Smarter Online Shopping

Our busy schedules have made online shopping very popular and convenient, even if you’re buying items from a local store. It’s almost too easy to click a button and wait until the package arrives, except when you find out that your purchase doesn’t work for you in person. Through research and some good old-fashioned trial and error, I’ve found a few tips to help keep you from experiencing online buyer’s remorse.

Shop Local Online

OakAndLace2Most locally-owned boutiques have an online presence; try liking their pages on social media sites for special deals and upcoming sale alerts. Plus, their representatives are normally very responsive and will hold items for you in store if you need to pick it up that day. They can also give you information about an item’s sizing if you choose to have it shipped to your home. Buying from a nearby location also makes returning a purchase easier, especially if you can exchange it in store for a more suitable option.

Know Your Numbers

While sizes such as S, M ,L and 4, 8 ,12 can be subjective, the actual numeric measurements of your body are not. For this reason it can be useful to keep a flexible measuring tape – the ones usually meant for sewing – on hand. Most websites provide a size chart with the corresponding dimensions for particular pieces. And be honest with yourself – if an item doesn’t provide the stretch that you personally find comfortable, it may be necessary to order outside your normal size range.

Check Your Email

Signing up for your favorite stores’ emails is an easy, reliable way to receive discount codes and early access to sales. Most will offer you a percentage off your first-time purchase upon registration, and you can always unsubscribe or change your email preferences afterward. Sites often follow a schedule when sending out coupons to their subscribers and knowing their patterns can help to save you money. These emails help to keep you informed of new arrivals and styles, too.

Do Your Research

CreativeDesignsRead reviews! They may not all be accurate, and some may be biased, but if there’s a consensus on whether an item runs small or if the color is different in person, you’ll be better off by having read through the comment section. Also, be sure to look at the shipping and returns policies of the retailer, as some can have less than buyer-friendly stipulations. Most sites will go out of their way to keep a customer though, so there’s no harm in contacting their service department if you have an issue.

Use Common Sense

This particular section isn’t limited to online shopping, and these are all things I’m guilty of. First, shopping smarter involves having a list. Searching for a specific item with purpose insures you aren’t spending money for the thrill of having something new. Second, don’t buy items just because they’re on sale. If you didn’t want it or wouldn’t buy it at full price, most likely you won’t wear it enough to justify the purchase. And last, most of the time you get what you pay for. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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