We love the benefits of buying online – convenience, choice, savings etc – but what we definitely don’t like is the hassle of returning things. Returns due to retailer’s errors can’t be helped but there are mistakes you can avoid when placing your order and some tips and tricks for getting it right.
1. Be Sure of Your Exact Measurements
You won't be able to try that new t-shirt, jeans, or anything else you're buying, so make sure that you know your measurements. This in itself doesn’t guarantee success because sizes will always vary depending on the brand. It is therefore important to take note of your waist, hips, and inseam quite regularly. The measurements you took last month may not be valid today. So, make sure to know your measurements and update them often.
2. Check the Size Charts
Once you know your measurements, compare it with the size guide provided by the brand you're buying. Don't always assume that "Large" is always large enough for you. Don't always rely on a site-wide chart – it won't always be perfect. Check the sizing chart for the item you're buying to get something that fits you perfectly.
3. Read the Reviews
Even if you really like a pair of jeans, blouse, jacket, or coat, be sure to read customer reviews before you take the plunge. It is a good idea to read reviews about the product you're going to buy as well as the reviews about the store in general. Those reviews will help you understand what to expect in terms of fit, size, and quality of material.
4. Know the Materials
One of the rules of knowing how to buy clothes online is being able to differentiate between materials. Obviously, you cannot touch the fabric to experience how it feels, so it pays to know a bit about the fabric content. Go to your closet and find what feels great and what feels stuffy, itchy, or uncomfortable. Learn about their material compositions and use that as a reference point when shopping online. Also, know any other special information about the proper care of something you want to buy. You can only dry clean certain items, while others are hand-wash only, which may influence your decision.
5. See It in Action
It simply means to go have a look at the catwalk to see a particular piece in action. Several online stores now let you check videos where models would walk the walk wearing something you're about to order. Be sure to check that video before you click "Buy".
6. Be Ready to Adjust
Remember, you will have to be a wee bit flexible when shopping online because the way those colors appear on your monitor may not be the same in reality. Of course, you don't have to keep anything that shows a huge difference from the original image, but a slight difference is usually present.
7. Check Return Policies
No matter how careful you are about sizing, colors, materials, and everything else, you may still feel disappointed your item arrives. You will have to return it, which may not always be possible if the store has included something tricky in the return policy. Know if a store allows for exchange, free returns, etc., and if they have any restocking fee.
8. Take Note
If you've been shopping online for some time now, it will always help to make notes on retailers, brands, and designers you've bought from before. Knowing how different items from different brands fit will make future purchases a lot easier.
9. Check Your Cart Again
Okay, so you've finally reached the last stage, but before you check out and confirm your order, it pays to check your cart again and edit if required. It is so easy to make impulse purchases when shopping online. Be sure to check your cart again to avoid buying stuff you'll regret later.
As shopping online becomes more and more prominent it’s important we remain website retailing savvy. Let us know your internet buying disasters.