As we all know buying clothing online can be extremely difficult for many reasons. As a seasoned online apparel seller I will give you 7 essential tips for making sure that you have a successful experience when buying clothes online.
1) Know your measurements- People and clothes come in all different sizes and shapes, one brands XL is not always going to be same as another. Find a size chart that will have basic measurements and if you know yours and keep them up to date you will hopefully get sized right. This is the number one reason for returns from online clothing shoppers.
2) Look at the pictures- It is a good sign that you are dealing with a quality seller if they have quality photos and a lot of them. There are a lot of great mom and pop sellers outside the major brands that you know and trust. Stay away from products that have only one or a couple fuzzy low quality pics.
3) Read a few reviews- Take the time to read a few of the 5 star reviews as well as a few of the top critical reviews. Look for trusted reviewers that have more than one review under their belt, and has taken the time to write more than one word. This is especially helpful when trying to get the right size!
4) Know the return policy- It is tough buying clothes online and sellers understand that more than the consumer ever will. Take a peek at return policies, most offer free returns as long as the product is returned in new condition. There can be restocking fees, and other fees depending on time and condition of returned item, so don't try on a shirt while smoking a cigarette and holding your cat, then expect a full refund.
5) Stars can be deceiving- Stars are helpful when shopping online, but can also lead you to make a bad purchase. Just like the review tip, take everything with a grain of salt. Look at how many reviews there are under the stars, if there are a couple hundred or more reviews a 4 star rating is a good quality product. If it has 4 stars or more and has less than 20 reviews be sure to do extra reading to get as much info as you can before making your decision to buy or not.
6) Well written descriptions- When you are reading the bullet points or the product description, does it have flow? Is there proper punctuation! Is it grammatically correct? From time to time we all make mistakes and they slip through the editing process. Ultimately it is about trust and avoiding shopping when there are obvious red flags, and these are usually signs of a company that you want to avoid.
7) Ask Questions- If it is a reputable company or seller on third party sites like Ebay they will pride themselves on customer service. Take the time to reach out for information, on third party sites a lot of times there is even the opportunity to ask people who have previously purchased the same item.
At the end of the day there is no perfect system for buying clothes or anything for that matter online. The goal is to educate yourself as best you can and decide whether you trust who you are buying from. Hopefully these tips will give a little guidance for the someone looking to make their next online clothing purchase.