25 February 2010
Tips for Online Shopping
I used to hate shopping online- there were always too many hassles for me: inability to try on items before purchasing, shipping costs, extra shipping and handling costs if the item needs to be returned, etc. However, since starting college I have slowly started to enjoy online shopping (Who doesn’t love getting cute new things in the mail during a tough exam week?) Through my experiences I have learned a few tricks to avoid my previous pet peeves. I tried to only choose five, but I couldn’t, so here are my top six tips for online shopping:
1) ALWAYS google search “coupon codes for (insert store name here.)” I find a hidden discount almost every time! Although it may take a little time to navigate through old and/or inactive codes, saving money is definately worth it. A pretty reliable site to use is .
2) Online retailers often offer discounts for providing your email. Just like everyone else, I HATE seeing an inbox full of junk mail, but I always sign up anyways. If it’s a store I really like, sometimes it’s nice to get email coupons and other fun stuff. However, if it’s a store I might not love I give my email just for the discount, and as soon as the emails begin to bug me, I take my name off their email list.
3) Almost all retailers will provide measurements of the garment. Pull out a measuring tape and check the length, waistline, hip width, and sleeves. Although it’s not as good as actually getting to try it on, the measurements will at least give you an idea about how it will fit and help you to avoid the “Did I buy a shirt or a dress?!” moments.
4) I’ve noticed many people looking to online “virtual fitting rooms” recently. Although it’s a fun invention, I definately do not reccomend it. Although you can customize the virtual model to your personal shape, skin tone, hair color, etc, there really is no virtual equvilent to really trying clothing on. The online models have completely smooth, cellulite and seemingly fat free bodies. So how a tight skirt looks on a virtual model almost certainly won’t look the same on a real person. Everyone looks good in some type of clothing, no matter what size they are- so do yourself a favor and trade online fitting rooms for the real version whenever possible.
5) Unless you have previously tried on an item and felt the fabric and other materials- don’t buy splurge items online. Although the internet is an amazing source for finding splurge items at significantly lower prices, you should never purchase a significant item online unless you know how it fits and the quality it is made out of. Exception: If it really is a great deal AND it has guarenteed authenticity and a good return policy, it is sometimes ok to buy online without seeing something in person first- just make sure of where you buy from, and know EXACTLY what you are buying, the internet is full of knock-offs imposing as real name brand items.
6)Familiarize yourself with the return policy! If returns are not allowed, seriously reconsider buying the item- if it doesn’t fit, is poor quality, or you just don’t like it then you will be stuck with something you paid for and will never wear. Take note if the site will allow you to return items in store instead of shipping back the order. This option can save so much effort and money.
P.S. www.collegefashion.net has been featuring a column about online shopping at particular sites, check it out!