5 Tips for Shopping Online

by - April 10, 2020

I do probably 65 percent of my shopping online. As much as I like shopping in stores and supporting local businesses, I can't deny the convenience of shopping from home. In addition to the convenience, there's often a greater selection to choose from online than at my local stores, and when it comes to clothing both my husband and I need special sizes (tall and petite) that are rarely found in stores.

With the current state of the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping has become even more common, with many smaller stores finally joining the fray. Many people who have studiously avoided buying anything online now find themselves with no other option. But before you click "BUY," there are some things you should do first.

Shop Familiar Brands
If you have a favorite store that you visit in person, start there first. They'll have all your favorite brands and you won't have to worry about sizing or quality. Even if you're shopping on Amazon, you can search for your favorite brands.

Don't Skip the Product Descriptions
If you decide to try a new or unfamiliar brand, make sure you check out the size chart as well as the product description. There you'll find valuable information like what the item is made of, if the waist is elastic, if the zipper is exposed or hidden, and measurements. All of this will help you choose the correct size and give you an idea of how well it will hold up.

Read the Reviews
Sometimes product descriptions aren't accurate. That's where customer reviews come in, especially the negative ones. The first thing I check is that a majority of the reviews are positive. Even so, I still read the reviews to see if there are any sizing anomalies. If only one person had a sizing issue, it was probably a fluke, but if most of the reviewers say they had to size up, you probably should as well.

Use Coupons/Rewards
I don't buy anything without first checking to see if there's a discount I can apply. From Old Navy Super Cash to VIP programs, there are tons of ways to make the most of your online shopping trip. I also recommend Honey, which will automatically search for the best deals, even on Amazon.

Understand the Return Policy
Sometimes, even after you've consulted the product description and customer reviews, what you ordered just doesn't work. Before you click the buy button, make sure you understand the return policy. Many places offer free returns, but not every item is always included and there are often limits on how long you can keep an item before sending it back.

I hope this makes shopping online a little easier for some of you. Which of these do you already do, and which will you start doing more of? What are your best tips for shopping online?

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