Slowly but surely, the online fashion store is becoming the primary and often exclusive go-to for those looking to pick up the latest fashion pieces for the lowest prices. Web retail in general has made huge strides over recent years and has made a name for itself as a uniquely simple, convenient and affordable approach to shopping.
However, there is a clear downside to shopping online for clothes in particular, which is that of not being able to actually examine your planned purchases by hand or try them on before ordering them. This inherently leaves the door wide open for a fair few potential problems, though at the same time all can be alleviated with a little proactivity and common sense.
So if you’re considering making the switch to online fashion stores or are already shopping with web retailers, here’s a quick look at just a few tips on how to avoid getting a bum deal:
1 – Buy British
First and foremost, while it’s pretty rare these days to come across any clothing that’s actually made in the UK, it’s crucially important to shop only with those retailers who are at least based in the UK. For obvious reasons, placing an order with a retailer located in the Far East for example has the potential to be fraught with infinitely more problems, holdups and general complaints than had you shopped with a UK seller. So rather than simply taking for granted who they are and where they’re based, be sure to check up on it.
2 – Measure Up
Never forget that what makes for a size 12 at one store could easily be a size 10 or a size 14 at another. The differences in size from one brand to the next really are night and day, so do yourself a favour and look beyond these often-misleading sizes by taking your own measurements. This way, you ensure you order the perfect sizes every time without ending up with an order you simply cannot wear.
3 – Check Returns Policies
The very nature of web retail is such that there will always be the odd problem faced and error made from time to time. If there’s a strong and fair returns policy in place, there’s really nothing to worry about – they’ll take care of everything and get the right goods to you. By contrast, if the returns policy states that it’s up to you to organise and pay for the shipping and handling, you could end up out of pocket because of their mistake. Or worse still, if there’s no returns policy in place at all, you might find yourself stuck with clothes you’ve really no use for.
4 – Check Reviews
One of the very best ways of finding out how any given retailer performs when put to the test is to check out the reviews and write-ups of other customers who’ve already shopped there and reported back. This tends to be the only way of gaining access to genuinely objective information that can be trusted as impartial and accurate, so while feedback is by no means that be all and end all of things, it is nonetheless extremely important.
5 – Ask Questions
If you’re still in any doubt as to things like returns policies or the exact sizes of the products on sale, it’s a good idea to get in touch with the seller directly to ask a few questions. Along with getting the answers you were looking for, chances are you’ll also gain a better understanding of both how they treat their customers and how easy it is to get hold of them.
6 – Website Quality
If you walked into a clothes store that was an absolute bomb-site and clearly staffed by lazy workers who didn’t give a damn, chances are you wouldn’t stick around for long. It should really be the same with any retail website you visit too as if it’s clear you’re looking at an operation that’s pure amateur hour, do you really want to be handing your cash over to them?
7 – Guarantees
Last but not least, any web retailer of any kind that’s actually worth dealing with these days will offer 100% satisfaction guarantees covering each and every product they sell across the board. These kinds of guarantees are far more than safety nets to have in place in case things go wrong – they represent the ultimate sign of both confidence in the products being sold and consideration for the customer. If in doubt, feel free to ask but beware buying anything that isn’t covered by a guarantee.