My Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy Review

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Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy Review by Wardrobe Oxygen

Have you heard of Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy? It’s a new service from Amazon. Pick at least three fashion items (shoes, clothes, accessories) but no more than eight and Amazon will ship them to you for free. You have seven days to try everything, return what you don’t want, keep what you do, you will only be charged for the items you keep. I decided to try Amazon Prime Wardrobe and review it here on Wardrobe Oxygen.

Last year I went to Diner en Blanc and had a great time. I found out the date for the event this year and am on the hunt for a white outfit. I figured Prime Wardrobe would be a perfect tool to try several white items from different brands in the comfort of my home without racking up a lot of credit card debt and without having to make multiple returns to multiple retailers.

My Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy Review

Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy isn’t as simple as it seems. Within the menu for Try Before You Buy I chose Women’s clothing, then Dresses, then the color White. I’d click into a new tab any dresses that looked promising. Unfortunately, over 50% of the items I picked from the Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy collection actually weren’t available for Prime Wardrobe. The dress would be available… but only in one size, or a different color.

Amazon, in general, is very hard to shop for clothing. I have been contacted by them multiple times to feature their fashion and I just can’t with a good conscience because it’s so frustrating. I was looking for a midi or maxi dress or jumpsuit in the color white, size 12, 14, 12P, 14P, L, XL, or 0X. To do this, I had to perform. Multiple separate searches, often seeing the same pieces over and over. And even with these specifications, I was still getting items not appropriate or relevant to my search.

With Amazon in general, you can’t search a size range. You can search for Petite OR Regular, but not both. Amazon Fashion is best when you’re looking for a specific thing – Maggy London dresses, that specific style of shoe from Nine West, pink jumpsuits only in size 10. That being said, if you’re willing to do the search or have specific search terms, you can often find items currently available at department stores for less on Amazon. You can also find that items you missed last season on Amazon for a very nice price.

an honest review of amazon prime wardrobe

It’s also hard to shop because it’s so hard to see detail. Amazon Fashion offers a front view, back, view, and a video of the model moving in the dress. Even when zooming into the photos it was hard to tell if a dress had pearl or colored buttons, if there was a tie at the waist with tassels, if the fabric was sheer with an overlay or just lined. Descriptions are rarely as detailed as on other apparel shopping websites.

One perk to Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy is you can order multiple sizes without charging your card. I was able to order one jumpsuit in two different sizes without the price of two lingering on my credit card.

Once I found eight items I went to my Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy Cart. There I realized I had totaled over $1,000 worth of items so I was asked to remove at least one. This gave me a chance to see I had put in my cart two items over my max budget for such a piece so I removed both. I decided to use this space in my Prime Try Before You Buy box to shop for shoes. I’m still on the hunt for a nude-to-me sandal (I desire both a flat casual one as well as a heeled dressy one). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a single shoe I liked in my size and that color that was available for Prime Wardrobe. I started looking at bags and there was a much better selection but I stopped because I don’t need a bag right now and do not need the temptation!

honest review amazon prime wardrobe

The email I received once my Prime Wardrobe box was delivered

My Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy Box: My Thoughts

I received an email upon placing my order on July 3rd that my Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy Box would arrive between July 11th and July 13th.  The box arrived early on July 8th. As soon as the delivery person dropped the box off on my front step I received an email that my Prime Try Before You Buy 7-day trial began.

An honest Amazon Prime Wardrobe Review

The box is a brown box, but it has a perforated strip on top for easy opening. Inside, the top of the box has a self-sealing strip. Inside I found all the garments folded/rolled into clear plastic bags, a UPS return label, and a folder explaining how Prime Try Before You Buy works.  I gotta say it felt a bit like a letdown after experiencing Stitch Fix, Dia & Co, Trunk Club, and Gwynnie Bee.  Even Gwynnie Bee, which is pretty minimal, at least nicely folds the clothes and wraps in tissue.

I had items balled up and taped into a piece of plastic, some in bags that stated, “READY TO SHIP” in green, and others in the crisp plastic sheathing I am familiar with from other online boutiques. This was as low-frills as any typical Amazon order, and like most Amazon orders the box was way too big for the contents. But unlike these other fashion programs, Prime Try Before You Buy doesn't have a fee.  Guess you get what you pay for!

