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When I tell my friends that I do the majority of my clothes shopping online, some of them look at me like I’m crazy. While others have come to realize that I am the Queen of Shopping Online. The act of physically going shopping is more of a leisure activity and I never expect to find exactly what I am looking for.
I hate maneuvering through the crowds, dodging the perfume ladies, to find the perfect dress two sizes too small. The internet has saved me so much time and energy. Here are a few helpful tips to shop online like a pro and ensure that you’re buying the right items, finding the best deals, and returning your rejects without a hassle.
How to Find Exactly What You Are Looking For
Stores have wised up to the fact that we have a short attention span these days. Most major department stores have updated their website’s search feature to make it easier than ever.
Before you start clicking away at favorite retailer’s site, go to the search bar and type in exactly what you are looking for. Chances are you will find it a lot quicker than you think.
Sort & Filter
After you have searched the site, the next step is to sort & filter. You want to sort by:
This way you aren’t tempted to buy something you can’t afford, nor will be disappointed when you see the perfect item in the wrong size. Next, filter by sub-categories as well for even easier shopping.
Stick With What You Know
Buy from the designers or stores where you know how things fit. If you want to branch out and try something new or different, be sure to order a backup. Having something you know will work and something you want to work is a good way to approach your search.
Order Multiple Sizes
Ordering the size your normally wear and a size up or down depending on how the designer’s size run is always a good idea. You will have options once the clothes arrive, and remember there’s no difference in returning 1 item or 4.
Read the Reviews & Descriptions
Stores do an excellent job of providing the consumer with the information they need to make an educated purchase. Some detail the measurements of the model as well as letting you know what size she is wearing.
You can read others reviews so you know if the item actually looks like the photo and if it runs true to size.
Finding the Deals
My favorite part of shopping online are the SALES!!!! My rule is never pay full price (unless you HAVE too!!)
Sales Are ALL Around
When you shop online you can always find something on sale, which is not always the case when you walk into a store. Online stores will always have a “sale section” no matter when you’re shopping. Start in that section before browsing through the regular priced items.
You can add yourself to a store’s email list and they may give you 10% off your first purchase. If you really want to save, search for additional discounts by Googling the store’s name and “coupons” or “discount code”. You often will find coupon codes for free shipping or even a percentage off your purchase. If I see something a full price item that I really want, I will Google it to see if other stores have it on sale.
I know you have seen the commercials and probably thought it was a scam, but trust me it’s not. Ebates shares their affiliate savings with you in the form of cash back payments sent right to your PayPal account. Remember to go to Ebates before you shop or download the Wiki buy chrome extension and it will notify you of savings while you shop and search for better prices once you add the item to your cart.
Sites like Gilt launch daily sales offering well-known brands at 40-70% off. The catch is that these deals only last for 2 days and with limited merchandise, there is a high sell out chance. These sites give you the opportunity to buy items that you want, at a cost you can afford.
The Art of Returning
Now, as much as I am an advocate of online shopping, not every purchase will be perfect, so that brings me to…THE RETURN.
Unless you are saving it for a special occasion, if you haven’t worn it within weeks of purchasing, it probably won’t be worn so, Return it. The returning process for shopping online is not as bad as you think, and is often quite easy.
In Store Returns
When you buy online you can usually return to the store. This will save you the effort of packaging it up and going to the post office. This method will also get the funds credited back to your account quicker.
If going to the store seems like a hassle, then just send the items back in their original packaging. Some stores will even pay for your return shipping cost, saving you time and money. Be sure to pay attention to the time frame for returns, sale items may have a limited window.