It’s one of the newest online chess shops to arrive on the scene, but how does Chess Boutique stack up against the big names?
Chess Boutique is an online only chess shop that is one of the most recent companies to break into the industry. They offer a large variety of essential chess products, as well as things that you don’t usually find at other online chess shops, including merchandise, clothing, and home decor items themed around chess. Because of this wide selection of products, Chess Boutique is a great place to shop for gifts for the chess lover in your life – no matter how many chess sets they already own!
Chess Boutique’s History and Reputation
Because Chess Boutique is such a new company, it hasn’t built up much of a name for itself as of yet. As more and more customers find out about it and are satisfied with their orders, however, that is all bound to change. Word of mouth is one of the strongest tools for online chess shops in growing their businesses, so they’ll definitely want to make sure that all their customers are happy ones!
Chess Boutique began in early 2017 as a family owned business based out of Illinois, USA. The whole family loves chess and the children play competitive chess, so starting an online chess store was just the next logical step for them in their love of the game. It’s still quite a new business, so it would make sense for them to still be finding their stride a little bit, but Chess Boutique seems to be flourishing already. You might never know that it’s only a few years old if we hadn’t told you!
The Chess Boutique Website
The Chess Boutique website is as shiny and new as the company itself. Everything is state of the art, sleekly designed, and customer-focused. It is very easy to navigate through the site to find anything you may be looking for, from chess clocks to chess gifts.
There is a system of drop down menus at the top of each page that can take you where you need to go in just a few clicks. For example, you could double click on any of the main headings, “Chess Sets, Chess Supplies, Chess Storage, Chess Clocks, Chess Gifts, or Chess Apparel” to be immediately taken to that section. You can also click on the “All” heading to scroll through every single one of the many products Chess Boutique stocks.
If you want to narrow down your search even further, you can click once on many of the main headings to display more specific subsections. For example, within the section labeled “Chess Gifts” are also housed the subsections of “Chess Books, Unique Gifts, Wall Decor, Phone and Tablet Cases, and Jewelry.” The “Chess Apparel” section can also direct you to specifically, “Chess T-shirts, Chess Hoodies, Chess Sweatshirts, or Youth T shirts.” This nested network of menus makes it quick and easy to get exactly where you need to be. Of course, you can always search a specific term using the search box at the top of each page.
Product Selection and Quality at Chess Boutique
The product selection at Chess Boutique is vast, and it includes many product categories that we haven’t seen for sale in any other online chess shop. We think that because Chess Boutique is exclusively an online company, without any physical store to maintain, they are able to have more freedom in stocking whichever products they want. They don’t have to worry about, for example, the constraints of a physical building and how many items they’re able to effectively display within it. The room for inventory on an online store is effectively unlimited!
The products available through Chess Boutique also seem to be of quite high quality, as a general rule. Of course, the precise quality varies based on each individual item, but overall, they have done a good job in choosing to stock items that are built to last. It makes sense that as a family who regularly participates in competitive and casual chess events, they’ve used enough chess products to know which are worth buying!
Chess Boutique Customer Service
The Chess Boutique team is still quite small, but each member is fully dedicated to ensuring the best experience possible for each and every one of their customers. They have a phone number listed on the website where you can contact a customer service representative, as well as a contact form you can fill out if you run across and issues, concerns, or questions while shopping. They’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have about their products, and can even share additional information and photos with you if necessary!
Shipping Options and Return Policies
The items you buy from Chess Boutique do not ship from a single centralized warehouse. Rather, they may come from facilities in the USA, Europe, or China. The specific product listing should say where the product will ship from. That location could affect the estimated shipping time quite drastically. Items that are shipped from the USA or Europe will generally be shipped within 2 business days and arrive within 3 to 10 business days. For items shipped from China, however, it could take about 5 business days to be shipped, and then 20 to 25 more days before it gets to you. If you need something in a hurry, make sure you double check where it will be shipping from.
The return policy at Chess Boutique should be generous enough for the typical buyer. You have 20 days to return a damaged item in the original condition and packaging, with proof of purchase. If you choose to return an item simply because it doesn’t suit your taste, you will need to pay the cost of the return shipping and meet the same requirements as on damaged item returns. Your return may be subject to a 15-40% restocking fee if it’s not returned in the original condition. These policies are strict in order to keep prices down overall and protect honest customers from those who would take advantage of unrestricted returns.
You’ll need to speak with a customer service representative in order to start your return process, so they’ll be able to guide you toward the best course of action for your individual situation.
Our Final Thoughts on Chess Boutique
Chess Boutique is a new face in the online chess shopping industry, and it has a lot to offer. We mean this literally, since it has a large variety of merchandise in stock that you can’t buy in any of the other big-name chess stores out there. Its products seem to be of good quality in general, and the return policy is generous enough that most customers won’t run into problems with it. Still, returns can be a hassle anywhere, so if you’re not 100% sure about the item you want to purchase, better to contact customer service for more information and advice rather than go through the headache of returning something that wasn’t quite right for you!
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