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Do you shop online?

6 years ago by

Do you shop online?

I do… all the time.

I love to browse all of my favorite stores simultaneously, each with their own dedicated tab (that’s a type A personality shining through), and search for exactly what I need. It’s easier to have an objective, to shop with a purpose. When I go real-life shopping, I’m always distracted by the shiniest new thing in the store. Online shopping is so convenient and you get to try everything on in the luxury of your own home (the best!), and see what your potential new purchase looks like with everything in your wardrobe — not just what you wore out shopping that day.

But I didn’t always like shopping online. It was a lot of hit and miss for me, but I finally figured it out. Here are the rules that I live online shop by:

1. Preference brands you already own and know over new ones.
Sure, it’s always exciting to try out new labels but it’s more difficult to gauge the size. For example, I know Prada shoes are quite narrow but I have a wider foot. I’ll always go up half a size if purchasing online.

2. Check the sizing chart!
If you don’t know the label inside and out, this is the best online tool you’ve got. Companies are pretty good at staying true to what they include on their sizing chart. If they don’t have one just make a realistic judgement. I have friends who optimistically order too small and know others who order waaaay too big. Think about what size you normally pick up when you go to a store and think about whether you normally get it right. If not, change the size before ordering.

3. Know if the website will accept returns, and under what conditions.
Basically, don’t drop all of your savings on the Céline leather pants unless you know you’re safe if it doesn’t work out. This might be the most important one. I generally don’t order clothing online unless I know I can get an undisputed refund. If I’m getting something on final sale, I’m always willing to take the risk so I’m not sorely disappointed.

4. Think about shipping costs.
This can be a scary surprise, especially on sites where it varies by item such as eBay! Check what kind of shipping fee there might be if you want to make a return, too.

5. Make general searches.
You might shop at one store in real-life because you know it well, it’s close to your home and the décor is beautiful and inviting. Online, find what you like but then make a general search on google. You never know, the same thing could be on sale for 40% off elsewhere — could be your lucky day.

Do you shop online? What are your magic rules?

44 comments

Add yours
  • Je n’achète qu’en ligne ou presque !

    Bises Garance

  • I don’t shop online… I just don’t like it. Maybe I will some day. :)

  • Alejandra December, 2 2014, 12:03 / Reply

    J’ai une maladie avec le shopping online, j’ai devenue accro! :O

    Saluts du Mexico

  • I’m the one who always orders a size or two too big. It’s really difficult for me to get it right. I have a fairly narrow waist, but big hips and big boobs, plus I’m short. So ordering a bigger size always gives me the option of making some custom changes. However, sometimes there’s no chart and I will order an L just to be safe and then I try it on and it looks as if I were trying to wear a tent. Luckily in my country (Poland) it is guaranteed by the law that one can return anything ordered online up to 14 days after the purchase. It’s just that sometimes I’m too lazy to do it.

  • J’achète majoritairement sur Internet, pour les 5 raisons ci-dessus, je trouve ce que je veux, à ma taille, dans une matière que j’aime, je suis assez ‘routinière’, les mêmes marques, je connais ma taille, teeeellement confortable. Ohlalala, mais bon, j’auto-trouve ça horrible dans un sens *contradiction*…

  • I’m the girl who is always under an illusion that XS bought online is somehow bigger then in brick and mortar store and “this time it will definitely fit”. So sadly with clothes its almost always a miss but I buy cosmetics and make up online a lot.
    Ana
    http://www.champagnegirlsabouttown.co.uk

  • Hello,

    I buy online a lot, but mostly brands that i know, like you. I know my measurements and i always look at the articles’ measurements on the different sites (waist, rise, leg opening). I Hate it when brands don’t publish them, as well as other details (Accurate composition, thickness of the cloth (for denim)).
    Sometimes i google the name of the article just to see if i get other pictures of it – if you seen an article worn by different people you get a better idea of how it fits.

    I rarely make huge mistakes: I gess by the time you’re 36 you know more or less what suits you.

