Farfetch is a legitimate, reputable retail site that offers an authenticity guarantee for the items it sells. However, its unique, designer pieces come at a cost and some customers have had issues with shipping and returns. Below, we review its business practices and reputation to help you decide whether to shop at Farfetch.
Is Farfetch Legit?
Farfetch — an online fashion retail site — is a legitimate business. In 2008, José Neves founded the company to give people access to unique, designer items he could normally only find in niche boutiques.
He accomplished this by partnering with individual store owners and brands in more than 190 countries. Farfetch has more than 2,000 employees in offices in 11 cities worldwide.
In the sections below, we will explain how Farfetch works and what you can expect in terms of shipping and returns, pricing and availability, and authenticity.
Neves, who has always preferred shopping at small boutiques over large department stores, found that boutiques typically don’t have the savviest websites for online shopping — and that’s where Farfetch comes in.
The company handles transactions, arranges delivery, and provides customer service for 500 boutiques and 200 brands across the globe.
Though this process works for many — the site served its 1 millionth customer in 2016 — there are a few caveats that come with this business model.
Shipping and Returns
Farfetch arranges deliveries, handles transactions, and provides customer service for its partner boutiques and brands.
Notice that list does not include holding inventory. Items you order on Farfetch.com will not come from a Farfetch office; they will come from one of the many boutiques worldwide.
This makes delivery estimates difficult to predict. The Farfetch website states you can expect to receive your package within two to seven business days, though it makes no guarantees.
Farfetch offers a flat shipping fee, meaning you can order from multiple boutiques and brands and pay one fee. However, you will pay for shipping on the item that comes from the farthest location.
Those in the following cities have access to Farfetch’s 90-minute shipping on select items: Berlin, Dubai, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, Miami, Milan, New York, Paris, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo.
If you’re unsatisfied with your purchase, you can return it for free. You have 14 days after you receive your package to make a return, according to Farfetch’s return policy.
If you chose 90-minute shipping, you can arrange for a return service and have your package picked up from your home within two hours.
Pricing and Availability
Prices are determined by individual boutiques or brands, and the same item may cost you more or less depending on your location, according to Farfetch’s Pricing and Payment information.
Boutiques and brands also determine where they are willing to ship to, and some items may not be available at all depending on your location.
For a more accurate idea of what’s available and for what price, set your location when browsing the site.
Farfetch’s business model does not necessarily lend itself to offering the best prices, rather, its purpose is to offer pieces you likely won’t find elsewhere.
96% of Farfetch’s offerings can’t be found at stores like Net-a-Porter or Neiman Marcus, Neves said in a New York Times interview.
Farfetch guarantees that all items are authentic. Because of the nature of its business model, this guarantee has some strings attached.
Farfetch can only rely on the information its partners provide, and it cannot guarantee that the information is always accurate, according to Farfetch’s Terms and Conditions.
Serial numbers and authenticity cards are only included with items if the designer has supplied them.
Returning Items “Not as Described”
If you receive an item that is “not as described, is flawed, or of a lower quality,” you can return it to Farfetch.
On a case-by-case basis, Farfetch will decide whether or not it will work with the boutique or brand to get you a refund, discount, replacement, or repair.
If approved, your return shipping costs will also be refunded.
Accolades and Accusations
In the sections below we’ve highlighted instances in which Farfetch was recognized publicly — whether it was a beaming reward or a bad review.
- Farfetch was awarded Vogue’s “Best New Etailer Award” in 2010.
- Farfetch was awarded The Europas’ “Best Fashion Startup” in 2014.
- Farfetch won a Digital Masters Award for “Excellence in General Management” in 2015.
- Farfetch’s founder was awarded a Digital Masters Award for “CEO of the Year” in 2015.
- Farfetch was awarded the “Grand Prix” Performance Marketing Award in 2015.
- Farfetch was awarded the “Best Organic Search Campaign” Performance Marketing Award in 2015.
- Farfetch won a UK Tech Awards “best use of tech in the digital economy award” in 2016.
The company is currently backed by powerful investors such as Vitruvian, Condé Nast, e.ventures, DST Global, and Felix Capital.
This may not mean much to you, as a customer, but it is worth mentioning because strong support from investors typically means a company is doing something right.
Reviews and Ratings
Better Business Bureau
Farfetch does not have an active Better Business Bureau (BBB) listing. Farfetch is not a BBB-accredited business — though that doesn’t necessarily mean anything, as some businesses simply choose not to apply for accreditation.
Farfetch is based in London; we were unable to find a UK-equivalent of the BBB.
Farfetch removed the review function from its Facebook page. While we can’t assume why Farfetch has removed its reviews, it is worth noting that they’re not available.
Farfetch has not claimed ownership of its business on Yelp. There also aren’t many reviews that make up its three-star Yelp rating.
At a glance, most negative reviews refer to issues with packages and customer service. For example, some people received the wrong item or wrong size and were not able to quickly resolve the issue.