Online Shopping: The Nitty Gritty

Moving to a new location for college can be tough, and it can get even tougher when your university’s town or city lacks your favorite places to shop. Luckily, online shopping can save the day no matter where you live. However, virtual retail therapy also has its drawbacks; having your long-awaited package arrive with variations in perceived color, size, or fit can lead to you to the dreadful process of online returns. Thankfully, we have a few suggestions to assure that your online shopping experience goes as smoothly as possible.

Tips and Tricks: Before ordering an item, here are a few key things to do to ensure that the item fits your expectations upon arrival.

Check the Material and Care Instructions

Knowing the fabric composition of your item can be extremely important for two reasons. First, some materials work better for warm-weather locations, while others will benefit you in the cold. Additionally, the material and care instructions will indicate whether the piece must be hand-washed or dry cleaned, rather than being thrown in with the rest of your laundry.

Review the Size Guide

One of the most frustrating parts of virtual shopping is not being able to try on the item. Sizing can vary from site to site, and improper fit is known to be the top reason for online returns. To prevent this, make sure to check the website’s size guide before placing your order.

Take a Look at the Model Fit

Although not all websites offer this information, glancing at the statistics (height, waist size, bust size etc.) of the model shown in the photo can be valuable in helping you determine which size would best suit you.

Read (and re-read) the Return Policy

The last thing you want to do is miss the return deadline on an article of clothing you no longer want. Every store is different, and checking the return details can provide important details. Look for:

  1. The return time (which usually ranges from one to four weeks)

  2. The condition which the product must be returned in

  3. The location of return (some sites allow in-store returns while others do not)