One of the things about blogging is that I have become an expert at online shopping. Often companies will reach out offering a collaboration which requires me to peruse an online store or stylebook in order to determine a piece that I would want in my closet and want to write about.
In the beginning, I often ended up getting things that were ill-fitting because it is difficult to determine from an online picture of a skinny well-built model in perfect lighting how an item will look on me. But the more I practiced this art, and the more I did a little online shopping of my own, the more I’ve figured out the tricks to online shop like a pro.
How To Online Shop Like A Pro:
Take Your Measurements. A lot of people take their measurements when they are trying to lose weight, or when they are trying to figure out their body shape. But it is also a good idea to take your measurements so you know how to shop for your size. Many online stores give the measurement details of the item in question – length, inseam, waist, bust, etc… Knowing yours will help you easily determine what size you are according to that company’s standards. The first time I really took my measurements was an eye-opening experience.
Don’t Get Caught-Up on the Size. This is a good lesson in general, but especially for online shopping. Who cares if you are wearing a size 4 or a size 14? As long as the item fits you well, it doesn’t matter what that pesky little number is on the tag. And since every store, especially online retailers, have different size standards, the size isn’t really something to get caught-up on. I’ll be honest, this is one of my biggest pet-peeves! Who the heck cares what the number says if you look good?
Consider the Material. Everything looks good when professionally photographed and digitally perfected, but not every material is great. Start by taking a look at your own closet and reading the material make-up of the clothing pieces you love, and the ones you don’t. That will help you know whether you like a cotton-blend, lycra, viscose rayon, etc… Not sure what the tag is really telling you – I love this article from The Spruce: Types of Fabric A to Z.
Read the Reviews. This is a Millenial thing, but it really helps! Now, obviously reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt, but if most people say, the item runs big, or the arms seem too small, that will tell you something about the item. Maybe that means you alter the size you planned on purchasing, or maybe it’s something you can ignore based on your body shape, but it’s always good to read the reviews. For example, Once I read a review that said the item arrived smelling like a sewer. Many people commented the same thing. I ordered it anyway, and it did arrive smelling like a sewer. But one wash and it smelled great, and looked even better.
Hunt for Deals. I never make an online purchase without looking for a coupon of some sort. These days you can easily find deals, free shipping, discount codes, etc… by heading to a specific coupon site or just doing a simple internet search. For instance, recently I purchased a pair of straight-legged, high-waisted denim from Old Navy that I am obsessed with. I’d like to purchase another pair in a different shade. So, first I find the pair I want over at Old Navy and then I head to Coupon Sherpa and use an Old Navy coupon code. Score!
Consider the Return Policy. To me, this is one of the biggest deterrents to online shopping. If it is difficult to return something or costly for me to do so, I’ll try and find the item elsewhere. But if the company makes it easy-peasy to return something I don’t love, I’m more than willing to give things a try and send it back if it isn’t my cup of tea. I love companies like ShopBop, which send you the return label ready to go with the items you ordered, or companies like Amazon, which allow you to easily print a return label for the thing that needs to go back. Basically, I don’t want to waste my money sending back something I didn’t even get to enjoy in the first place.
Make Sure the Site Looks Reputable. Today it is so easy to start a website and scam the public. While most online retailers are legit, it is always good to do a little checking before purchasing from a new-to-you company. Where are they based? Do they have solid reviews outside of their site? What does their social media look like? Are there numbers to call for support? Years ago I once ordered a pair of yellow heels that I loved. The heels never arrived, but the $45 certainly left my account.
Those are my tips and tricks for how to online shop like a pro. What are yours?