Online Shopping for Clothing

Read the Policies when Using Online Shopping

There are a variety of online retailers selling clothing. This includes traditional stores that also have online stores as well as retailers who operate exclusively online. Shopping for clothing online is very popular especially for those consumers who do not have sufficient time to visit traditional stores and spend time browsing and trying on clothing. It is also a popular option for consumers seeking an outfit for a special occasion who have not been satisfied with the options they found available to them in local traditional stores. This article will supply information on some of the popular online retailers of clothing as well as information on selecting clothing items online and dealing with items that do not fit properly.

Popular Online Retailers for Clothing

The majority of major traditional stores that sell clothing also have an online shopping version of their store where consumers can browse through the inventory, make purchases and have items shipped directly to them or to friends or family members. Examples of popular traditional stores who also offer online versions of their store include Old Navy, Banana Republic, Abercrombie and Fitch and Ann Taylor. Additionally, department stores such as Target, Macy’s and JCPenny which do not exclusively sell clothing make their clothing, as well as other products, available through the online versions of their stores. Shoppers who opt to peruse the online stores for clothing may find a greater selection than there is available in traditional stores. The online shopping stores may have items available which are only available online. Additionally, the online stores may have access to a greater inventory unlike traditional stores which may run out of popular sizes rather quickly.

Choosing Online Clothing Options Carefully

When purchasing clothing online, consumers have to be somewhat cautious. This is because it may be difficult to tell how well a clothing item will fit without trying it on first. Also, it can be difficult to assess the texture or color of clothing when shopping online. Online shoppers should read product descriptions carefully and pay particular attention to sizing charts when shopping online for clothing. This will help the consumer to make wise choices.

online shoppingOnline shoppers should also pay attention to the description of the cut of clothing items and should carefully compare these descriptions to the photos displayed on the website of the online retailer. This is an important consideration because consumers may prefer certain cuts which are more flattering to them while other cuts may not look as appealing. Paying particular attention to this information will help the consumer make wise decisions when shopping for clothing online.

When the Shoe Doesn’t Fit

Despite a consumer’s best intentions, there may be times in which they purchase clothing items they have to return because they do not fit well or simply because the consumer changes his mind about the item after making the purchase. For this reason, all online shoppers should carefully review the return policies of online clothing retailers before making purchases. Most online retailers will take items back regardless of the reason for the return but some of them may only assume responsibility for the shipping fees associated with the return if the item is defective. However, there are some online retailers that will not accept returns on certain items and the consumer should be aware of these restrictions before making a purchase.

Lingerie is usually one of those restrictions.  LoveWorks operates both brick-and-mortar stores where you can visit and try on the Lingerie before you buy, as well as an online Adult Store to make your purchase conveniently from home.  LoveWorks is much more forgiving and will take back your ill-fitting online purchase in the name of making customers happy.

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Entering your Credit Card Number Online

Before you type your card details into a website, ensure that the site is secure. Look out for a small padlock symbol in the address bar (or elsewhere in your browser window) and a web address beginning with https:// (the s stands for ‘secure’).

You also need to check that the website is trustworthy. Here are a few suggestions for ways in which you can reduce the risk of using an untrustworthy site:

  • Be suspicious of offers that seem too good to be true. This could indicate that a site might be selling illegal or pirated items.
  • If you’re not familiar with the website, you could ask trusted friends, colleagues or family members for their opinion. They might be able to offer you recommendations for alternatives.
  • You could also do an internet search to see if the site you are investigating is mentioned favorably on sites you already trust.

When Online Shopping is Not Ideal

There are a number of distinct advantages to online shopping. Some of these advantages include the ability to shop at a convenient time, a potential for cost savings, the ability to shop at stores around the world and the ability to find rare collectible items. While these advantages draw many consumers to online shopping there are also some situations in which shopping online is not the best option for all consumers. This article will discuss some of these situations such as shopping for clothing online, shopping for decorative items and shopping for used items. Although some consumers may be able to shop for these types of items online there are some consumers who will always have difficulty shopping for these types of items online.

Shopping for Clothing Online

Shopping for clothing online is often difficult. This is because consumers are used to being able to try on items in traditional stores before making a purchase. The ability to try clothing items on before making a purchase is so important because it allows the consumer to evaluate the size, fit, material and color of the garment before making a decision about whether or not to make the purchase. Although some consumers may be able to make decisions about purchasing clothing items easily without trying the item on, the majority of consumers will not be able to make these decisions easily based solely on an image and a product description.

While shopping for clothing online is not always easy the upside to this type of purchase is making returns on clothing is usually a fairly simple process. Clothing is light and relatively easy to ship so as a result there is usually not a substantial cost in returning clothing items. This ease of shipping often makes consumers more likely to make clothing purchases online even though they are not sure how well the item will fit.

Shopping for Decorative Items Online

Shopping for furniture and decorative items online is another area in which consumers may wish to avoid online shopping. They may browse online retailers to get ideas about the types of products they want and the costs of these items but it many cases it is wise to make these purchases in a traditional store as opposed to an online retailer. Consider purchasing bulky pieces of furniture such as couches, beds or tables. These items can be rather expensive to ship and the cost of having these items shipped can significantly add to the overall cost of the item. Although the consumer may pay a delivery charge when purchasing furniture from a traditional store, this fee is usually considerably lower than the cost of having the item shipped. Also, consumers have the option of avoiding delivery fees if they are capable of transporting the item themselves.

Shopping for furniture and decorative items online can also be difficult because the consumer may want to see these items in person before making a decision. This is important because seeing the item in person enables the consumer to see the color, feel the texture and make any necessary measurements which will help to ensure the item is a good fit for the home.