What I Had in my Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy Order

I ordered seven items, looking for something to wear to Diner en Blanc. I wanted either a dress below the knee to maxi length or a jumpsuit, and something with a bit of volume.  With Diner en Blanc you have to walk from your meet-up spot to the undisclosed destination which can end up being several city blocks in the August heat. I wanted fabric that could handle the walking, heat, and humidity as well as a silhouette that would look great with flat comfortable shoes. What I ordered:

  • Marina Women's One Shoulder Jumpsuit with Cascade Ruffle Detailing, color Ivory, size 14: This ran extremely small, I couldn't zip it up more than an inch. No worries, this thing looked like I got tangled in the drapes.  A ton of fabric, it was heavy and if it could zip up, it would hide any shape I have.  One plus – while it says it's ivory it's more like a pale winter white and would work fine for Diner en Blanc.
  • Tribal Women's Versailles Garden Off-Shoulder Dress, color White, size L: This dress came so creased and wrinkled and balled up that it was hard to even see how it hung on me. The fabric is 95% Tencel Lyocell, 5% Linen but felt like cheap rayon. Maybe it's because I have a large bust but the elasticized waist was and empire waist on me. This dress is not worth the $109 pricetag.
  • Show Me Your Mumu Women's Zsa Dress, color White Chiffon, size Large: This was cheap polyester, completely see-through, and so short it looked more like a shirt. When I ordered it, it was $158. This isn't even worth $58.
  • Adrianna Papell Women's Petite One Shoulder Jumpsuit, Ivory in sizes 12P and 14: I really felt I would be a 16P or maybe 14P but those sizes weren't available for Prime Wardrobe. I ordered a 12P knowing it would be too small just to see if the petite would be a good choice and then I could order it elsewhere. I didn't even try on the 12P because the 14 fit perfectly.  Waist in the right place, pants even the right length.  It's just a bit gappy at the bust and part of my bra shows; I'm going to take it to my tailor to see if he can make it work. I've shopped Adrianna Papell before and this piece is the quality, material, and style I expect from the brand.  Like the other jumpsuit, it is called ivory but it's more like a slightly warm white. And a plus, it's lined and a nice weight so no underwear show-through! If it does work out I'll be sure to share it here on the blog!
  • ROBBIE BEE Women's Lace Halter Maxi Dress, color Ivory, size L: I didn't even try this on because it was too ivory colored for Diner en Blanc and I thought the fabric looked like it would catch on practically anything.
  • Plenty by Tracy Reese Women's Flounced Cami Dress, color White, L: This was… fine.  It's a cute dress, but it didn't stand out. And like the other dress with the elasticized waist, it was an empire waist on me which looked a bit goofy.  Not bad, but not what I'm looking for.

Depending on what my tailor can do with the jumpsuit, I may have found a winner!

Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy: Would I Do It Again?

Hrm… maybe.  Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy was great for the reason I had; I could order a bunch of looks and only pay for one I wanted to keep. I think this could be a smart choice when shopping for a wedding guest outfit, an event where you have a specific dress code or color to wear, even if looking for new jeans or a new coat.  I don't think this is an alternative to virtual styling programs like Trunk Club or Stitch Fix.  I was annoyed by the lack of selection that was available and because of that found the ordering process time-consuming. But I do appreciate not having a charge on my credit card unless I decided to keep something.

Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy: What to Know Before You Try

You Cannot Use a Debit Card with Prime Try Before You Buy

My debit Mastercard is my default payment with Amazon but I had to enter an actual credit card number to complete my Prime Try Before You Buy order. Prime Wardrobe does not accept debit cards for orders over $300 excluding taxes and discount.

If the Prime Try Before You Buy “Add to Cart” Doesn’t Show, It’s Not on Prime Try Before You Buy

Even though you found the item on Prime Try Before You Buy doesn’t mean it’s available for the program. It may be that only select sizes or colors qualify.

You Must Have a Minimum of Three and Maximum of Eight Items

Prime Try Before You Buy will not ship unless you have three to eight items chosen for your box. No need to keep track, the site will notify you when you’ve reached eight items in your Prime Try Before You Buy.

