Your Complete Guide To Shopping Online: wearing a Privacy Please Silas dress, b-low the belt bri bri belt, kristin cavallari black liam bootie.

Dress | Belt | Booties

Shopping online can be a little daunting if you don’t do it often. I’ve found that these tips will help you have the best experience and the least amount of returns. I do most of my shopping online since it’s so convenient, and I thought it would be best to share everything I’ve learned!

Top Tips for Shopping Online

  1. Stick to brands your familiar with. Within a brand, my size rarely changes. This limits the chance of a return based on sizing and you won’t worry about it so much.
  2. Only buy from stores with great return policies. My favorites for online shopping either offer in-store returns or include a prepaid return shipping label. Especially if you’re trying a new brand or an item that you think won’t fit you correctly, the return policy makes such a difference. I can order something on Revolve pretty much risk-free since they ship so quickly and include a shipping label. If it doesn’t fit, I just drop it off at UPS the next day and get my money back within a week.
  3. Look at size charts and measurements. Size charts are usually correct and they’re very useful. Just make sure you know your own bust, waist, and hip measurements. Stores will also tell you what size their model is wearing along with the model’s measurements. For stores that carry multiple brands, I usually go to the brand’s website and look at their size chart. Reviews always help with sizing as well.
    Screenshot of Lulu's model measurement reference
    Screenshot of Lulu’s model measurement reference

    One of the most useful measurements for me is always length. For a dress, most sites will tell you the shoulder to hem measurement. Over time I’ve learned the lengths that work for me. You will almost always get a length measurement for a skirt and an inseam measurement for pants. With the length measurements, I can immediately tell if something’s going to be too long on me. I frequently have to get things hemmed so consider that in your overall cost as well.

    Screenshot of Lulu's product information and measurements.
    Screenshot of Lulu’s product information and measurements.
  4. Get to know your fabrics and zoom in on the product. This is especially useful with pants. I prefer pants to have a little stretch to them so I’m always looking to see how much spandex or elastane is in them. In jeans, a 99% cotton, 1% elastane amount won’t be very stretchy, but a 2% elastane is pretty stretchy. Some jeans will also have a poly fabric mixed in that can make a 1% elastane jean feel more stretchy. Zooming in on a fabric is very helpful as well. You won’t be surprised how the fabric looks in person and it’ll also give you the chance to look at the stiching. Stiching is a good way to tell the quality of the item.
  5. Avoid paying shipping costs as much as possible. I’m pretty strict with myself on this one. You have to look at how much shipping is going to add on to the final cost and if it’s worth it. If you’re getting  a $20 top, but shipping is $7, consider $27 as the actual cost of the item. Also keep in mind when you return items, shipping costs are almost never refunded. If it’s an item I think I might end up returning, I definitely won’t pay for shipping. If I’m shopping at a store that only offers free shipping after $150 but I’m only spending $50, I might pay shipping if I think the item is worth it.
  6. Google it. If you find an item you like, always google it before you purchase. There may be a better price elsewhere. This is one of the biggest ways that I get the best deal. The price between stores can actually vary a lot. Some places will have it on sale and some won’t. Nordstrom now does price matching so if your loyalty lies with them, you can still get the best price.
  7. Shop through ebates or your credit card store. This is a great way to get some cash back from your purchases. I personally just go through my credit card store, not ebates. My credit card already offers 1% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back on certain categories every month. When you go through their system, stores will have bigger cash back amounts. For example, when I Shop Through Chase, anything I buy at Lord & Taylor has 5% extra cash back and anything I buy at Anthropologie has 2% extra cash back.

My favorite stores for shopping online are:

  1. Revolve – They have free 2-day shipping, free returns, and include a prepaid shipping label in the box. It’s pretty much the easiest site for online shopping and they have the cutest clothes on the planet!
  2. Nordstrom – Always free shipping, free returns, they include a prepaid shipping label, and you can return online items to the store. They even offer in-store pickup now where you can buy it online and it’ll be ready for you to pick up at your local store. I have a Nordstrom right near me so a lot of times I’ll buy online and return at the store if I need to.
  3. Forever 21 – Free shipping over $50. The return policy isn’t as good – you can only get a refund if you return by mail and store credit if you return online items to the store. They include a shipping label, but you have to pay for the return shipping. I consider this a good option mostly because everything is so budget friendly and I have to admit, I really hate shopping at Forever 21 in the store. They’re always so overwhelming and messy. You can see everything so much better online and I’m always shopping there so getting store credit back is not a problem for me.


That’s all of my tips! I hope this post was helpful!!
Melissa ♥

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