In recent months, as opportunities to go out have dwindled, online shopping has become our new favourite pastime. Whether it’s beauty, clothing, footwear, jewellery or home décor, surfing the web for the latest buys is a Godsend for girls in need. We decided to compile a few basic tips and tricks that we stick to when making purchases online, to ensure we find the best out there, for as little as we can.
Make sure you’ve done your research before committing to any online purchases. Try to find out as much information about the product prior to completing your order, as to ensure that your buy is exactly what you’re after, and to bypass a return.
Sizing: In terms of sizing, use the given bust, waist and hip measurements etc., to help decide which size will be most appropriate for your body size and shape, with a tape measure. The last thing you want is to receive a piece of clothing, or pair of shoes, that are ill fitting!
Measurements: If there are no measurements provided (which is a regular occurrence on many boutique sites), contact the seller or brand personally, via email, and ask for them. It’s well worth doing so you’re not worrying about whether the product will fit or not once it arrives.
Google it: Often, the particular product you’re after may be more expensive/cheaper elsewhere. This means typing the product name and details into Google and searching around for other sites where it may be available. Don’t just settle for the first place you find it, as the same product may be available for a better price, or with cheaper postage, somewhere else.
Forums + Chat Rooms: Make use of forums and chat rooms to gain valuable information about the product. Some websites (such as ASOS and Urban Outfitters) have a live chat available during working hours, so take advantage of this. The staff are generally very helpful, and can be useful in obtaining extra details about the quality, sizing and shipping etc. Vogue forums often contain helpful information and discussions, which may be beneficial with purchases too.
Blogs: Often, bloggers will discuss certain products in their own posts, so try to source these. It may include whether they’ve found the product to wear well over time, if it runs true to size or is larger/smaller, and other places where it may be available. In regards to beauty products, vloggers sometimes review them on their Youtube accounts, and will make recommendations also.
International brands: For European or American brands (such as Zara), in many cases, postage to Australia is not available. Clever eBayers will spot the items they think will be a sell out overseas, and often put such products up for sale on their eBay accounts. If you’re unable to purchase lust-worthy items via the particular site, check eBay, as it may be available for a Buy It Now, or auction sale (and sometimes with free postage which is a bonus!).
Remakes: Be aware of (and be able to recognise) cheap, poor quality remakes of the product, and untrustworthy vendors. These may be found on shifty sites that sell normally expensive items at dirt-cheap prices – there is often a catch. Keep an eye out for such sites, as they are known to take your money without delivering the goods. They may in fact be a scam, so steer clear of giving any personal details and following through with payment.
Payment: Use a secure payment method. Where possible, use PayPal, as it is a very safe method of payment that avoids you providing personal bank details that may be exploited by the seller.
Hope you find this helpful!