You Cannot Order More than $1,000 in a Prime Try Before You Buy Box

When you get to your Prime Try Before You Buy cart, it will notify you of your total. There you can remove items or save them for later. Once your total is under $1,000, the check-out button will activate.

You Can't Just Box Up and Send Back

You must check out at Amazon before sending back your items from Prime Try Before You Buy. Be sure to do this to prevent being charged.

You can Return After the Seven Days… But You Will Be Charged

There is one item from my Prime Try Before You Buy that I am thinking of wearing to Diner en Blanc, but I need to check with my tailor if it can be altered to fit perfectly. I am not sure if I will be able to visit him before the seven days are up. I checked and if you keep something past the seven days, you still have 30 days before it needs to be returned, but your credit card will be charged (and then refunded) for the item/s.

Prime Try Before You Buy Isn’t Just for Women

What’s cool about Prime Try Before You Buy is that it’s for women, men, children, and baby. You can also mix a Prime Try Before You Buy box – a dress for you, a shirt for him, a onesie for your little one.

Prime Try Before You Buy is only for Prime Members

You cannot use Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy unless you have a subscription to Amazon Prime. If you’d like to sign up for Amazon Prime, visit this link. Now is the time as Prime Day is July 16th through July 17th and there’s going to be some amazing deals just for Prime members.

I hope this Amazon Try Before You Buy review was helpful. Have you tried Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy?  How was your experience? Share it in the comments below and help fellow readers!

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  1. I recently used this service. I was happy that everything came in one box in the same packaging Amazon always uses, nothing fancy. All of my garments were sealed. However, one of the items had food stains all over it. The tags were inside so the item could easily have been worn and then returned. That is my biggest pet peeve about these services, that sometimes you will receive used clothing because they do not keep the tags outside and obvious. There is no where to leave feedback about this unless you chat with someone and your only solution is to return or keep. In my case they are out of the item I wanted so exchanging is not possible.

  2. I tried Prime Wardrobe a cple months ago. Im very disappointed with them. I ordered 2 pairs of boots. I received both of them kept the pair that fit and returned the other pair the very next day. Dropped the box off at UPS. Received confirmation that the item was returned. A month and 1/2 go by and I receive an email from Amazon that says they never received my return. So I contacted customer service and talk to them about it and they told me to not worry about that email it was I just computer generated email and I would not be charged for the boots that I sent back in that they received. Today I get another email this two weeks later it says that I was charged $90 for the other pair of boots. So again I have to contact customer service and take time out of my day to talk to Amazon about this when it should have been taken care of months ago and they tell me that they will refund me the $90 obviously, but it’s going to take five days for them to process my refund. If you’re someone that doesnt pay much attention to your bank account or credit card purchases and don’t read through your emails they’re sliding these by people everyday and cashing in on them. Unacceptable and should be turned in to the authorities!

  3. I just got my pick results after a week of waiting. Frankly, I was not impressed. Most of the picks were sort of frumpy and none of them really matched my preferred styles or the parts of my body that I wanted to high light. I also was not impressed with the demin as most of the picks had more elastic and polyester than cotton in them making them more legging than jeans.

  4. You also can’t use amazon gift card balance to pay for prime wardrobe. :(. I didn’t know this and just ordered my 1st box yesterday. So, once I get my box and try everything on, I’m returning EVERYTHING. Even if I LOVE something. Then, I’ll go online and purchase whatever I want and use my gift card balance. Such a freaking waste…not to mention, more costly for amazon because they will be paying shipping multiple times. That seems like such a simple fix…I should be able to select my gift card balance just as I can for any other amazon purchase. Hopefully, I’ll be excited about the items in the box and the hassle will be worth it.

    1. I agree with you totally. It’s your money you should be able to use whatever card you want to. That’s not good for people like me that can’t get a credit card, and my debit card runs as a credit card so it makes no sense to me at all why you can’t use it. I love shopping on Amazon but this is one experience I have to give it a thumbs down.

