With Thanksgiving coming up and the holiday season right around the corner, there is lots of shopping going on in the coming months. During this time especially, online shopping sales go through the roof!
However, sometimes it’s hard to gauge size and quality though a computer screen, so here are some tips so you don’t become a victim of online shopper fraud.
Online shopping is so great because it is so convenient during one of the busiest times of the year. If you’re not an online shopper already, this is a great time to start! Save time and money with this list so you know you’re getting the best bang for your buck. There are tons of great deals online that are waiting for you!
The most important tip is to use safe and well-trusted websites.
This means looking at online stores from your favorite major retailers such as Target, Amazon, and other large retail outlets. Make sure that you are using the proper domain (.com, .net, etc.) to ensure you’re not being scammed by fake lookalike websites that can trick you into buying clothes that look like the real store.
Online sites with review sections are your best friend, because they offer insight to a product’s quality, fit, and also shipping effectiveness. When buying online, I really try to choose items that have been reviewed because it is a great way to tell if a product is worth buying. Some online clothing retailers have star rating systems and “quality” ratings where users can rate the sizing of an item which can help you determine what size you should buy. A newer feature on some clothing websites is also to have an option for people to upload photos of them wearing the item, which is great so you can actually see what it looks like on a “real” human and not an edited version on a model!
This way, you know exactly what you’re buying before you buy it.
It’s also important to remember that you often get what you pay for online. That means if you are on an online site where phone cases or clothing items are $5, then the quality may not be very good. But that doesn’t mean you should count out these companies! Do your research to know you’re not getting scammed, but if you are looking for a specialty item or something cheap that you don’t necessarily need it to last a long time, there is nothing wrong with a cheaper site!
In fact, I love picking up odds and ends from these online retailers because they offer some great cheap finds.
Also, beware of coupon scams that offer free “gifts” with purchase.
Another cliché that is often true online is know what’s too good to be true. This happens on social media particularly, and if you come across an amazing deal that offers a free product with your purchase, this might not be trustworthy. These can also be “dream deals”, items that are priced much lower than they should be, which should raise a flag about whether the website is legitimate and/or authentic.
So once again make sure you are on the official site! Many sites offer great deals or discounts for first-time buyers if you sign up for their mailing list (you can always unsubscribe right after!!).
One of the best online shopping tricks is...
An extension for the Google Chrome browser called “Honey”.
It is absolutely fabulous because it automatically compares all the online discounts in one easy click. No more Googling discount codes and manually entering them one by one, because this extension compares all of the discount codes for that website all in one go and automatically applies the best one. That way, you can save time and stress knowing you got the best deal for your items!
When you open your Chrome browser, type “chrome extensions” in the search bar and when you get to that page, you can enter “Honey”, where you will see the option of adding it to your browser. Never stress about finding the right deal again!
The best way to find great online retailers is by listening to your friends. Facebook is a great tool, and I love hearing from my girls about where they come across their best finds. Plus, when you find out about online stores through word of mouth, you know other people have used them so they are reputable.
One thing I cannot stress enough is making sure they have a return policy!
This is something to ALWAYS check out because you could be stuck with something that doesn’t fit or you don’t like if you’re not careful. Lots of websites say they have free returns, but if you want to initiate a return, you have to pay for the shipping labels and the cost of the return shipping. And if it is a company that has a warehouse out of state or out of the USA, you could be forced to pay a large sum.
Unless you are absolutely positive you LOVE what you’re buying and are not going to want to return it, then make sure the site provides shipping labels.
Another thing to be cautious of is to make sure that the site provides full returns and not just a credit to the company. Or, make sure you can return your items in-store. This is a great way to take advantage of free shipping, because you can order multiple sizes or items that you can easily return if you don’t like them.
While there is nothing more annoying than buying something that doesn’t fit, I hope this list will help you eliminate your online shopping mistakes.
Oh, and before you go want to be part of my top fashion finds group? This is where we share some of our best finds online and in store for fashion, accessories, shoes and more! If so, comment in this post and I will get you connected right away!
Love + Grace,