Hoover’s, a company that provides comprehensive business information, describes Fingerhut as follows:
“You might say this company lets your fingers do the shopping. Fingerhut Direct Marketing is a leading catalog retailer offering a broad line of private-label and brand-name merchandise, including apparel, appliances, electronics, health and beauty products, home furnishings, jewelry, toys, kitchen wares, luggage, and sporting goods. In addition to the catalogs it mails to consumers once a month, the company sells its merchandise through an online store.”
As a customer, I find this description quite accurate. Now, let’s take a more detailed look at the pros and cons of shopping online with Fingerhut from a customer’s point of view.
Pros of Shopping Online with Fingerhut
Convenience – One of the best aspects of shopping online with Fingerhut is convenience. You can browse through their online catalog any time your heart desires, 24/7. Not only is this method of shopping convenient, but Fingerhut’s website is convenient as it is well-designed and easy to use. Customers also receive a steady stream of printed catalogs in the mail the Fingerhut website has a “Catalog Quick Order” feature.
Credit Plan – Shopping online with Fingerhut can be done by using a Fingerhut Credit Account (issued by CIT Bank). This credit account is unique in two ways. First, the criteria to obtain a Fingerhut Credit account are not as stringent as some other store accounts. Second, the account is designed to be very affordable with payments as low as $5.99/month. Monthly payments are based on the total balance due and as you pay down your balance your monthly payments are lowered.
Credit Reporting – Fingerhut reports your credit history to the major credit bureaus. So, shopping online with Fingerhut is a good way to enhance your credit score.
Dependability – Shopping online with Fingerhut is very dependable as is the entire Fingerhut Company for it has been in business since1948. You are sure to receive your merchandise by your chose shipping method, have payments promptly applied to your account and so forth.
In-Stock Merchandise – Fingerhut does an excellent job of keeping their online products in-stock to make shopping online with Fingerhut an enjoyable experience. Any avid shopper knows the disappointment of having your heart set on a perfect item you saw online only to receive a phone call a few days later informing you that your item is no longer available, or that it will not be available for many months.
Cons of Shopping Online with Fingerhut
Customer Service – Fingerhut has terrible customer service. If you have any problem you will wait a long time to get a customer service representative on the phone who will most likely not be able to help you. You will have to make several calls with long wait times in between. Fingerhut representatives will insist that the problem is your fault because Fingerhut never makes mistakes. If you are English-speaking, you will experience great difficulty due to a language barrier between you and Fingerhut representatives. You may never be able to get your problem corrected. For instance, I am not able to make online payments using any credit card and I cannot get Fingerhut to straighten it out. So, it is an inconvenience I must put up with when shopping online with Fingerhut.
Overpriced – If you comparison shop, you will discover that shopping online with Fingerhut will cost you more than shopping online with some other retailers. This price increase is due to the fact that Fingerhut extends credit. In the case of household and other items the price increase is usually nominal. However, in the case of electronics it is large. For example, when shopping online with Fingerhut you can purchase a 19″ computer monitor for $300. You can purchase a comparable monitor from Tiger and other online stores for $150. So, you are certainly paying to have the convenience of extended credit and you may want to choose your purchases carefully when shopping online with Fingerhut.
I have not identified the ‘quality of merchandise’ associated with shopping online with Fingerhut as either a pro or a con. I think this issue is subjective for one shopper’s treasure may be another shopper’s garbage. Shoppers have different expectations of the quality of merchandise they purchase. In my opinion, overall, the merchandise you will receive when shopping online with Fingerhut is average. The items are not so chintzy that they will quickly fall apart or break. However, they are nothing to write home about like items you would purchase in a high-end store.
There you have it, my fellow shoppers, the main pros and cons of shopping online with Fingerhut. If you would like to give it a try, you have nothing to lose but your shipping expense as Fingerhut has an exchange or return policy.
So, Happy Shopping!