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Should be afraid to buy online

Have a great online/mobile shopping experience with the help of FashionTIY!

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Remember getting into your car, driving all the way to the mall, spending hours power shopping for the perfect date night dress...and then going home empty handed and disillusioned with life? Yep, we've all been there. Thankfully, for thousands all over the world, that depressing memory is becoming just that: a memory. People everywhere are foregoing unwanted mall trips in favor of staying home and comfortably shopping online. It's revolutionary. We can now find virtually anything our hearts desire with a few mouse clicks and a good WiFi connection.
Courtesy of Firelknot on Flickr

However, with great power comes great responsibility.  Having virtually everything at your fingertips can be a blessing if you act wisely and a curse if you behave recklessly.  A simple search on any search engine can lead you down a dizzying rabbit hole of online stores, blog pages, eCommerce apps, and more.  So how can any mere mortal navigate through it all?

First, it helps to have a solid game plan.  Know what you're looking for and how long you want to spend looking for it.  It sounds simple enough, but it's not always so.  For example, you're positive you want to find a dress for formal in less than an hour...but instead you spend twenty minutes looking at tiny rain boots for a teacup Yorkie you don't even have.  Having a game plan will help you stay away from the many sources of temptation online.  Brownie points if you write down exactly what your goal is; writing down your online shopping goals will help you visualize what you want and help you stay on track.

Photo Courtesy of springwools on Flickr

Once you've figured out what you want, it's time to figure out where to get it from.  With numerous online stores and eCommerce apps, it's easy to get overwhelmed.  However, the internet has made it easier than ever to find reviews on online stores and apps.  Take a little time to sift through store reviews so you can save yourself a big headache later on.  Look for stores and apps that have solid return policies.  One of the downfalls of buying online is not being able to see or try-on what you buy before it arrives.  This means that free shipping and hassle-free returns are nonnegotiable in the world of online shopping.

To avoid some common online shopping mishaps, try some of the following tips:
1)  Take accurate measurements:  it's important to know your measurements when buying clothing online.  Women's sizes vary from store to store and designer to designer.  Don't base your selection on the fact that you're a "small" since that can mean a variety of different things.  Base your selection on something more tangible, like your measurements, and you're less likely to buy the wrong size.
2)  Look for "actual" pictures of the product:  many online stores use Instagram or blog photos to market their products.  However, more often than not, the product they sell looks different from the product they picture.  Just look at some of the horror stories on Knock Off Nightmares.  It's important to scroll down and try to find a picture of the product the website actually sells.  If there's only one photo of an item and it looks like it came from elsewhere, it's best to stay away.
3)  Establish safe buying practices:  look for websites and apps that provide a safe buying experience.  For example, a website that partners with PayPal or other online payment systems is often more trustworthy than one that only asks for your credit card.  Also, be smart with your money.  If you're unsure about a particular site or app, don't just throw your money at them.  Think in terms of value instead of price.  If the price is low and the item looks to be of good quality, then go for it.  But if the price is low and the quality is low too, why waste your time and money?

If you keep these tips in mind, you're bound to have an easier and more fruitful shopping experience.
For a great shopping experience every single time, make sure to download the FashionTIY app.  It not only allows you to buy securely and return confidently, but it also lets you virtually try on accessories with an in-app mirror!