Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dear Shopping Savage...

Dear Shopping Savage,

I have yet to convert to online shopping. I've always been the kind of woman who likes to try on clothes before I buy them. A lot of my friends shop online but their opinion seems to waver with each package they receive. I want to try it out but I'm concerned about the hassle of returning, not to mention identity theft and scams. What do you think I should do? Is online shopping something I should try or should I just stick with the mall?


Scared Online Shopper


Dear S.O.S.,

Most major retailers on the web have a secure and encrypted checkout process, with monitored firewalls and outlined 'terms of use' and 'privacy policies' that are good to read through to make sure that your information won't be viewable by a third-party. This information should answer most of your questions and calm your fears concerning the site's security.

After acquainting yourself with the fine print, move on to online shopping base camp if need be: gift registries, books, CD's, electronics, home furnishings, etc. Once you feel comfortable enough to try your hand at buying clothing, start with stores
that you already shop at in the mall. M
ost store's sites have ample inventory and a larger selection as far as color, sizing and styles go. Trust that the online sizes are consistent with those in the store.
Since you don't have the
advantage of using touch as one of your usual "shopping senses"
, it's that much more important to pay attention to the details: read through the item description and materials used; if offered, u
se the zoom in function for closer inspection and scan through the multi-angle photos. As an added measure, look at the item in different colors (if offered) to ensure that you're aware of each detail.

You will find on occasion that even with time spent researching color, fit and construction there may be a moment of buyer's remorse or an unflattering fit, resulting in the inevitable return. Most online stores found in the mall have a "site-to-store" return policy to eliminate a lengthy wait for a refund, exchange or having to pay for return shipping.

Right now retail is like real estate; it's a buyers market. There's no rule that says you can't shop online if you browse the mall and vice verse.
Your bottom line should be getting the best deal for your dollar. Sometimes you get this by going to the actual store and other times its a better deal to browse and buy from their online outpost. So to answer your question, should you try online shopping? Absolutely. Should you be nervous about it? Absolutely. Fashion is all about taking risks, but just think of the 'world wide web' as nothing more than the portal to your 'world wide wardrobe'.

Need sartorial advice? Email me:

1 comment:

  1. I had problems at first with shopping online for clothing and other items, but, I've come to discover this wonderful service known as PayPal. The benefit of using PayPal is that only PayPal ever knows your information. The other companies never see your credit card info or anything like that. PayPal is an actual bank and can set you up with a line of credit as well as depositing and withdrawing from any of your bank accounts. The only caveat to PayPal is that it is taking some time for clothiers to catch on to the idea. More electronics companies and places like Amazon and eBay are using PayPal which, in turn, is slowly influencing clothing companies to catch on.

    Another tip I have is to make sure you do all of your online shopping at home, not in coffee shops or other places that use WiFi, as these places are great for people to steal your information, if not by hacking WiFi then by looking over your shoulder when you enter your information into the website.