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Thursday, 10 April 2014

How to Shop Online...the SKinny Bish way

Hello lovelies!

 I have been getting lots of questions from both friends and readers regarding purchasing clothes, shoes and more online.
I’m humbled that people trust me and my style enough to confide in me and ask all these questions so I decided to write a post that may give you guidance if you are either new to shopping online or want to perfect your skills at finding great deals and fits.
One of the questions I get asked the most is "where do you shop?" I try to always include the links to all the online stores I visit/have purchased from in each post so please read the posts to see where I picked up certain pieces. I personally HATE shopping malls-Yes, it is possible to hate malls but love shopping.
I find the malls too crowded and people never seem to know what they want and move too slow for me, haha. The few times that I do go to the mall, I know what I’m going in for because I usually do my pre-research online before heading to the store, which helps to shorten my time of torture and despair at the mall; so I'm in and out!

So here are my tips for successfully shopping online.

       1)      Know your measurements: I can tell you in 1.5seconds all of my measurements. I don’t fluctuate in weight too much so they remain pretty constant. You have to know your measurements because sizing can differ greatly with different companies/brands but your measurements are the same. For example, I am an X-Large with sheinside.com but a Medium with misguided.com. If I were sticking to just my “size”, I would have a problem if I ordered the same size from both of these sites.
       2)      Sign up for Newsletters and create Wish lists: When you see a site whose stuff you love, sign up for their newsletters before buying. This is because many of them offer a discount on a first purchase and you can only get that code if they have your e-mail. Secondly, you will be able to get notified whenever they have a sale going on! I remember about 2 weeks ago, there was this gorgeous blazer I had been eyeing on Asos . I noticed Asos was having a sale on certain items and guess what? The blazer was on sale! I don’t always check my e-mails from promotions so having Wish lists on the sites helps because I can just log in to the site, look at my wish list and see if the item I am interested in is on Sale. P.S. Getting all these e-mails with promotions can be annoying so I usually create and use my “junk e-mail” address so it doesn’t interfere with my more important e-mails.
      3)      Check out several websites for a product you like which may be sold out/out of stock in your size:
A lot of online websites sell the same or similar products with the exception of vintage stores like Virgos Lounge. If I see something I really want but is sold out or still at regular price, I know some websites that carry similar items so I run there to see if they have the same or a similar product. Lulus.com, gojane.com, urbanog.com and makemechic.com tend to carry a lot of the same designers so I check all of them before buying from 1-yes it is work but it’s worth it because a) You’re sure you’re getting the best deal and b) you can see if they’re some sizes that another website is lacking.

4     4)      Scout websites that offer free shipping or discounted shipping but beware of Duties:
A major reason why I love sites like Asos and boohoo so much is because they offer either free shipping on all orders or Free shipping on orders $25 and above. That really helps my pockets because imagine paying $25 for shipping!? That’s the price of another dress! Haha.  Lulu.com has pricey shipping ($25) and even though it’s guaranteed, it’s still expensive because you may see a pair of boots for $20 but the shipping alone is more than the item-not worth it in my opinion. 
Another scary thing is CUSTOMS! I absolutely hate when I’m impatiently waiting for a package…only to come home to see a notice on my door saying there are duties owed…1 time I refused topay the charges and just had the item returned to the sender and asked for my money back, haha. What I have noticed personally is that I get asked to pay customs either when: I paid for Express shipping (UPS, DHL, FedEx) or my order is above $80,Haha. The latter is especially true with Asos, so I tend to split my orders into several parts to avoid fees. Sometimes it’s just random, as well.

5     5)      Learn about fabrics/materials: Even though you may know your measurements perfectly, one thing can mess everything up is the type of fabric! I tend to stick to items with at least 2% Spandex because that means it will be stretchy to a certain extent. 3% spandex usually means very stretchy but you have to be careful with that because it may come off as skin-tight clothing-almost like Spandex. I love polyester in terms of pants and I stay away from Acrylic because it’s usually stiff and so won’t go up my generous thighs.

6     6)      Check out websites other bloggers/friends have used before: Something easy to do, is to just see where other bloggers shop online and go from there. If a lot of people shop from there, it’s less likely that the site is a scam.

7     7)      Familiarize yourself with the return/exchange policies of the sites you’re interested in: I am always aware of the return policies for the websites I shop at. I personally tend not to return anything I bought that is $35 or less because the return shipping cost isn’t worth it. I prefer to just sell it myself via my store HERE or use the item as a Christmas/ birthday gift for a friend.

8     8 )      Check with your bank and see what their policy is for credit card fraud: Just to be extra safe, you may want to see if your bank has a great policy on scams/fraudulent sites or what happens if your credit card gets hacked. My bank for example actually called me when they noticed I had purchased from a certain site…and thank God they did because it seems like my credit card had been hacked. I got a full refund and new card within 4-6 weeks.

9     9)      Have fun and save lots of sites to your Bookmarks: Just keep browsing the web, ask around and keep looking! Online shopping allows you to shop at your own time and pace and avoid the hustle and bustle of the malls.

      Do you have any tips you personally use to shop online? Please share below!  
      Let me know if you have any questions!
       SKinny Bish

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