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Okay….if you haven’t already picked this up from any of my previous posts, I’m just going to put it out here now…I LOVE to SHOP!! It is hands down one of my absolute favorite past times. Seriously, if you ever need a buddy and you call me to go shopping…I’m there! Grocery shopping…window shopping...shoe shopping…it’s all good to me. I am the self-professed “Queen of Lookie-Loo” and I just like to shop. Especially, over the internet! Honestly, at this point in my life with just so much going on, at least 85% of my shopping is done over the internet. With so many retailers offering crazy online sales, super speedy delivery, and easy return policies, online shopping is a frugalista’s paradise! I honestly, couldn’t afford NOT to shop online…
However, online shopping can also be a very stressful experience. There are a lot of options, temptation, and certainly room for error. Trust me, there is definitely an art to online shopping! So, when I recently received a few emails from folks asking me for some retail recommendations, I figured I would share this info with the whole crew!
Since I’ve spent more than half of my life working in retail, I am a serious stickler when it comes to actually dropping my hard earned coins on a purchase. I’m all about getting the best bang for my buck, and I will scour the internet for HOURS like a fiend looking to score the perfect find. So, today I wanted to share with you my top (5) helpful tips to online shopping like a pro:
1. Create a special email account for mailing lists.
The best way to insure that you never miss out on another sale, and are up-to-date with the ins and outs of your favorite store is to sign up for their mailing lists. Upside: you’re in the loop to what’s going on…Downside: retailer emails tend to fill up your mailbox pretty quickly. So, it is best to create an email address that you will ONLY use on shopping sites. This will allow you to swiftly browse through any current offers and deals, while keeping your other email accounts clutter free.
For me, one of the biggest benefits to online shopping is the ability to compare similar items at a ton of different retailers to find the best bargain. I love being able to get a quick visual of how much an item is currently selling for among a group of stores. This will often narrow down my search and it insures that I am scoring the item at the best price.
If I am looking for something specific, I like to browse for items using Shopstyle.com. Shopstyle is the mecca of all shopping search engines and allows you to search for millions of items on one site. You can search by designer, item, color, price, etc. I’m telling you, seek and ye shall find…and I guarantee no more wasted trips to the mall!
3. Pay Attention To The Details!
Reviewing the specific details of an item will almost always guarantee a successful online shopping experience. I am adamant about reviewing the sizing, the materials, and care instructions of a garment before making an online purchase. For example, size ranges tend to differ from one brand to the next. So, it is always nice to have some working knowledge of the brand that you are purchasing. Looking at the care instructions of a garment may also impact your purchase. For instance, you may not want to spend a lot of money on an item that must be hand-washed or dry-cleaned-only. I also love to read the customer reviews. Reviews on a product will give you a general idea of what can be expected of an item, and they can be a great help in the decision making process as far as fit and durability are concerned.
4. Be Clear On The Return Policy
The return policy is a very important aspect to online shopping. Since you are not physically able to inspect a garment or a product when you’re shopping online, there is a chance that you may not like what you actually receive once it arrives. So, you want to be very clear on the options that are available to you.
Some questions to consider: Are returns accepted? For how long? Will you get a credit, cash or exchange only? Must you pay the shipping costs? A restocking fee? Can you return it in-store? You definitely do not want to get stuck with an items that you don’t want or need, so make sure that you know the brand’s policy before you make any purchases!
5. Review Coupon Sites
When you’re shopping online, it always pays to do a little extra research for sales and deals before you actually check out with your goodies. This is how I usually end up scoring big on a purchase. Before checking out of a store, I always search coupon sites such as RetailMeNot.com or CouponCabin to find extra discount codes for a wide variety of online retailers. This is especially helpful when a particular store is not necessarily advertising a sale, but of course you’ve found a ton of great stuff to buy…Ladies, you know how that goes..*wink*
Now, that you’re officially armed and ready..Happy Shopping NautieGirlz and be sure to let us know how it goes!
Which of these tips do you find to be most important? Do you have any of your own online shopping tips to share? Sharing is caring and we’d love to hear from you!