Affordable Sites: These sites are perfect options for picking up basics or super trendy items at a more affordable price.
- ASOS: ASOS began in the UK and e-commerce lovers rejoiced when it finally made its way overseas. There are thousands upon thousands of options on ASOS, which, yes, can make it super overwhelming. Instead of searching through pages upon pages of tops or dresses, try narrowing down your search by looking for options by trend. ASOS has super stylish items at a great price, but be warned — the sizing can be a bit tricky, since it's based out of England. Be sure to check the sizing guide before placings your order.
- ModCloth: Zooey Deschanel is able to pull off that vintage look in a way that makes her look sweet, not like a doily. If you want a Zooey-vibe, but don't know where to begin when it comes to vintage and thrift store shopping, look no further than ModCloth. They carry vintage, but their real strong point is vintage-inspired dresses at a great price. Fordham collegiette Claire Cumberland is a huge fan of the store. "They always have super unique shoes, clothes, and accessories. Everything is vintage or vintage-inspired, and the names and descriptions are so clever and adorable," she says.
- Zappos: When you hear Zappos, you probably think shoes, but that's not all they have. "I have to admit I'm a big fan of Zappos, not just for shoes but for accessories as well," says collegiette Christina Troy of Merrimack College. "They tend to have styles and colors not available anywhere else. And with a 365-day return policy and always free shipping."
- Amazon: Ah, the original e-commerce mecca. You probably already head to Amazon when you're looking for tech products or used books, but College of William and Mary collegiette Alexandra Court heads to Amazon for almost all her shopping needs. She has gotten everything from an eye mask to a gift for her mom. "I bought cute animal slippers and a charm for my mother's charm bracelet that shipped to her on her birthday which was great because I was still on campus and would not have been able to get it to her otherwise," says Alexandra. They also have Amazon Prime, a membership program that gives you free two-day shipping, no matter what you buy. It’s $79 a year, but if you shop at Amazon often, you'll wind up saving money.
- Romwe: I admit, Romwe can be a bit intimidating at first, but it’s a great place to score good quality, trendy items at a collegiette-friendly price. All the clothing says "One Size Fits All," which can make any shopper nervous. Each piece fits differently, but each piece also has very specific sizing description. Stick to ordering tops, dresses, and accessories on Romwe — pants and skirts are just too risky. All the clothing from Romwe is from top brands in China, so you don’t need to worry about wearing the same thing as someone else. It's a great place to snag ultra-trendy items (think Peter Pan collars, asymmetrical shirts, neon bags) without putting a major dent in your wallet when you're over it a year later. One of the best parts of the site? You can return items within 365 days of your purchase, as long as you have the original packaging. All payments with Romwe are done via PayPal, which makes for a safe, worry-free process.
Flash Sale Sites: These sites have incredible deals, but you have to act super fast. Their deals are usually only up for a day or two and each item has a very limited quantity. Still, it's a great way to score designer clothing and accessories for way less.
- Gilt: The styles and brands picked to appear on Gilt are hand-selected and available for just 36 hours. You have to act fast, but you can also rest safe knowing that you’re purchasing quality goods. You can find everything from Free People to Dolce and Gabbana for 60% off or even more.
- Rue La La: Rue La La members are privy to private boutique sales. The best thing about Rue La La is that it has more off-the-map brands than some of the other flash sale sites, so you can discover designers that you wouldn't otherwise. They also offer the Rue 30—free shipping for 30 days after you make a purchase.
- Beyond the Rack: Every day of the week, including Sunday, Beyond the Rack has discounts from 10 different designers and brands. With this much variety, you're sure to find something for you.
- Ideeli: One of the many great things about Ideeli that differentiates it from the other flash sale sites is that it includes plus size options. Ideeli is definitely a bit more fun and less prim than other flash sale sites. One really unique thing they do? Giving clothing suggestions based off your astrological sign.
- Hautelook: Hautelook is #winning because they feature TONS of sales every day rather than just a few, plus it’s not infrequently that they'll host a "blowout" sale of a certain designer or item (like sunglasses) where the pieces are ridiculously cheap. Plus you can see what the upcoming sales are going to be so you know to check back when a designer you like is coming up!
E-commerce can definitely be trickier than heading to the mall, but, when you're strapped for cash and time, it's a great skill to master. What online shopping tips do you have? What are your fave sites? Share below!