Common Online Clothes Purchasing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
The classic American shopping mall is dead. Experts predict that 25 percent of all malls in the U.S will close by the end of this year. So, what's causing this major shift away from mall madness?
Online shopping, of course! Who wants to get in their car, drive to the mall, search for parking, and deal with hoards of people? The growth of the online clothing store shows that the answer is basically no one.
The e-commerce fashion industry has created more options for clothing, but how would you rate your shopping habits? If you struggle with online shopping, you're not the only one. Remember these shopping hacks to avoid online clothes purchasing mistakes!
It’s All About Measurements
Let's say it together: sizing makes no sense. What is a size two exactly? You might be a size two in one store and a size six in another; the numbers simply make no sense.
And a lot of people agree. According to a study of 18,000 Americans, 70 percent claimed that finding clothes that fit well is very difficult. This problem becomes more perplexing when you shop online without trying the clothes on.
That's why your measurements are arguably more important than the size or letter on the item. To find your dimensions, you'll need to measure your:
- Natural waist (the smallest part)
- Hips (the widest part)
And if you thought that measurements are universal, think again! Depending on the brand, different numbers will correspond with different sizes. Each clothing store website has its own measurement guide to help you out.
For example, the Gap brand includes Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta. Each online store within the same company has its own sizing chart! The best thing you can do is measure yourself, write down the numbers, and compare against the specific chart when shopping!
Online Customer Reviews Are Gold
If you skip the customer reviews, then you're missing out on a wealth of information! People who have bought items with their own money are more likely to be honest than influencers paid to promote the brand. Browse reviews to see what customers thought about the:
- Long-term wear
Past customers also often include pictures of themselves wearing the items. Not only will this let you see what the garment looks like, but it can also help you determine the right fit.
Product Details Reveal a Lot
Online shoppers often skip the product details, but they're an information goldmine! And when the product isn't right in front of you, the more information you have, the better.
Next time you browse your favorite online shop, click the product details tab on an item. It features extra information, like:
- Material composition
- Washing instructions
- Fabric sources
- Garment construction details
- Sleeve/hem lengths or rise information
But why is this so important? Imagine falling in love with a gorgeous dress and ordering it without a second thought! When it arrives, you discover that it's 100% polyester, has no lining, and needs to be hand-washed.
If you had scanned the product details, you could have avoided that disaster!
Company Ethics Matter
There are countless popular online retailers with shady ethical practices. Many of these were exposed online in recent years, and company ethics has become a hot topic.
Before you click buy, glance at the company's mission and ethics statement. Are they developing sustainable practices? Do they source their fabric with fair-trade agreements and pay workers a living wage?
These things matter in the grand scheme of things. And a bonus of supporting ethical companies is that you get to wear higher-quality garments!
Return Policies Make a Difference
Anyone familiar with Forever21 knows about the absurd 21-day, store credit-only policy. Before you even begin browsing, check the returns and exchanges procedures. Look for policies that offer:
- Free returns and exchanges
- At least 30 days timeframe
- A full refund, not store credit
- An easy process for creating mailing labels
The last thing you want is to be stuck with a pile of clothing items you'll never wear! Not only will it contribute to buyer's remorse, but it's also a waste of your money.
Savings and Discounts Are Easy to Find
The best way to reach your savings goals? Never pay the full price! And with online shopping, savings and discounts are incredibly easy to find (if you know where to look!)
Use Rakuten to get cash delivered right into your PayPal account when you shop. For major discounts, install the Honey extension on your browser and automatically save! Or, just make all your purchases with a cash-back credit card.
Another great option that you might not initially think of is wholesale! Wholesale items are often priced cheaper than retail and are available in many categories. Check out this great wholesaler for plus size clothing to start exploring the world of wholesale!
The Free Shipping Trap Is Real
"Spend $21 more to get free shipping!"
This tempting message often pops up when we shop online. We get it, shipping can be expensive, and the promise of free delivery is too good to pass up! But do you need that extra $21 item that you're about to order?
Check how much shipping truly costs before adding random items to your cart to meet the minimum. More often than not, the delivery cost is much lower than the difference needed for free shipping. But what do you do if the shipping price is too steep?
The number one reason why customers abandon their carts is unexpected shipping costs. So sometimes, meeting that minimum amount for free shipping is helpful! Smart shoppers need to compare the shipping cost vs. the threshold for free shipping to decide which is best for them.
No More Online Clothes Purchasing Mistakes!
Online clothing shopping can be addictive, but it also creates the perfect conditions for buyer's remorse. You build up so much excitement for your package to arrive, only to be disappointed. Low-quality items, strange fit, and wrong sizes ruin the experience.
Avoid these common online clothes purchasing mistakes, and you'll never feel that regret again! Check out more helpful fashion tips and tricks below.