    However I have to admit it’ a bit addictive and i’m a «basket» addict (i put things in my basket which i don’t always buy)…

  • I am right with you–even though online shopping has its flaws I can’t shop any other way! It comes down to this (in my opinion): People who like to browse and who are open to discoveries do well shopping in stores. In my case, I see something in my mind first, and then go in search of this very specific item on the internet. It’s more efficient to plow through tons of possibilities that way. Along the way, I often make discoveries, too. Sadly, I feel that online shopping ultimately takes more time in the end. Because I can’t just try something on, I end up reading tons of reviews to figure out my size. And then there’s the whole returns thing. Still, it’s my favorite way.

  • I do shop online…and a fair amount off line too! :) I like online stores which have an easy returns and exchange policy. In Europe, that is easy because online companies must by law allow customers to return goods for a full refund…which I love!

    However, what I don’t love is there are varying policies on price matching website items which go on sale, whereas in the US, price matching items to a sale price within a certain time window is common practice.

    For example, I recently ordered something online from mywardrobe. The said item was being offered on a 50% discount… less than 24 hours later, that same item went on a 60% discount. I requested to price match as the item had not left the warehouse…which mywardrobe refused. I then asked them to just cancel the order so that I could re-order it at the discounted price, which mywardrobe also refused to do! None of these denials was particularly logical because I could just return the item for a full refund and reorder it; but they rather stick to a policy which did not make the consumer feel good nor was efficient.

    This is the type of online service which I dislike… and so, I try to stick to the companies that I know will help me quickly and efficiently, ones like The Outnet, Trovea, Net a Porter, Yoox, and the ultimate destination for online shopping, Amazon! :)

  • I like to shop at smaller online boutiques because their customer service is more understanding and relaxed. Stores like The Dreslyn and Creatures of Comfort are always on call to size an item in case I’m worried, and their return policies are great.

  • Always read the reviews!

  • I love discovering on line new labels ideas from around the world…something i can’t find everywhere…and that everyone has the same at the end…but at the same time i love touching the products in the shop finding things i didn’t even thought looking…i thing it’s complementary and we need both the shop and the web…
    xoxo
    Yael Guetta

    http://www.ftwwl.com

  • Une des grandes questions aussi c’est : qui achète du grand luxe en ligne au même prix qu’en boutique ?!

    http://www.therocamadour.fr

  • J’achète beaucoup sur Internet, je passe des heures à chercher les bonnes affaires, les perles rares, les choses différentes. J’aime aussi acheter à tête froide sans la musique, les lumières, les vendeuses qui tournent autour. J’ai rarement été déçue… mais j’y passe du temps!

  • Choose your shipping company wisely although it really depends where you are. I always do online shopping since it’s more pratical and convenient. But in France, try to avoid using La Poste/ Colissimo service. Some of my orders never arrived regardless the tracking you followed.

  • Of course j’achete on line!
    J’AI UNE SHOP ON LINE jajajaja
    Et si l’on parle de sacs il n’y a pas problème de taille. Taille unique!
    Bisous de Barcelone!!!!

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheSacBarcelona

  • Living in Sydney requires that I take the risk even when in doubt if I really want something, no matter how expensive the shipping or disagreeable the returns policy might be. Sometimes it is lucky if a brand posts to Australia at all. Oh the injustice.

  • ALL THE TIME! We love it so much we’ve taken to writing about it.
    We do have another tip to add to the list. We are in Canada and often find ourselves shopping outside the local market.
    Three golden words: Delivery Duty Paid!

    A surprise customs and duty charge on your Céline leather pants is not going to be enjoyable.
    xo

  • I am a compulsive shopper, and almost always shop online. I am also a compulsive returner. Everything looks different at home! As I have become older, I am much more picky, and buy quality over quantity (Forever 21 vs. J. Crew). If I haven’t solidified my size/fit in an item and brand, I will go to the store and try it on. Then I will search the internet high and low to find the item at the most discounted price, and many times I have found small international boutiques that have the item super discounted (!!). This long hunt is usually for high end designer items that my soul needs! But for chain stores like J. Crew/Zara/J Brand, etc. I always buy online, whether it’s the store site (many times the discount is different than in-store, and PS- the discount is always greater in the J. Crew store vs. online) or on eBay. Also, I read all the reviews and Google image/search on Instagram for a “real time” view of someone wearing the item.

