Online shopping has always helped me keep my sanity intact. With a busy 9-5 job life and family responsibilities, I often had no time even in the evenings to head over to the mall even if its 5 minutes away from me to checkout my favorite stores and get some shopping done. Have you been on the same boat? I always found it super annoying looking for a parking spot in the mall which no matter what time you go always seemed full. And then if you accidentally had a return, then it felt even worse and like a waste of time.
If you are lucky enough to get through all those obstacles, and you step into the store, all you see is pile of clothes hung together and you literally have no idea what you should or should not buy. I know you could try on those pieces, but if you are like me who does not wear loungewear, that becomes another big problem all together. Moreover, nothing hanging on the racks look cute. I always think that retail stores need to come up with a better merchandizing plan for displays that will truly attract consumers. Anyways, this post is not about that. And honestly, if you somehow manage to find what you were looking for, they dont have the size that you are looking for and you end up making an online order at the cash register anyways. I have faced this for years, and slowly my shopping habit shifted to online. And now, I feel lost when I go to a retail store to buy something.
During this time of our lives when retail shopping is not possible anymore, I wanted share some tips that you can use for you next online shopping for clothes that will really help you in reducing your returns and save time and money. These are little things that have made a huge difference in my overall shopping experience.
Tip#1 - Check The Return Policy
With all the social media ads, we now can find some really cool stores with cool clothes and we instantly hit that buy button and then dont realize that store has a no refund or exchange policy I have really been burnt by that too.
I always check the return policy to see whats there return policy is, and a bonus tip here, check there Shipping page. A lot stores will tell you what there shipping window is and if you are really in a hurry of getting that item and the store does not ship in 2 or 3 days, you probably wont get that item soon enough. That will help you save money and headache of returns.
Tip #2 - Do Your Research
I really always thought that doing a google search with words like white t shirt will give me the best result. But honestly guys isn’t not.
Most of the time google search will only show stores that you have recently visited or based on your search history, so it will show you stores that you are most likely to buy from and they might not have the best clothing item always. Its something I know being in the tech industry myself.
There are plenty of sites like Shopstyle, Lyst, Shoedazzle and so on that are marketplace sites that are experts of finding cool pieces that we need. Checkout an article here about them.
Tip#3 - Don't Be fooled By The Picture
The Pictures of the outfits will always look stunning, because the brand is paying for that full experience. And everything that you look at will just look stunning. But it will not look the same on me for sure.
When I look at the model, it makes it easier to picture the outfit style and how you might style it. But paying attention to the details like, if this top is so fitted at the top for the model, it will look really tight on me, because I have fuller chest than her for sure. Also, if the dress is super short, you might not at all feel comfortable in it even though it looks super cute on the model.
Tip#4 - Check The Size Chart Always
This is something you definitely need to always do because every brand has a different sizing guide.
Using a tailors tape will ease the measurement process because you can use that to measure yourself as well and see if that size will fit you.
A lot of stores, do also have an international size conversions, pay attention to that. There is also a trick that I use to see if a piece will fit me perfectly, check what the model is wearing, if a model is wearing a medium, then that clothing piece might be running smaller for you.
Tips #5 - Online Bargain Hunting
I call this online Bargain hunting. In this global shopping world, we will almost always find a better bargain somewhere else. So, dont just settle for a store and immediately buy a piece that you found and loved, lets do some bargain hunting for it.
Whenever you find a piece that you like in a store always make sure that you are looking at the best price that you can pay for it. Do a search with the product and brand name and go down the listed search history to see which store has it and see if they have a better price for it.
Tip #6 - Check The Material
You need to make sure that you are buying the full look, sometimes a garment on the model might give an impression of a certain material of fabric than its not. Chiffon and Polyesters are such great camouflages for Cotton and linen.
Always check the The Detailed Description section to know if the material is really stretchable as it appears to be or is it 100% wool as it looks like on the model. You would be surprised to find out that sometimes, the material composition is completely different than what you expected.
Tip #7 - Stop, Wait and Go
I call it the reverse traffic order because, this does save a lot of money. Always, stop before you hit checkout for any product, and think if you really need it, sometimes you will be surprised that you might not actually need that skirt or sweatpants, or you already have something different.
Make sure to watch the video where I have given specific examples to explain every tip. Hope these tips were helpful and happy Shopping.