Shopping online definitely has its benefits — no need to wait in line, leave the house or even change out of your clothes. And while it comes with a lengthy list of pros, it can have a few drawbacks too… like those killer jeans arriving three sizes too small. To save yourself time and aggravation (think: no returns or nasty surprises), read up on our quick tips for online shopping. Use these the next time you go on a shopping spree, and you won’t be disappointed with your order.
1. Know your measurements. By now, we all know that sizes vary depending on the brand and even the batch the products were made in. This is easily navigated in-store by taking a quick trip to the dressing room, but with online shopping, you don’t have that luxury. Unless the store you’re buying from uses True Fit, you’re going to need to whip out the ‘ol measuring tape and take note of your bust, waist, hips and inseam. Not sure where to begin? Check out this guide or head to your local tailor or seamstress and have them do it for you. This ensures that you’ll get the most accurate measurements possible.
2. Check the Size Charts. Before you head to the virtual checkout, see how your handy new measurements stand up to the site’s size chart to help determine what you should actually be ordering. Measurements matter—and it will save you a ton of time if you click over to confirm the size of your bust, waist and hips against the store’s sizing charts. there’s a link to them right next to the item you’d like to buy.
3. Read the reviews. Customer reviews are extremely valuable pieces of info, since they give you real perspective on the piece you’re considering. Scan for comments touching on size, fit and quality of material to get a better idea of whether an item fits true to size, or if you’ll need to size up or down. While the piece may look on point in the photo, it might end up being tight in the bust and awkwardly loose through the hips, or any other less-than-fab combination.
4. THE ONLINE RETURN POLICY BEFORE YOU BUY
You meant to get to the post office this past Saturday and send back those returns, but life happened and you didn’t make it. Now you just found out returns are allowed only within ten days (the worst). Even if you’re fairly certain you’ll make a swift decision about your purchase, take the time to browse the return policy just to be sure you know all the ins and outs. Some policies are more liberal than others, of course, but it’s better to have all that info before you put your credit card down.