We're all used to buying items online, and if you're like me it's fairly often.
We grab our stationery online, order cards, send flowers and buy our groceries - it's nothing new. As a sad result, traditional stores have been suffering, unable to compete with technology.
Yet one area some of us still hesitate about buying online is with fashion. Admittedly, there is good reason for that. It's a lot easier to go to a store and try something on then and there rather than making best guesses based off website photos. Easier in one sense, that is. You're still going to have to set aside a huge amount of time, deal with other customers and risk what you want being out of stock.
So rather than continue to be held back, before you buy online, run through these questions in your mind. If you're happy with the answers, then you'll well-equipped to deal with any issues they might present.
"Have I checked the size guide?"
Every online clothing store will have a size guide. This gives you exact measurements for what they consider to be each size. Don't assume that all stores are the same; they fluctuate wildly, with some vanity sizing in there too. Always check the guide against your own measurements.
"Have I checked the returns policy?"
Many online stores have got fantastic returns policies - it's one of their ways of dealing with online shopping concerns. You'll need to be aware of the policy for the next question.
"Have I ordered two of everything fitted?"
There are some items you can get away with ordering just one of - T-shirts, for example, or flip flops. Anything that isn't designed to be too closely matched to your body shape. But for shirts, skirts and anything along those lines, ordering two is a good bet. The same applies to shoes.
You don't have to keep both pairs, of course - that why you checked the returns policy. Buy two around the same size you usually buy, so you can compare the fit. Then, return the one that doesn't fit so well. Online stores know people do this and don't object to it, so long as you look after the clothes and don't remove labels.
"Have I checked to see if I can get money off?"
Say you're buying a new fantastic pair of shoes. You're at the checkout, ready to make the precious yours, but don't click submit yet. A quick online search with wording such as “Famous Footwear Coupon Codes” will return any available codes, which can save you a huge amount on your purchase.
"Am I ready to pay with a credit card?"
We're not encouraging spending on credit here, but there are more benefits when you pay by credit. Your provider can help resolve any issues, so it's worth doing for a store you have never used before. Just set aside the money in cash ready to pay the bill as soon as you get it, or risk being charged interest.
Asked those questions and got satisfactory answers? Buy away, and enjoy your new purchase!