How to Shop Online for Clothes

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

--Guest Post By Marcela De Vivo

Buying your clothing online is an excellent way to save time, money and energy. However, making sure you know what you’re buying will be right for you can be considerably more difficult. There are also other variables that can make your online shopping experience less pleasurable, so before you click the buy button, make sure you do your research.

Know Your Size
When you buy clothes online you obviously don’t have the opportunity to try them on before you take them home. That doesn’t mean that you have to just randomly purchase something that may or may not fit you when it arrives in the mail.

Before you order, check your measurements to see what size you really are using a flat measuring tape and compare that with the specifications of the piece of clothing that you’re buying. Knowing your exact size at the time you place the order can help reduce returns and ensure a proper fit.

Buy Familiar Items and Brands
If you’re ordering simple, basic items like a pair of blue jeans, consider ordering a pair of jeans made by a brand that you already own to avoid drastic size differences, which can occur from manufacturer to manufacturer. For example, if you know your size in Levi’s jeans, check the size and order a pair in a new style in the same waist size and length.

While there are going to be variations in the fit because of the style, those variations are going to be small. Buying familiar brands online can save you a considerable amount of money over buying from retail and department stores in some cases.

Ask the Seller
Buying vintage and used clothing items has become very common, especially on auction sites like eBay. However, since you’re dealing with an individual instead of a store, you may not be able to determine if an item will fit you properly or not. Ask the seller to make a few basic measurements to see if they match your own.

You may have to tell the seller how to measure the clothes for you to see if they fit, but buying online through private sellers is often worth the extra trouble in savings if you’re buying used items that were very expensive when they were new or rare, hard-to-find vintage items.

Check the Return Policy
Most online stores allow returns within a certain time period, most of them similar to their major competition – physical retail and department stores. However, not all online stores have the same return policies, and in some cases, you may be responsible for the return shipping or have to pay a restocking fee if you get the wrong size or don’t like the item once you see it in person.

Always check the return policy before you buy anything online. If you’re buying on eBay, you’ll need to check the seller’s return policy on each item that you buy. Typically, eBay sellers will allow returns if you pay the return shipping cost, though the time frame for making returns varies.

is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, California. She writes on variety of topics including beauty, fashion, hair products, and health care.