For many, the biggest frustration of shopping online for clothing is the fear that items won’t fit. But now, with stores making returns extremely easy, this can be less of a worry-some issue. A few words of advice when it comes to online shopping and returns:

  • Check the return policy ahead of purchasing. The vast majority of stores do have a return policy. Occasionally during “Final Sale” moments, some will have non-refundable merchandise, but they generally make that very clear on their sites. Most of the larger chain retailers allow you to purchase online and return in a physical store if you prefer, eliminating the need to pay for return shipping (Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, etc). Others that are online-only stores, such as Piperlime, Zappos, and Bluefly include a pre-paid return shipping label should the item not fit – you just drop off to a UPS or DHL location and the store pays for the shipping. (and note: items bought through Shop It To Me need to be returned to the individual store, not us…)

  • **When you receive your item, keep the invoice and shipping labels that are included in the box! **Don’t be too eager when opening the package that you neglect to keep these pieces of information (I’ve done this and it’s a pain…) If you DO accidentally trash these goodies and then realize you need a return shipping label, you can sometimes either call the retailer and they will email you a version you can affix to the box, or find the form on their website that you can print off. But really, try to save these documents — it will make your life much easier.

  • Consider buying 2 sizes of an item and returning the one that doesn’t fit. This way, if you’re unsure about sizing, at least you have a better chance of fitting into one and getting to keep the style you sought out at the price you wished. With returns being so easy these days, I do this all the time to ensure that the style isn’t unavailable or a different price when I go back.

  • Take a chance. Once you learn your body-type and have a sense of what will look good on you, it’s sometimes worth it to take a chance. I recently bought some Lucky jeans through Shop It To Me that were on “final sale”…and they fit perfectly! Buying jeans online is a scary thing – until they arrived, I was on edge. I just figured that if they didn’t fit, I could take them to a re-sale store and recoup most of the money since the price I paid was so discounted, or sell/give them to a friend as a gift. Sometimes the best items come from taking a chance.

Check back soon for another post where I’ll highlight the return policies in detail for some of our retailer partners…