When buying clothes online, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stores and outlets that are available at the click of a button. From retail stores to outlets to discount conglomerates, the world of online shopping is ever-expanding, and can be daunting for even a seasoned shopper to navigate. Do not be taken in by the hordes of information, though – following these simple guidelines will go a long way toward helping you find what you are looking for and make the most of your money along the way.
Credit Card Wisdom
There are several things to keep in mind when buying clothes online. First, since you will most likely be paying via a credit card (unless you shop online frequently and utilize a Paypal account or something similar), make sure that you are using a card that will maximize your usage. This could mean using a card that generates points or rewards for you, or a card that gives cash back on certain purchases. It could also mean making use of store credit cards, as they often offer special, exclusive coupons or deals to cardholders. Second, shopping online means being aware of the risks of identity theft and fraud. These risks can be minimized by shopping at verified and well-established websites, and by limiting the personal information that you give out. There are re-loadable credit cards available (Visa Green Dot cards are one of them) that function both like a debit and a credit card. In the debit sense, they are only good for the amount of money you have pre-loaded onto the card. This way if someone gets hold of the number they can only use the funds immediately available, and are not able to access free-range of your credit. In the credit sense, re-loadable cards have the ease of working anywhere that credit cards are accepted.
Shipping And Return Policies
Shopping online has another major factor: shipping and returns. It is easy to assume that buying or returning something online would function much in the same way as in a bricks-and-mortar store, however this is not always the case. Many online retailers have very detailed and specific shipping and return policies that can negatively affect you if you are not aware of them from the beginning. Be sure you know what companies they ship through before buying something, as certain freight companies only deliver to home addresses, and others ship only to PO Boxes. With returns, take the time to read the retailer’s policy very thoroughly, as there is nothing worse than thinking that something that either does not fit or is the wrong color can be returned, and then finding out that you are stuck with something you no longer want. That being said, there are online companies out there that offer wonderful shipping and return programs for their customers; if you find a retailer like this be sure to recommend them to others, as one of the reasons companies can offer great deals on those services is largely due to customer loyalty and return business volume.
Try Before You Buy
One other important factor to consider when shopping online is how to guarantee that the clothing item you purchase will match what you think you are buying – both in fit and color. One good way to boost your chances of a positive shopping experience online is to read any applicable product or company reviews. Often doing this is the only way to know how others have felt about the same product. That being said, you cannot always take reviews at face value; sometimes people can falsify reviews for ulterior motives, such as an individual hidden bias against the product or company, or some form of financial gain from submitting a glowing review. Remember to take everything – even the good – at face value when you can, while remembering that nothing is guaranteed when human consistency is involved. Another good way to try a product out before buying online is to go to an actual store near you and physically try on the item (or something close to it) for yourself. This applies easily to things such as shoes, since most shoe stores that carry name-brand footwear will have access to a similar inventory.
Finally, when it comes to buying clothes online, just remember to take your time and search out the best deals possible. The fact that you can search the web from virtually anywhere makes it so much easier to compare prices or deals than if you had to go to each individual store in person. Most online retailers offer email sign-up areas on their sites where you can opt to be included in their weekly or monthly email updates. These emails can often be good sources of exclusive coupons and insider information on upcoming sales and product releases.