No longer do we have to brave crowded shopping malls, struggle to reach high-hung tops and wait in long checkout lines. (dry cleaners 10028). As children of the digital age, we now have the option to spare ourselves the hassle of shopping in-store by purchasing clothing online.
Of course, shopping online does come with its own fair share of challenges. When ordering clothes with an online retailer, it can be easy to select the wrong size, misjudge quality or choose an unflattering fit. You can avoid online shopping blunders with these eight indispensable tips:
1. Make a list
Just as with shopping in-store, shopping online can lead to impulse buys if you don't have a clear idea of what you are shopping for. Before kicking off your digital shopping expedition, make a list of items and gifts you need. Not only will a clear plan of action help you keep from becoming overwhelmed with choices, it will help you determine where to begin.
2. Know your size
The first step to finding the perfect fit is determining what your perfect fit is. Dig up a soft measuring tape and write down your shoulder chest, bust, waist, arm length, inseam and shoe measurements. To ensure you get the most accurate numbers, you might want to ask a friend to help you out.
3. Check out the sizing information
Remember, there are no universal sizing standards among different brands. One manufacturer's small could be another's large. One brand's size 2 could be another's size 6. To help avoid confusion, most online retailers – including Nordstrom, Gap, Macy's and Overstock – have sizing guides for their merchandise. Familiarize yourself with a retailer's sizing policy to determine what size will fit your figure best.
4. Read Reviews
Do your research before purchasing an item. Check out product reviews listed on the retailer's site, as well as consumer reviews on Amazon. Customer reviews will give you an idea of an item's material, quality and fit.
5. Hunt for deals
You may be able to find the exact same item at a different retailer for a different price – for instance, you might find that one site offers the same floral top at half the price offered at another. Try typing the product name and information into Google to compare pricing from different retailers. Hunt down promo codes and coupons on deal-offering sites to stack your savings.
6. Note shipping policies
Be wary of shipping costs – one retailer might offer an awesome deal on one item, but then hit you with a hefty shipping fee. Remember to take shipping costs into consideration before making a purchase. Some retailers offer free shipping, and many offer free shipping if you order over a certain amount. To save on delivery, try to buy multiple items from the same retailer whenever possible.
7. Note return policies
Sometimes, you can follow all these steps and still be disappointed when your new clothes arrive. That's why it's a good idea to note the return policy of a retailer before clicking "place order". If you shop at an online store with a straightforward return policy, you could save yourself a lot of hassle down the road. Retailers like Nordstrom, Amazon and Zappos will let you return items for a full refund, and even sometimes cover return shipping costs.
8. Prioritize security
Whenever you use a credit card to shop online, it's important to take steps to protect your identity from hackers. To identify and sidestep traps, follow these rules of thumb:
- Buy from trusted brands. Limit your online shopping to established retailers, and avoid shopping at brands you've never heard of and on sites that look dicey. Researching retailers online is a good way to determine whether a site is trustworthy or not.
- Stick to verified sites. Before entering credit card information, double check to confirm the checkout page address starts with "https://". The "s" after the http indicates that a site transfers data through a secure connection.
- Check your credit card statement often. After making a purchase online, keep a close eye on your credit card statements for the subsequent two weeks. Watch for unknown or suspicious charges, and call the credit card company immediately if you spy something fishy. With most cards, you only have up to 60 days to dispute a transaction.
- Update antivirus and malware protection. Antivirus and malware software can help find and eradicate viruses and spyware that can steal your personal information. Be sure to frequently check for updates to ensure you've got the latest version.
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