Shopping online is nothing new, but not everyone knows there is etiquette for buying online. When it comes to online clothes shopping, what do e-stores have over real stores? They are open 24/7, you have access to a vast array of inventory and sizes, you can compare pricing in an instant and best of all you can even MAKE money by selling your gently used and pre-loved items to other cyber-savvy shoppers “ all without getting out of your pj’s! Here are a few basic tips for smart online shopping:
Do your research
The internet is a powerful price-matching tool “ use it! It only takes moments to search the item you want to purchase in order to compare price, shipping fees, measurements and quality. Not only does this give you the opportunity to read consumer reviews and see what other choices you may have, but it helps to avoid buyer’s remorse by giving you the time to seriously consider your purchase. Explore your options, it’s half the fun!
Read the fine print!
Usually, when you buy online you are entering into a contract with the seller. That $9 LuLu Lemon tank top isn’t such a great deal if it turns out the seller wants you to pay $100 in shipping & handling charges. Be sure you know what your obligations are (how soon you have to pay, what currency you’re shopping in, what method of payment is accepted) before buying or bidding. It’s just as important to be aware of what the seller agrees to do for you (who is responsible for expenses over and above the item cost , how soon they will ship your item, whether they accept returns).
Only order from secure sites using a credit card with a low limit, that way it’s easy to identify any fraudulent charges (and most credit card companies will allow you to contest an unknown charge). Don’t share personal information like social insurance numbers, birthdays, passwords or credit card numbers. Using a service like Paypal can help protect your banking details.
Print or save an electronic copy of all order confirmations and payment receipts. Even if you are diligent in investigating the ratings and reviews of online stores to try to ensure you are buying from reputable sellers, there may come a time when you need backup. Until you have your product in-hand, keep a copy of all transaction records. It’s no secret that retail stores mark up their products in order to offset costs such as storefront lease costs, employee wages and advertising expenses. E-stores are often able to offer the same products at a discount because there are very few overhead costs for online entrepreneurs. This means they can maximize their profit margins while minimizing the cost to the consumer (that’s you!). So make the most of the virtual mall at your fingertips! (Slippers optional).