.

*If you’re unable to print a label, Zappos can mail one to you. You can request this service by email, live chat or phone, but note that it may take 7-10 days for it to arrive.

What is Zappos VIP?

Zappos VIP is a free customer loyalty program allowing participants to earn VIP Points with qualifying purchases on the Zappos website. 

Benefits include free expedited shipping, faster refunds on returns (sometimes as fast as 24 hours after the package is scanned into the UPS system) and the ability to earn points redeemable for discounts.

You must be at least 18 years old and a US resident to be eligible for the program.

To enroll, do one of the following:

  1. Call the Zappos Customer VIP Team at 1-866-427-2246
  2. Contact Zappos via email or live chat
  3. Enroll online when you log into your existing Zappos account

To know more about Amazon, you can also see our posts on whether or not Amazon owns Zappos, buying shoes on Amazon, and Amazon shoe return policy.


Zappos sells millions of shoes, handbags and clothing every year. That by itself is impressive enough, but the e-commerce giant has much more to offer than a healthy inventory.

Indeed, Zappos offers one of the best customer service experiences in their industry.

That, plus a company culture designed to make both customers and employees happy, means that you can feel good the next time you shop with Zappos.

Photo of author

Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

Leave a Comment