CB2: 2 Good 2 Believe
Written: Nov 6, 2004
CB2 is the new creation from Crate & Barrel. It carries similar lines of merchandise but has a much hipper feeling.
There is lots of low-priced furniture and home accessories very similar to Crate and Barrels regular offerings. However, CB2 items are hipper and may appeal to a younger post-college crowd, similar to West Elm. That said, I am many years past college and couldnt resist a new, modern-style dining room table for $399 and blue, funky chairs for about $85.
Ordering was very easy. I had to enter my shipping information once. I was not required to create a password. Overall, it was a very easy experience.
I had a question about a kitchen table I was ordering and I couldnt find the answer on the web site. I called the toll-free customer service line and spoke immediately with a friendly customer service representative. Unfortunately, she could not answer my question and she worked for Crate and Barrel so she couldnt see my merchandise on the floor so she offered to call my back. Sure enough, she called me back in five minutes after calling over to one of the two retail locations of CB2 to get my answer. I stopped taking customer service for granted a long time ago so I really appreciated the prompt reply to my question.
I got an email confirming my order almost immediately after I placed it. I also got an email with how to care for my new kitchen table.
In addition to the kitchen table, I ordered kitchen chairs and a few small miscellaneous items. The chairs and other items arrived a week after I placed my order via UPS.
Here is my only very minor complaint about CB2. I placed my order on a Monday morning. My items didnt ship until Thursday. Three business days to leave the warehouse is a little too long for me. However, once they shipped, they arrived quickly - 3 days later - so all was forgiven.
Here are the shipping charges from the web site.
order total **standard
up to $15.99 $4.95
$16.00 - $30.99 $6.50
$31.00 - $50.99 $8.50
$51.00 - $75.99 $11.50
$76.00 - $100.99 $13.50
$201.00-Above 10% of merchandise total
** 2-day express - add $12.95
** next day air - add $24.95
There are additional charges for large and bulky items such as furniture. I think the shipping charges are quite high compared to other sites but my items were well-packed and the service was great so I can't complain too much.
Some of my items were delivered by UPS. I ordered two small, unbreakable items. They were well-packed in a sturdy cardboard box with lots of (unnecessary) padding. I ordered four chairs. They came partially assembled in large cardboard boxes. They were also well-packed and cushioned extensively. The four chairs were easy to put together.
DELIVERY OF THE KITCHEN TABLE
A week after I placed my order, I got a call from a customer service representative. She said my table would not be available for 3 more weeks. I agreed to that schedule since I really liked the table for the price. After one week, I got a call from customer service stating that my table would be ready the following Saturday. Two days before the delivery date, I got a call giving me a two hour window on Saturday when my table would be delivered. THEY ACTUALLY DELIVERED IT DURING THE TWO HOUR WINDOW. I have had many things delivered over the years and I find it rare for a delivery company to hit a two hour window. It is also rare to get a Saturday delivery so you don't have to take time off from work. This was a great experience for me.
WHAT I GOT
My four chairs are nice for $85 each. They are lighter weight than I expected but I love the bright blue color and couldn't have found them elsewhere. They seem to be very sturdy despite the weight.
The table was also very nice. For $399, it had a tempered glass top. It is not the sturdiest table in the world but it is a decent value for the price. I wasn't disappointed.
STEALS AND DEALS
Forget it. I searched around the web and couldnt find any coupons. CB2 doesnt appear to participate in any rebate sites. I got on CB2's email list, I suppose, because I was on Crate and Barrels email list. However, they only send me info on the store. They have not mailed any coupons or discounts to me. There are items for sale on the web site but dont look for serious bargains.
Although this store is distinct from Crate and Barrel, they still charge sales tax for items in states where there is a Crate and Barrel retail store. There are two CB2 retail stores in Chicago.
I really liked CB2. I liked their friendly customer service and thought the products were great. I am usually a bargain shopper and I dislike paying shipping charges, but this experience was great and I can't find anything to complain about.
DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP ON THE INTERNET? HERE ARE SOME MORE REVIEWS OF WEB STORES:
Clothing and Accessories: Talbots; The Gap; CWD Kids; Hanna Andersson; J. Jill; Tote Le Monde ; Blu Pyxie ; Miniboden; One Hanes Place; Nordstrom; Gymboree; Simple Shoes; Sierra Blue.
Clothing and Home Goods: Lands End; Bluefly; Soft Surroundings; Garnet Hill; Sundance; L.L. Bean.
Home and Garden: Smith & Noble; Restoration Hardware; Gardeners Supply Company; Unicahome; Homeclick; FaucetDirect; Gardens Alive; West Elm; Crate & Barrel; MyKnobs.
Books and Magazines: Amazon.com; ValueMags; Magazine Values; Dover Publications.
Office Supplies, Furniture and Services: Staples; Officemax; Topdeq; Efax.
Electronics: HP Shopping; Buy.com.
Travel: Amtrak; Hotwire; Orbitz; Hotels.com.
Discount: Overstock.com; Target.
Photo Developing: Shutterfly; Snapfish.
Baby Stuff: Babystyle; Babys Here Birth Announcements; Baby Universe; SoZo.
Miscellaneous: 1-800 contacts; Movie Tickets.com; Drugstore.com.
Rebate Sites: Upromise; Ebates.