Dr. Martens (aka Doc Martens) is a classic British footwear brand. They have physical stores in several countries, but for many people who don't live close to one, drmartens.com may be the most convenient place to buy their products. I only ordered from their website once, and after my experience, I'm unlikely to order from them again. Despite my negative experience, I didn't find a significant number of complaints against the company, so it's possible most orders are shipped without issue.
Before you order, check the return policy because the Dr. Martens website doesn't offer free returns or in-store returns according to the FAQ.
"We do not offer free returns. We will provide you with a UPS return shipping label via email. The cost of this shipping label ($7) will be deducted from the amount that would be refunded to you."
"Unfortunately, our retail stores are unable to accept returns or exchanges for online store purchases."
When you are ordering shoes or boots, this is a major downside. I don't know if they charge for the return of items that arrive damaged. If you are concerned, contact customer support to find out.
Their website has a Size Guide that's very helpful. It's a small link located above the shoe size options. I measured inside one of my daughter's shoes to figure out which size to order and it was accurate when we received the boots. Still, even if you get the correct size, the boots may not feel comfortable or fit properly. And if they don't, you will have to pay to send them back.
You can either send an email to support or call for assistance. I recommend calling. I placed a $200 order on Black Friday. When a week went by and the items hadn't shipped, I sent an email to support. I got this automated response.
"Please allow up to 2 - 3 business days for a response."
Three business days went by without a response, so I sent another email and again received no response. A couple of weeks before Christmas and eleven days after I placed the order, I began to worry I wouldn't receive the boots in time. I couldn't call customer support because I couldn't find the contact number anywhere on their website (as I write this, the phone number is listed on their contact page). So, I sent a message on Facebook. An automated response informed me that:
"We're based in the UK here so don't have visibility of US orders...give the team a call on 1-800-810-6673 so they can advise you further...You can also email them at email@example.com."
I sent an email to the dmreply email address. When I didn't receive a response to that email, I called the 800-number. In less than ten minutes, I got a customer service rep on the line. She told me they were a week behind on responding to support requests. I asked her to cancel my order. That way, I had time to order the boots somewhere else and receive them in time for Christmas. The support rep was very nice about it and issued a refund which was returned to my PayPal account within minutes.
When I got an email days later letting me know my order had shipped, I immediately sent an email to both support and dmreply letting them know I had already canceled the order and asking them to intercept it. Again, I didn't get a reply and the package was still in transit. When I tried to call, I got a message that the number had been changed or disconnected. I called again the following week because the package was still in transit and this time the call went through. The customer support rep told me they had received my support request and placed a return to sender request with UPS. However, no one actually contacted me to let me know they had received my email and acted on it. Thankfully, the interception worked and the package never reached me.
Considering the price of Dr. Marten products, qualifying for free shipping is easy ($50 and above as I write this). Shipping is UPS Standard Ground (5-7 Business Days) but it can also take up to 7 business days for an order to ship. If you are purchasing a gift, or want boots for a particular event, order well in advance.
When I placed an order on Black Friday, I expected to get the boots well before Christmas. They didn't ship until December 18 with a delivery date of December 30. That was after I had already canceled the order and received a refund because they were taking so long to send it.
Other Purchasing Options
With all the counterfeit products available nowadays, a big advantage of ordering directly from Dr. Martens is that you know with certainty the boots are authentic. If you do decide to place an order, make sure to make an account first rather than using guest checkout. That way, you can check the status of an order if it doesn't ship within the 7-day time period specified in the FAQ.
If you're worried about ordering online because returns aren't free, see if there's a Dr. Martens store in your area or another retailer that sells their products. That way, you can try on the boots and call the store if there are issues.
Some major retailers like Dicks Sporting Goods, Nordstrom, and Urban Outfitters sell Dr. Martens products online. If you have had good experiences with those sellers and trust them, see if they have what you're looking for. Check their return policies before ordering.
I found the boots I wanted on Amazon with free Prime shipping and free returns. However, you have to be cautious because there are many counterfeit items sold on Amazon by third-party sellers. To see who the seller is, check the area under the Add to Cart button. Make sure the shoes you choose are Shipped By Amazon. That way, if you have concerns about the authenticity of the boots you receive, you can initiate a return directly on their website. Sold by tells you who the seller is. In some cases, Amazon is the seller, but it's often third-party businesses. Some are well-known brands like Zappos. Check out the seller before placing an order. And be aware, the seller may change based on the size you choose. For example, on this listing, the seller (as I write this) is Robert Wayne Footwear for size 5, but Zappos for Size 14.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 LT Wright