  5. I agree completely with your evaluation. I have used it several times in the past and suggested it to friends and family. My only complaint is that the ship time recently has increased greatly. I have always received an email within 3 or 4 days max to let me know it was shipping. I placed my most recent order a week ago and it still has not been shipped. Hoping that this is a temporary glitch. (I had to cancel the order previous to this due to lagging ship time.)

  6. You cannot use a debit card for ANY purchases on Prime Wardrobe right now. Even if it’s below $300. This is a recent change. I asked them about it today and they couldn’t tell me when it changed, why, or if it will go back to the debit card option.

  7. Thanks for the great detail, it has helped us a lot! My daughter is getting married next Spring and found a bridesmaid’s dress she loves, at a STEEP discount, on Amazon and would like to use their Prime Wardrobe service to have some of her bridesmaids try it on. It seems like, in this case, it would be a good service to use, since she knows the dress she wants to order, and will be ordering the exact same thing in multiple sizes. My still lingering question though, when does the 7 day count begin? Upon receipt of the clothing or from the date of order? Also, one reviewer mentioned sales tax, am I to understand that if you keep one item, you’ll pay taxes for all items, even if they were returned? Yikes! Thanks for the help!

    1. It’s 7 days upon it landing on your doorstep. As soon as the box is delivered you get an email stating the 7 days has started. I returned everything in my box except one item and was only charged tax for that one item.

  8. I wish I had read this before I used Amazon Prime Wardrobe. My experience was awful. The top of the box wasn’t made clear on which side to open & then one side was taped down & I inadvertently removed the piece of the box that had the self adhesive strip for reboxing for returns. I had been a customer of stitchfix for the last 1.5 years & while that’s been hit & miss as well, the actually packaging up & returning process was far more easy. Since I end up on average returning more products than I keep, having the product checkout process & shipping being easy is really important to me. I won’t use this amazon service again.

  9. I just had an awful experience with Prime Wardrobe. I had only used the service once before to try to find the right sized shoes for my baby. The second time I was looking for shoes for myself. I ordered eight items to try. Everything was shipped promptly but arrived in a gigantic box with all the shoes scattered about inside — and the shoebox for one pair of tennis shoes had been replaced with a generic cardboard box. I sat on my stair steps and tried everything on and immediately placed it all back into the box and resealed it because nothing worked out. About a month after sending it back I got an email from Amazon saying that they were missing three pairs of the shoes that I had ordered. I contacted Amazon right away via their online chat and after spending about half an hour chatting with the rep about what happened she said she would make sure I wasn’t charged. I just wanted to warn others about this.

  10. RUN and I mean RUN from Amazon Prime Wardrobe. Most people don’t realize that they charge tax on every single item in the cart which is totally ridiculous and possibly illegal. Secondly, you are held hostage if the person on the return section scanned your item in wrong because though you have paid for the items you kept they will recharge for the incorrect scanned item and you have to wait up to five days for a refund. Also, if you look at the price of the items in Prime Wardrobe they might be listed at a lower price, which makes no sense at all yet its true. Prime Wardrobe is a complete mess and there is no sense to cause yourself utter frustation unless you are into that sort of thing. So as I stated, RUN, RUN, RUN away from Prime Wardrobe.

    1. I most certainly agree, Bethany! Run at a sprint from Amazon Prime Wardrobe. It is unfortunate that forums like this are necesssary to get apropos information & for meeting that need. Amazon is very misleading on their website with the “simple 1-2-3 steps” to “try before you buy”. I, like the author/site manager also use a bank debit card (mine AmEx] as the registered card on my account, & exclusively for Amazon purchases. I placed an order a few days ago , not knowing the $300 debit card limit was no longer in effect. Unbeknowst to me, the order was cancelled. What was most irritating was when I looked at the order confirmation, the order number, the “cancelled orders” page, the purchase history page, even the Prime Wardrobe cart history- in an effort to see which items were in the order, lest I simply purchase them normally – it was as if the order never existed. Upon contacting Amazon , being shuffled around before reaching the “specialist” & going thru the same procedures, even she could not see record of the order number details, offer an explanation thereupon. I certainly do not intend to waste more time slogging thru the website for those elusive items actually eligible for Prime Wardrobe. The service is not what it purports. Yes. Indeed. RUN.

