Nick Swinmurn founded Zappos in 1999 when he couldn't find a pair of brown Airwalks at the mall and had the idea of selling shoes online. Zappos.com was officially launched as ShoeSite.com and later changed its name to Zappos, which is a variation of 'zapatos," the Spanish word f
Zappos was acquired by Amazon.com in 2009, and it's now one of the largest online shoe stores in the world. More than 50,000 shoes are available at any given time at Zappos, in nearly every brand imaginable -- Nike tennis shoes, UGG boots, Steve Madden flats, and more. In 2007, Zappos expanded into clothing and other accessories. CEO Tony Hsieh aims to "build the best brand of costumer service," and one of Zappos distinctive customer-friendly features is its free round-trip shipping, so you pay nothing if you decide not to keep a product from its site. Zappos also sells to niche customers who are looking for hard-to-find sizes or specialty products such as vegan or American-made shoes.