Vol.1, No.5

Tips for shopping for clothes online

Purchasing clothing online can be a great way to save time and money. Following a few simple tips will help you select the best retailers.

Clothes bought online
Photo Credit: Anna Chelnokova
The sudden growth of online sales has placed merchandise at consumer's fingertips, allowing shoppers to purchase nearly anything they desire without ever leaving their house. Many online shoppers approach the experience with little or no understanding of how to find the best deals, the best products, and the best merchants willing to ensure the security of consumer information. Buying clothing online can be especially tricky since it can be difficult to find a proper fit or be sure that the merchant allows for returns or exchanges. By following a few simple tips, online shoppers will be better able to locate reputable retailers and find better buys.

1. Know Your Size

It is important to know exactly what size and fit of clothes you are looking for. Have a professional tailor or a friend measure your waist, chest, hips, inseam, and arm length. By having these measurements readily available, you will be able to compare these dimensions to information given on the retailers website in order to determine what size will fit you best.

2. Be selective when analyzing a retailer.

Look for merchants that offer a wealth of information about the products they offer. The best retailers will include in depth sizing information, detailed descriptions of each product, and high-quality pictures of every clothing item offered. Another sign of an excellent merchant is one that offers virtual models that can demonstrate how the garments will fit someone with a body type similar to yours. Try visiting the websites of your favorite stores, which often offer a wider selection of styles and sizes than are available in your local store.

3. Read the FAQ and fine print.

Most professional sites will offer a listing of Frequently Asked Questions. These questions should answer basic concerns about shipping rates, return policies, and payment security. All reputable merchants have secure sites that protect the security of your credit card and check information and other personal information. Look carefully for any fine print or special terms and conditions. If a site does not offer this information, contact customer service and inquire about the merchant's policies. If a retailer is not able to provide basic information on their sales policies, look elsewhere for a more proficient seller.

4. Sign up for mailing lists.

Visit the websites of your favorite stores and sign up for the retailer's mailing list in order to receive advance notice about special sales or other offers. Merchants may occasionally offer sales and incentives for online sales only. Being on the mailing list will ensure that you don't miss out on money-saving deals.

5. Look for deals on shipping rates.

One of the biggest complaints from online shoppers is about the high cost of shipping. Many sites offer discounts or free shipping if you spend over a certain amount of money. Other sites provide a bulk rate if you buy more than one item. Taking advantage of such offers can significantly reduce the costs of your overall purchase.

Buying clothing online can be a great way to save time and money. Following these tips will help ensure that you have a better online shopping experience. Knowing your size and being thoroughly informed about the retailer's sales policies will enable you to pick the clothing that is right for you.