Many consumers who have previously avoided shopping for clothes online often cite a lack of confidence in ordering through an online retailer, as well as unease about the difficulty or high shipping costs associated with sending garments back or having them returned. An equal number (35.3%) described their buying habits as weekly or less. For many online shopping has been a huge success.
There are, however, some things buyers should know before ordering their next piece of clothing.
Here are six important points to remember:
Most online retailers will offer size clothes at prices comparable to those offered by brick-and-mortar shops. It is important to do your own measuring, particularly if you’re going for a special order, because online clothing websites use a different system. However, many companies provide sizing charts for both plus-size and standard sizes on their websites. If you don’t know your size, visit the site’s contact page and email them. They’ll be glad to help!
There are a few important items to pay attention to when choosing your site for ordering and returns: return policies and payment options. Most major online retailers offer a free shipping option with every garment they sell. But in some cases, buyers must pay for additional shipping charges. If you do not plan to return the garment, or if you do not mind paying for return shipping, you may want to shop around for a lower price. One of the easiest ways to do this is to order a bulk order, then order from a retailer that does not charge extra shipping charges. While it may take more time, it may also save you hundreds of dollars.
If your return policy allows for exchanges, be sure to double check it.
Some sites allow for a “return of merchandise” within a specific period after the order is shipped out; others require a return receipt. Some stores also require proof of postage and address verification. If a product cannot be returned, ask for a refund. Some online retailers may charge a late delivery fee, which means you could have to pay the cost of shipping two weeks later, in addition to any return shipping costs, if you need to send your item back.
Look for sites that offer reasonable shipping charges, especially if you will be shipping long distance. In many cases, online shoppers can pay as little as ten cents per item for shipping charges and a minimum of $4.95 for priority shipping within the United States. If the store cannot ship items at this low a rate, go elsewhere. Be sure to check their return policies and shipping options. You may be required to sign a contract prior to making your purchase.
- Some stores, like eBay, require you to print out a contract,
- which stipulates a return policy and additional terms
- such as how long the item can be worn and how much you must pay for shipping and handling.
Most stores do not, so be sure to read their return policy before signing. Always read the fine print carefully before making your purchase, so that you know exactly what is covered in case something goes wrong. Even if the store is honest, there is a chance it could happen. So be cautious about placing your credit-card information online.
Make sure to check out the terms of all the shipping options. Some merchants require you to make a down payment before the items can be shipped out; others require that payment be made before the item is shipped, and some only accept credit cards. Others allow you to choose the payment method for shipping as well as the amount of time the items should be delivered before they are considered returned. So be sure to review the shipping policy carefully before finalizing your purchase.