I thought I'd switch things up a bit today and create a little guide with my best online shopping tips! Online shopping is one of the greatest things about the internet you guys and if you haven't hopped on board yet I think now is the time. Believe me, I understand being hesitant. When I worked at Gap for 3 and half years the thought of online shopping for clothes made me cringe. I told people I had to try things on and I liked to feel the materials, etc, etc. Now 2 years later, I own an online clothing boutique. Somewhere along the lines I made the switch and while I still enjoy going to a store or the mall every once in a while, online is where I primarily shop.
Here are a few tips I have for making your online shopping experience more simple and enjoyable!
- First and foremost, you need to know your body. If you are unsure of your measurements, take the 5 minutes to figure them out, write them down and keep them by your computer in case you're ever unsure of an item and need to look at a sizing guide. A great resource for figuring out your body measurements is right here.
- Which leads me to #2, which is USE the sizing guide! It's 2015 and at this point every online shop should have one. They're usually located at the bottom (footer) of the site. And now that you have your measurements taken, figuring out your size should be a breeze!
- If you are still super hesitant about what size you should order you have two simple options. Look at the size of the store/site you are shopping. If it's a retail giant like Gap, Kohls, Target, J. Crew, etc. your best bet is to order two sizes. This may even qualify you for free shipping and most giant stores offer free shipping on returns or easy in-store returns. Then you can try both sizes on in the comfort of your home and figure out which one fits best. If you're shopping at a smaller and independent site/store find their contact info and shoot them an email with your sizing questions. People have emailed me before wanting confirmation on a size from Woodbury Lane and I am always very honest with them. Most people who work in retail have had experience and are pretty great a pegging someone else's size after a few months of getting familiar with their product.
- Get on their list! You probably know what stores you love to shop at and as soon as you discover new stores online that fit your style the first thing you should do is sign up for their email lists. Mosts sites will have an offer of some sort just for joining their list and if not, you'll now receive emails for when the DO have a sale or special offer that might even be exclusive to their email list! If you use Gmail it's very easy to just create a new folder or inbox for these emails. Or you can just look at the "promotions" folder if you keep your inboxes on default.
- Sign up for Ebates. This doesn't exactly make your experience easier, but it is beneficial! Ebates is a cash back site that is simple to use. Once you've signed up you just type the store that you want to shop into the search engine (not every single site one the internet is partnered with Ebates, but a LOT of them are). If you see your site, click it and it will tell you what the cash back percentage is that day (usually between 2 & 10%). It will also tell if you if there are any active coupon codes. Then just click "shop now" and it will take you to the site linked through Ebates and when you make a purchase you'll receive cash back. It is not immediate, but it adds up on your Ebates account and then they send you a check every few months! I've saved over $100 by using this cash back site. How many stores give you cash back in person? In my experience so far, none.
That's all for today…my best practices for shopping online! If you have any questions or more suggestions please please let me know! You can leave 'em in the comments below ↓ or shoot me an email :)