After many frustrating experiences with online shopping I thought it might be helpful to share the 5 key things I will never forget to check when shopping online. Please share any other learning experiences you’ve had too – I think it would be helpful for us all – right?
1. Check the Fit – seriously – a size 8 is not necessarily a size 8 — just like in the stores, only you have the added advantage of being able to try things on. Most sites have measurement charts so you can easily compare to their sizing. I find this really helpful for inseams as well — those too can vary based on online retailer, a lot.
2. Know their Shipping Policies - including returns — I’ve been shopping lately where in big bold blue colored letters FREE SHIPPING only to find out I had to buy a blue T-shirt along with my order, and so on — frustrating! And really be careful with returns, especially if you think you can return your purchase at a local store – not always the case, just make sure to check.
3. Stick to Simple Shapes and Designs – it just makes it easier to buy online, less room for error. I’ve recently purchased some knit yoga pants that have been fabulous — a non-brand name too! I used to think that buying brands online you were sure to get the best quality and best fit . . . not always the case.
4. Watch for the Add-On’s — Man, I really got nailed on this. I bought airline tickets and for $50 off you could signup for this coupon deal, with option to cancel it right away so you wouldn’t get charged . . . well, guess who forgot to cancel??? Heck, took forever to get the charge off my card!
5. Guarantees - something else I’ve found not to be really beneficial when shopping online. Typically there are all of these underlying clauses attached to the warranties & guarantees — no question, this can be true when you’re buying products in a store but at least you have a salesperson that will hopefully spell everything out for you — sometimes the details of guarantees and warranties are more easily understood when listened to than when read.
I love the internet and the ability to buy at a whim, but I think it is important to be careful — the impersonal aspect of online shopping makes it easier to get taken, or at least not understand the full context of our purchases.
So, any words of wisdom you’d like to share?