Online shopping has been increasing in popularity and is now more accessible than ever with smartphones, various apps, and the ease of the internet in general. With more and more people favoring this mode of shopping how can you be sure you are making the best choice and getting the most for your dollar? We've compiled a master list of dos and don'ts to shop smarter online.
Read the reviews.
This may seem obvious, but reviews are the most helpful tool in online buying. Not only can in it clue you in to whether most costumers are left satisfied, but they can help save you a headache on even awesome products by giving sizing advice, unretouched photos of the products, and more. Be sure to look out for the 5-star reviews that clearly state they recieved the product for free in exchange for a review—these reviews can boost an otherwise "meh" product's rating significantly.
Look for coupon codes.
If you're making your purchase without checking out sites like Retail Me Not for coupon codes, or using browser add-ons like Honey to automatically apply available discounts, you're missing out.
Check the return policy.
Don't commit to something you can't return! Do you get fully or partially reimbursed, an in-store credit, or can you only exchange sizes? Also, check the policy once the products arrive in case they must be returned in original packaging or there is a time limit on return products.
What are the shipping costs?
Online shopping can be difficult to resist and with many companies offer free shipping when you spend over a certain amount on items, it just got harder. This could be beneficial but it is easy to go overboard because of this offering. Are you really saving money by purchase $30 more than you need when shipping would only cost $5? Also consider the timing when buying online, don't wait until the last minute and have to pay additional for next day shipping.
Do you have to pay for return shipping?
This might make you think twice about making frivolous purchases and might have you reconsidering the company. Why would you choose to pay for return shipping when you can return to the company's nearby store?
Is it more effective to buy multiple sizes?
In the case of free shipping and return shipping or returning to the store, more options tend to be better than less. This is especially the case when shopping for occasions that are quickly approaching, or a free shipping option when purchasing a certain amount.
Check the fiber content.
The most disappointing aspect of shopping online is not being able to feel the product before purchasing. How do you know if it will arrive as you pictured it when buying? The fiber content of a garment is huge and can make or break the sale, purchase purposely by comparing the fiber content listed on site with garments you already own. Doing so gives you a better idea of how the item with look on the body, the comfort of it, and how to properly care for it.