    Answer to the question – YES, I love and live by online shopping!! The search high and accessibility of multiple tabs open/comparing items, is the most fun and most conducive way to shop (for me)! xx

  • I only shop online. Its very convenient. I can scout a few places and check if its cheaper elsewhere. I can try to find bloggers wearing it or instagrammers sporting it. I usually does it for me. I never have the size problem somehow.

    The only time i do regret it is when i do go shopping with my girl friends. Like when i found Rag and Bone Moto Boots in Last Chance for 1/3rd the price i found online when on sale. Its crazy.

    But for those who dont hit the stores too often, online is the best choice.

  • I only shop online for stuff I know will fit and whatever I find on ebay

    http://hashtagliz.com

  • my trick is to shop on websites that offer free returns and exchanges. Once my order is shipped, I will request an exchange immediately if I am not sure about the size. The requested exchange size will then automatically saved for me. But of course, if my shoes fit, I will cancel the request immediately so someone else can get it. Just a trick to share.

  • I almost always order in two sizes, even if it’s from a brand I know, as sometimes different styles run different small or large. By ordering a range of sizes I’m not tempted to settle for a bad fit rather than wait for a second order (which leads to long-term disappointment), or the item won’t sell out in the size I need. But this habit also means it’s VERY important to know return policies!

  • One thing I never ever shop online is pants (with an exception of American Eagle Short-Seam Jeans which I own several pairs). I have big thighs, stubby calves, and on a shorter side so my ideal pants have always been one size larger than tops and had short seams. Most novel designs like pockets or knee patches, riding-style inseam don’t flatter me either. The second thing which is difficult to me to shop online are shoes. Shipping of shoes always costs more than other items and returns of them are real hassle. Plus, I love quality shoes, so I prefer trying on them before purchase anyways.

    The safe-ish things to buy, in my opinion, are short dresses or maxi dresses, swim suits, silk undies, cosmetics and jewelry. I bought all of my vintage jewelry and Japanese-made makeup online. The quality has been quite consistent.

  • As a busy working mother, I rely on online shopping. Some of your rules echo or overlap mine:
    1. Shop favorite brands.
    2. Research return policies thoroughly and prefer free returns with free shipping on returns. Therefore, I prefer brands and stores like Zappo’s, Piperlime and Nordstrom. Or else, I prefer shopping at Zara or Anthropologie where I can return to a brick and mortar store.
    I was recently highly tempted to buy a beautiful Doma leather jacket from Doma in discount, but refrained as they would only give store credit refund for items on discount. I’d rather wait to buy their stuff from ShopBop, Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s.
    3. Free shipping is preferred, even with minimum order requirements.
    4. I also favor online stores that present their wares well — show 3 or more views of clothing in all available colors. Hate the color swatch square. Zara, zappo’s and Anthro excel at this.
    5. If I really want something, I have bought 2 sizes, just in case.

  • Also agree on the size chart! Can’t believe when etailers don’t provide that info. I’m looking at you, Sam Edelman.
    I would like to know what is meant by contemporary sizing vs. Classic sizing, I’m looking at you, Bloomingdale.

