How to Online Shop Like a Pro

How to Shop Like a Pro Online

I love the experience of shopping in a great boutique. The picture above is of me with a couple of fab girlfriends at the first ever Chico’s store on Sanibel Island. That was so much fun (I’ll share more about that in an upcoming post) but sometimes I just don’t have the time or energy to make it to the store. Right now we live in a pretty rural area so it takes a little drive to get to the nearest mall. So, with that being said I have embraced online shopping. I actually consider myself to be pretty good at it. I think my UPS guy would agree. But, I almost chucked this post.

To Post or Not to Post

Here’s why…At first, I thought it might not be as helpful to my readers until, within two days of me deciding not to write about it, two of my very good friends confessed they didn’t like or rather didn’t know how to shop online. Sometimes we get into the habit of thinking that what we do or like, everyone else already does too. But after talking with both of my lady friends I started to think that it might be a good idea for me to share this info with you after all.

To Post…

Now let me say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with shopping in the store. Especially if it’s convenient for you. Some people really like the in-store experience, and love the help from the (hopefully qualified) sales person. Even some pros like my very fashionable friend The Silver Stylist prefer to touch and feel the fabrics in person.

But just in case you do love the idea of online shopping but you have questions or fears about how you do it well here are a few tips to help you out.

The Basic Breakdown

Don’t let Identity theft fears stop you-I have to get this one out there first. I know a few of my more seasoned readers have this fear. My mother does as well. But, the truth is that your identity is no more likely to be compromised online while shopping a reputable brand than shopping at your local grocery store. We’ve all seen the viral video of the lady at the McDonalds drive through confronting the cashier who stole her info.  I haven’t had any identity theft problems in all of the years I’ve been shopping online. Knock on wood…and if you are compromised online or anywhere else contact your financial institution right away. They are great at helping to rectify these situations.

Read reviews-Okay, this is my virtual way of touching and feeling the products. People are very candid. They will tell you if the fabric feels cheap, if the cut is weird, if it looks great in the pictures but it is poorly designed or the color is off. They will also tell you if it runs big or small. I spend a lot of time reading reviews. Make sure you actually read them don’t just look at the ratings.  I have seen someone leave a one-star review but rave about the product. Not sure how that happens, but just read…at least a few. I always start at the top (typically the higher rated ones are listed here and then click on the lower stars to see their feedback. A golden rule, if you are strapped for time, is to read reviews in the middle. They tend to be more balanced and fair. If several people are saying the same thing then it’s most likely true. However, keep in mind that it might not be relevant to you. For example, if someone says a regular pant runs short that’s awesome news for vertically challenged me!

Size matters but the number doesn’t-Okay, I have already said that reviews are a good way to find out if the item runs small or large. I have had to go down two or three dress sizes or up one or two depending on the cut. But with that being said your body is still unique and I will admit there is nothing more disappointing than waiting a few days for an item to arrive only to find out it doesn’t fit. Here are three ways to combat that. One- reviews- no need to revisit that. Two-start with stores you are familiar with. I tend to be pretty brand loyal. I know what size I typically wear at my favorite stores. And three- order two of the same item. One in your regular size and then a larger or smaller size based on the review. You can always send the other one back. Typically there is a return label included. I did order something from Brooks Brothers the other day and you had to go online to print a return label but most of them include them in the packaging.

Use your discounts-Loyalty points, mailers, 40-50% off days and E-bates are great ways to save or even make money while shopping online.

You can try a delivery service-If you are worried about not having in-store help you might want to try a delivery service with a stylist who helps select clothes for you. I have used Trunk Club but there are tons of delivery box companies out there. Do a little research and of course, read the reviews.

Check out the companies Instagram Page or hashtag IG photos-And finally if you are looking for real style inspiration use the hashtag or look at the Instagram page. Many companies re-post regular people in their clothes and the hashtags will definitely reveal women of different shapes and sizes sporting the designs.

So that’s my advice for shopping like a pro from the comfort of your home. I’d love to hear your tips for online shopping too and if you’re new to it and you give it a try after reading this, please let me know how it goes!


Until Next Post,

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Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

2 thoughts on “How to Online Shop Like a Pro

  1. Great post! I love online shopping and buy almost everything online, even groceries sometimes. I think it makes comparison shopping easier and I hate getting fatigued from searching through racks. A few additional tips- sign up for emails if you really like the brand so you can use their discount codes and get updates about sales. Also I use apps like Shoptagr to track when specific items that I like go on sale. Your tips about finding the right size are very useful, I also always check the store’s size chart if I’m not sure. A lot of stores are using new intuitive size charts based on your height, weight, and sizes you wear in other brands.

    Liked by 1 person

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