Online shopping is fast, efficient and easy – that’s why we love it! You can find almost anything on the internet today, and yes, it does make life so much easier. Who knew we’ll one day be able to shop a whole new wardrobe from the comfort of our own couch? But, as amazing as that may sound, there are a few things to look out for and be wary of before you hit “check out”. It’s good to be in-the-know about how certain websites and online stores work, otherwise you could easily cheat yourself into debt or a bad purchase which is non-refundable…
Take a look at these nine tips from the Woman & Home team that will leave you shopping online like a pro in no time!
1 Do lots of research
Search for items on different online stores and compare quality, price and the overall look. Besides comparing the actual item, also take into consideration how long delivery time is, the all important return policy, the overall experience you get from an online store as well as customer feedback.
2 Shop sales first
We all want to save a little where we can and as much as we like to treat ourselves every now and again, why not do it guilt-free? Buying sale items is a great way of saving money, plus you will get to understand what it is you really want.
3 Investigate the website and it’s items
Look at what the item is made off, how popular it is among other users and what brand it’s representing. These factors play an important role in the quality and what you can expect.
Top tip: Dig deep into the website, have a look at customer reviews, comments and past experiences. Educate yourself on how trustworthy an online store is or isn’t.
4 Sizing and size charts
Knowing if you’re a small, medium or large is not enough. You need to be more specific… know your waist, leg length, height, bust area, hip, and shoulder length. This will help you determine exactly how a garment is going to fit and sit on your body. You don’t want any surprises!
5 Return policy
Almost all stores and online stores have a return policy. The most common policy is 30 days. Make sure you find out what the terms and conditions are when returning an item and don’t forget that all items aren’t returnable. Items like underwear, bikinis, and certain sale items are mostly bought on a no return policy – make sure you know exactly how it works. If you’re familiar with these policies, don’t be afraid of not taking an item because you’re unsure of how it might fit – buy it and if it doesn’t work, return it within the stipulated time frame, you are guaranteed your money back.
6 Fill your wishlist
This is the most fun part of online shopping! Fill your wishlist or cart with anything you might buy and after you’re done with your selections, break it down. Remove the items you feel you don’t really need and watch how your total amount decreases.
7 Sign up to newsletters
Keep up to date. Newsletters tell you when there’s a sale coming up, when new products have been launched plus you can even get coupons or codes to redeem a free item or some kind of incentive which makes online shopping so much more fun. Keep your inbox flowing.
8 Set a budget
No-one likes overspending and realising you’ve gone overboard when it’s too late. Don’t put yourself in a situation that will make you feel less than you should! Be straight and set a budget at the get-go when shopping online. Keep this budget in mind when editing your cart and looking at certain prices. Adjust your price scale to help you get what you need but under a certain amount.
9 Stick to brands you know
If you purchase items from familiar brands, you already know what size fits your body shape. And, this is a bonus… besides knowing the brands, keep to local online stores so you can avoid extra costs that you didn’t account for, or surprise garments.
By Fashion Assistant, Tiamara Naidoo
A fashion design graduate and the current fashion editor for Woman&Home magazine. She is a creative soul who thinks fashion should be an expression of one’s imagination, also she’s a self-proclaimed fashion guru.