  • J’aime beaucoup magasiner en ligne. Je fais malgré tout attention, je sais que je ne magasine JAMAIS les bas (jupes, pantalons et shorts) c’est beaucoup trop risqué. Je fais attention dans le pays que je magasine généralement c’est aux USA que je magasine ou si c’est outre mer c’est seulement sur le très populaire site Asos, parce que les frais de shipping sont aucunement élevés (je commande toujours standard), aucun frais de douane une fois arrivé à la maison (je commande depuis 2008). Je n’ai jamais eu de problème grave concernant le shopping en ligne. J’ai malgré tout assez de patiente pour attendre mon colis, une semaine, un mois… ça me va. Je ne commande jamais si je dois avoir un truc en urgence, c’est pas la peine car on peut toujours avoir des surprises même en express. Sur eBay, je choisis toujours les vendeurs qui ont une note de 97% et plus, sinon je ne fais pas affaire. Je lis toujours des avis sur le produit que je veux acheter, avant de commander. Dernière chose, j’habite avec ma mère et… c’est elle qui prend mes colis, disons qu’elle n’apprécit pas toujours que je commande en ligne car elle n’aime pas je dépense de l’argent sur des trucs que je n’ai pas besoin. S’il fallait vraiment magasiner sur des choses qu’on a de besoin… Le monde serait en recession, l’économie sera ralentit à souhait et j’en passe. Il y a plusieurs choses qu’on achète qu’on a aucunement besoin… 5 rouges à lèvres nude par exemple mais différent ton, pareille pour le rouge… ou encore le jeans, le manteau et SURTOUT les chaussures… ! Vive les achats !

  • I mainly shop online now… You’re so spoilt for choice!

    ???
    Jeanne
    http://fashionmusingsdiary.com

  • Yes! I do shop online and I love the convenience it offers. I often wait for sales. My magic trick? I go to their real stores and try out a few pieces that I like and note my size (shoes & clothing) under each specific brand. When the sale is on just like now, I will know which size to purchase (and hope its on sale, lol).

    Cheers!

  • Moi j’adore ça, le problème c’est que parfois j’achète pour beaucoup, et le temps que la commande arrive, j’ai trouvé autre chose, ou je regrette…Donc je rends tout. Ça évite la queue en magasin,, de chercher sa taille, etc.
    Ah, et si vous voulez y faire un tour, j’ai une boutique avec de chouettes accessoires (sans vouloir spamer hein…)

  • I shop online all the time. I was the same. I never used to as I was scared but started with shoes first and now I shop online just about everything, from gifts, shoes, skirts, knitwear. I love stores that I already know their clothes will fit such as H&M, River Island, Asos, Missguided, some slovak stores, as I am from there.

  • Birkenstock | bavarian_blue December, 3 2014, 3:23 / Reply

    Hi Neada, thanks for this item round about online shopping. You gave us all the basics to know. Shopping clothes: I find it most important, that the stuff is well presented (on real person!) in different views and ability to enlarge. Therefore I like Zara. I shop online only for brands I’m experienced in fitting.
    Online-shopping is great for shopping stuff (cosmetics, scents, books…) you love, but can’t find in local stores/shops. In former times travelling to Paris, London, LA, NYC we’ve gotten a long list to shop for friends.
    But I’m a really big fan of stationary shopping, because what I’m first attracted to clothes is structure and feel & look in motion. Further I want to support local shops, which showcase an inspiring selection of items, even same bit might be cheaper elsewhere online.

  • Online shopping is really great for lots and lots of things and getting the packages can be a little like Christmas morning before the real thing.

    BUT we need to be clear about the cost to the economy/biotope smaller fashion boutiques and labels. These cannot afford to meet the costs of an online presence and depend on us coming by to see what they have in a brick and mortar store. In particular we are mean to these places when we use them for sizing, i.e. go in, see something we like and try it on only to buy it online. The stores don’t get rewarded for the service they offer — stocking sizes, having dressing rooms, etc. — and the smaller ones will inevitably be driven out of the market. Which is bad news for all of us who want original pieces.

    So mix it up, girls, and give credit (or sales) where they are due! Each purchase is a political decision.

