Zappos Delivers a Box of Sunshine

Cat in a box: Elsa Clair from Life with Dogs and Cats

Back in the snowy, cold, dark, cold, endless and cold days of this past winter, I ordered some stylish boots from Zappos. Actually, I placed two orders.

I’m a firm believer in retail therapy. It’s not nearly as effective as puppy or kitty therapy, but it does have it’s benefits (new stuff!), and the side effects are few — usually a minor decrease in wallet weight.

I choose several pairs of boots from among those I ordered, and needed return the rest. The instructions on the Zappos website direct customers to send the products back in the same box in which they were delivered. At Zappos, shipping is free both ways, so it really didn’t matter to me, but I thought it was kind of silly to send my returns back in two boxes when I could fit them all in one box.

But my mom always taught me that it’s always best to ask, so I figured I should call customer service and make sure it was okay.

In the mean time, while I procrastinated was busy with other immensely important activities, two large Zappos boxes sat in my dining room.

Elsa Clair moved in to one of them. I wrote a post about the day she played Cat-in-the-Box, jumping out to surprise Calvin.

Forget jack in the box, how about cat in the box

Forget jack in the box; how about cat in the box?

Eventually, I called Zappos and the helpful woman I spoke with told me that a one-box return was fine; all I needed to do was include both return slips. During our conversation, I mentioned Elsa Clair and her love of the Zappos box — and the post I wrote.

Following instructions, I packed everything up and asked my awesome husband if he could drop it off at the UPS outlet for me.

Then Elsa Clair noticed her favorite box was inaccessible, and had to go through the stress of moving into a new box. That became a photo post.

The story could have ended there — or maybe with me wearing a fabulous pair of boots on a business trip and loving them (which is true) — but there was one more chapter.

A few weeks later, on yet another cold and snowy day, a small package arrived. From Zappos. It wasn’t big enough to hold shoes, and I hadn’t ordered anything, so I was a bit puzzled.

When I opened it — with help from Athena, of course — I felt the urge to whip out my sunglasses and run through the sand.

Athena inspects the Box of Sunshine I got from Zappos

Athena inspecting the box.

It was a box of appreciation. A sweet thought. A kind effort. A type of personal thanks that I used to think was extinct in corporate America.

Zappos Box of Sunshine

Box of Sunshine from Zappos

I was not paid to write about Zappos. I did not expect any kind of reimbursement.

To be honest, when I told the customer service representative about my blog, I really didn’t expect her to visit it; I was just making conversation.

Note from Tricia at Zappos.

And thank you, Tricia!

But here’s the thing. Zappos is known for it’s company culture. They are near-religious about their core values, which include such ideals as Delivering WOW Through Service, Creating Fun and a Little Weirdness, and Being Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded.

I’m guessing the box of sunshine is something that employees are encouraged to send out when they feel it’s the right  — or perhaps the fun and slightly weird — thing to do. It’s a small example of how that culture plays out.

Small, but effective.

Because several months later — on a sunny spring day — I’m still thinking about it…and smiling.

Tucker inspects the Box of Sunshine I got from Zappos.

Any dog treats in there?

7 Comments on "Zappos Delivers a Box of Sunshine"

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  1. Daisy says:

    Wow that was a really nice surprise from Zappos! And I love those photos of Elsa Clair peeking out of the box – too precious!

  2. Earl Lover says:

    What a nice surprise indeed! Great snapshots. I bet Elsa Clair enjoyed the box hunting involved!

  3. Wow! That is the nicest thing I’ve heard of from a business that big! Cool beans!

  4. Ellen Pilch says:

    That is very sweet 🙂

  5. That was so cool! The mom loves shopping at Zappos. We love their boxes. And we even did a blog post with a Zappos box awhile back. Maybe we should let them know?? 😉

  6. Emma says:

    Now that is truly an awesome, smiley face gesture! Lucky you!

  7. meowmeowmans says:

    That was awesome and wonderful, all the way around! 🙂

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