  11. I also found out the very time-consuming and frustrating issues with Prime Wardrobe. I wanted to use this service a long time ago, but I was placed on a waiting list. Finally, I got an invite to join, so I did. I was surprised to find out how difficult it was to pick out three items, especially clothing. Not only did I experience the problems you mentioned, but if I put an item in my cart, when I went back to the cart, that item may OR MAY NOT still be available for Prime Wardrobe. It changed from day to day. It’s not an enjoyable shopping experience. Then you must drive to a UPS store to drop off any items you don’t want, so if I have to drive, better to just go to a store and try on and buy. Lastly, I really had thoughts of wearing pricey gowns for maybe, like, a few hours around the house, or to a restaurant, but the stringent rules stopped me cold. If Amazon even slightly feels you wore it more than just a try on, they will charge you for that item.

  12. Try Trunk Club. They have been doing this type of business for years. They know what they are doing. Amazon is just trying to monopolize another business model, but not doing it well.

  13. I do a lot of shopping on Amazon for clothes and shoes, and I’ve figured out two ways to get around their sucky search:
    1) I go to Zappos, Nordstrom, or Google and search there. Then when I have a few specific items, I search Amazon for each item.
    2) I’ll search Amazon, then when I see something I like, I click through to the product page and go through the carousels of “People Also Viewed” to find similar items.

  14. This was an interesting article. I don’t order clothing from Amazon largely because I wonder about the quality of fabric and size. I have a large bust and weightlifters arms.

    I have access to the Amazon Prime service.

    This prompted me to wonder in the every increasingly competitive world of online clothes shopping what brands do you consider to be of good quality and good value for money?

    1. In this day and age that’s a hard question to answer. So many brands end up changing their buyer or their fabric source so quality can vary from season to season. I have been impressed with Universal Standard, Talbots, dress companies like Eliza J, Maggy London, and Adrianna Apell for consistency. Lands’ End used to be a go-to but they have changed a lot of their fabrications. L.L. Bean isn’t high fashion but they are reliably good quality and value.

  15. I’m glad you said what you did about how difficult it is to search for clothes on Amazon. A lot of bloggers refer you to items on Amazon but I’ve always found it extremely difficult to search there myself. I hope the white jumpsuit works for you, it’s absolutely gorgeous!

  16. I really like the idea of Prime Wardrobe but I do agree that searching for vague descriptions (black tshirt, denim shorts) can be too time consuming without being able to narrow it down. Amazon should take notes from Ebay, I think their search parameters are great! However, I live in Canada where we get the short end of the stick on anything interesting like Prime Wardrobe. Fingers crossed we’ll get to try it soon!

  17. I have used Prime Wardrobe, but only to try on jeans in different sizes so I don’t have to charge a credit card for all of them at once.

    The mechanics of the program are fine – it’s convenient to receive several items and only pay for the ones you want, and I don’t really feel comfortable with paying for services that might send me a lot of things that i don’t want and then have to go through.

    I also find shopping for clothes and shoes on Amazon to be very confusing and frustrating, so I only order items when I know what I’m looking for.

  18. Thank you for this review. I’ve had 4 pairs of shoes in my Prime Wardrobe cart for weeks now (I need a new pair of booties for the fall) but have been hesitant to push the button since I haven’t heard of anyone who’s used it. I’m a little less weary now and may just go for it! As always, I appreciate your honesty and willingness to be a guinea pig for us!

  19. Doesn’t sound like a great experience. Appreciate your honesty. Good luck with the jumpsuit. It looks very chic online.

  20. THANK YOU so much for this! I have been considering this but Amazon has such a sucky user experience for basically anything fashion related and I don’t understand WHY they don’t improve this!!

    The Adored Life

    1. They don’t improve this, unfortunately, because they don’t have to. Reputable sources list Amazon as controlling more than 70% of the WORLD retail market! Now listen, I don’t want a world without Amazon. ALL the Christmas shopping, by a cozy fire in my skivvies, in an hour or so start to finish? Yes, Please! …Crap-Its-the-7th-&-I-forgot-my-nephew’s-birthday-is-the-10th?! …Much obliged, Amazon Prime!

      If only service, quality, & reliability grew with the corporate bottom-line.

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