Friday, May 29, 2009

Store Review: Oriental Trading

Oriental Trading is an online store that is popular in my home and in the homes of many people who entertain youngsters, due to its crafts and party supplies. This online store offers supplies for art, along with teaching supplies, party supplies, toys and novelties, and much more. I have shopped at OT for things that I needed at my previous job as the prices for almost everything was better than at the dollar store:)

Oriental Trading has supplies organized into many subcategories and these categories are further subdivided to help customers find what they want as quickly as possible. With each category selection, a listing on the left side of the screen lets shoppers know the available subcategories along with the number of items available in each. When one of the subcategories is selected, the customer is then provided the option to narrow down further by price range. I like that Oriental Trading offers an easy to use search function like this. It makes shopping much easier and this is particularly important for a site like Oriental Trading that offers thousands of items for sale. It would become overwhelming if you tried to search without some way to narrow down.

Crafts are the main reason people visit Oriental Trading, but this online store does offer other things, too, including items specific to teaching, holidays, etc. The teaching supplies section even offers subcategories like furniture, carpet, and equipment. But don't get the wrong idea- these subsections are geared toward kids. The "furniture" section, for example, includes things like small plastic chairs and a folding table; a play kitchen; and soft foam- like couches and chairs. I know many teachers who recommend Oriental Trading for online school craft supplies, and that includes these extra categories like the furniture section.

Oriental Trading succeeds as an online shopping experience by offering literally thousands of craft and other items under one web site roof, pretty much guaranteeing that you will find something that suits your needs. It charges shipping on most orders, but the cost of shipping is eliminated if your purchase is large enough. I have found that it is often worthwhile to spend a little extra to avoid the shipping charges. These charges can add significantly to your total bill and this is why it is often economically in your best interest to spend a little more.

OT also has some name brand items for crafting, and usually those prices are the same as other stores. Some of the items are a little less quality, but in my ow experience I have not found them to be less supperior!