  • What about beauty, does anyone buy beauty online?

    http://www.sablebeauty.com

  • NON et NON!!!! J’aime les petits magasins, une vendeuse qui me connait et qui me sert avec le sourire et je n’ai pas du tout envie que les magasins disparaissent dans les villes, qui deviendraient toutes mortes.
    Acheter en ligne veut aussi dire acheter dans les grandes chaines et ça aussi j’évite…ben oui, j’aime la mode mais je n’ai pas envie de vivre dans un webworld!Alors je lutte…
    Bonne journée.
    F de http://luckasetmoi.blogspot.fr/

  • Just like you, I love shopping online (a little too much actually !). It’s funny because I have almost the same criterias and follow the same steps than the ones you listed :)

    xx CarolineJ
    http://www.sleevesandheels.net

  • Jennifer December, 3 2014, 9:15 / Reply

    As a mom of two online shopping is needed, sometimes I cannot shop any other way, for the kids or myself.
    I prefer Nordstroms I think they have the best return policy. Piperlime, Jcrew, Zara are other favorites. I struggle with sizing, I end up sending things back a lot for fit. But I’m learning the sizing in my favorite stores so it’s becomin less of an issue. The other fit issue is how something looks, wears on the model on screen can wear so differently on me. I’m still learning that too.
    Customer service has become bad these days and I hate shopping in stores with sales people that are pushy or don’t really want to help you, it makes for a unenjoyable shopping trip. So I sick to my favorite local small businesses that pride themselves on the costumer experiences.

  • Somehow I grew to dislike shopping in real life (I make an exception for a nearby COS) and I tend to buy a lot of clothes and accessories online. I can do it while sitting on my couch, there are no opening hours, I don’t have to deal with “helpful” shop assistants, I can buy brands that are otherwise not accessible in Europe (JCrew just to name one of them). Oh, the only thing that I cannot imagine buying online are running shoes :) It’s because I am not supposed to suffer after 10 km, so I like to give them a good try.

  • FreyjaManson December, 3 2014, 5:18 / Reply

    J’achète presque tout en ligne, surtout en soldes et ventes privées. Pour mes filles c’est rare que j’aille en boutique. J’habite une petite ville et il n’y a que peu de choix. Le shopping en ligne, c’est une question de survie! ;)

  • Of course online shopping is here to stay and extremely convenient (hello Uniglo undies!). But it’s worth remembering the downside which is that locally owned small businesses will suffer if all our dollars are spent online. If we want charming and interesting storefronts in our neighborhoods – not just the same old chain stores that make everyplace feel the same – then we have to support them with our dollars. And really, the practice of visiting a local shop to get “educated” and maybe test the merchandise but then going online to buy for a few dollars less is quite parasitic. This takes value from a local shop owner and gives nothing in return (I hear from the bike store owners in my neighborhood that this happens a lot for them). Ask yourself how long that can last? I try to only shop online if I have a true need that I can’t meet shopping locally. I’ve been on a long (apparently now trendy!) simplification kick myself (loved Garance’s post yesterday!), and I can talk myself out of a lot of shopping! Spending less overall I can even pay a slight premium in locally owned stores knowing I’m also contributing to (and receiving!) a community benefit. That’s a win-win that’s worth it to me.

  • royallyyours December, 14 2014, 7:54 / Reply

    @Kathleen

    I agree that it is good to spend some of one’s hard-earned money at local, independent small businesses. However, one thing I don’t enjoy, esp. in San Francisco, is that many of those local boutiques and businesses often only provide store credit (and within 7 days only) for purchases in error. I would like the flexibility to change my mind (esp. after seeing how clothing and accessories work with my own wardrobe, etc.).
    In addition, I’m often able to get more size options for myself and others in the larger brand or chain stores, whereas the cute little boutique on the corner only has S and XS. Sorry, that doesn’t work for me. And that’s fine. It means the local boutique isn’t targeting the M or larger-size consumer.
    Just saying that each situation is different and requires a different business-consumer relationship.

  • I always shop online, much easier and cheaper than paying for parking or parking tickets

  • I do shop on line all the time. In my town I’m not able to find exactly what I want, so I go on the web. My wardrobe become pretty solid and consistent with my online shopping. I found my perfect white t-shirt (Hering) and my perfect black straight leg trousers (Fillity)! I felt so lucky! The same with shoes, handmade leather ones that fits like a glove. Underwear, PJs, tights… Actually, I buy all kind of garment on internet. Love that kind of shopping. Carine (Brazil)

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