Shopping for Used Items Online

Shopping for used items online can also be difficult. This is because the consumer may want to evaluate the item carefully for wear and functionality before making a purchase. Although the seller may provide photos and a description of the item for sale, these images and words may not fully describe the product for sale. Although this may be completely unintentional on behalf of the seller there are also situations in which the seller will attempt to misrepresent the item deliberately to deceive potential buyers. Online shoppers may find a variety of great used items for sale at excellent prices but care should always be taken with these purchases to ensure the item is described accurately. Consumers who purchase used items online are advised to ask questions and ask for additional photos of the item if necessary.

The Hassles of Online Shopping

Online shopping offers a variety of benefits to the consumer such as the ability to shop when it is convenient, a variety of shipping options, the ability to shop with retailers located around the world and easy comparison shopping but there is also a downside to online shopping. This article will discuss some of the hassles of online shopping including dealing with slow Internet connections, making a mistake when placing an order and problems which result from failure to read the fine print.

Dealing with Slow Internet Connections

Nothing can be more frustrating to an online shopper than a slow Internet connection or a website loads very slowly. This can be problematic because it can result in it taking a great deal of time for the shopper to find the items they are seeking and make their purchase. These problems may be a result of the Internet connection the seller has, the size of the page he is trying to load or the quality of the server on which the online retailer’s website is hosted. Regardless of the cause of the problem it can be extremely frustrating and can greatly complicate the process of making a purchase online. A website which loads slowly can result in a great deal of lost time which can impact the shopper’s satisfaction with the online shopping experience. It can also diminish the appeal of online shopping by making the process much less convenient.

Making a Mistake with the Order

Another problem which may result during the process of online shopping is making a mistake while placing the order. Although this problem can occur during any type of shopping, it can often be quite difficult to correct while online shopping. During the process of online shopping, shoppers may place an order and receive an email confirmation of the order almost instantly. Upon checking the status of the order the shopper may discover a mistake but may also quickly find out correcting this mistake is not easy. This is because many online retailers automate their shopping process which makes it difficult to manually correct mistakes.

For example a shopper who realizes he used the wrong shipping address may find out the order has already entered the shipping process and can no longer be corrected within minutes after the order is placed. The order may not technically ship for a day or two but once the order is transferred to the shipper, the retailer may no longer be able to make changes to the order for the consumer. Therefore consumers should always carefully review the order before they submit the order to avoid mistakes which could be difficult to correct.

Reading the Fine Print

Finally, online shoppers should always carefully read the fine print before they make a purchase. This includes information such as the product description, payment options, cost of the product, taxes, shipping options and the return policy. All of this information is important because failure to understand this information could result in problems such as purchasing the wrong product or paying more for a product than expected. There may also be problems if the consumer needs to return the product and did not understand the return policy before making the purchase. This could result in the shopper either not being able to return the item or being responsible for the shipping costs.

Reading Fine Print When Online Shopping

Online shopping offers a wide range of advantages to shoppers but there are some precautions shoppers should take to when shopping at an online store to ensure their shopping experience is enjoyable and meets all of their expectations. Online shopping is not generally risky but consumers should pay particular attention to all of the necessary details when making purchases online. This article will discuss a few specific areas in which it is worthwhile for the consumer to read carefully to ensure they are not making a mistake with their online purchase. These areas include product descriptions, descriptions of payment options and explanations of return policies.

Checking Product Descriptions Carefully

The product descriptions on an online website are one of the most important components of the websites. This is because, unlike at traditional stores, consumers cannot physically examine the products before they make a purchase. Therefore, the consumer must rely on the product descriptions to make important decisions about whether or not to purchase a particular product. This is especially important when there are similar products available for purchase because the subtle differences may not be evident in the images available online. In these cases, consumers should pay particular attention to the product descriptions to ensure a mistake is not made in the ordering process. If the product descriptions are not descriptive enough or do not answer all of the consumer’s questions it may be worthwhile to contact a customer service representative to seek clarification about the product before making a purchase.

Understanding Payment Options

Online shoppers should also carefully investigate the payment options available before making a purchase online. This includes not only the type of payment accepted but also the total cost of the item including taxes and shipping. Without a full understanding of this information the consumer may make a costly mistake with an order. To avoid these problems the consumer should first verify the methods of payment accepted before making a purchase. In most cases this will be limited to credit cards and debit cards when online shopping. Additionally the type of credit card accepted might be limited although most online retailers will accept all major credit cards.

Regarding the use of gift cards the consumer should also investigate the policies regarding the use of these cards at the online retailer. This is important because some online retailers may limit the number of cards which can be used as well as the value of the cards which can be applied to an online purchase. This also applies to coupons and promotional codes as there may be restrictions regarding the use of these discounts. The restrictions regarding these discounts typically revolve around the times in which the discounts can be used as well as whether or not the discounts can be used on sale items or in combination with other promotional codes.

Understanding Return Policies

The need to make a return can be one of the most stressful situations resulting from an online shopping experience. Although making returns with items purchased online can often be very simple there are also some complications which may arise. To avoid these complications the consumer should read the return policies carefully and make sure he understands these policies before making a purchase. Depending on these policies the process of making a return may still be complicated and potentially expensive but as long as the consumer is aware of the policy he will not be caught by surprise when the need to make a return arises.

The most difficult situation when returning a product purchased online typically includes the consumer being fully responsible for the cost of returning the item to the online retailer. Items which are relatively small may not be particularly expensive to return but oversized items and heavy items may be quite expensive to ship. Also, expensive items may require the purchase of costly shipping insurance.

Easy Returns with Online Shopping

One of the main concerns potential online shoppers have about the process of shopping online is whether or not it will be possible to return items which were purchased online. This is certainly a valid concern but fortunately for these wary shoppers making returns when online shopping is not very difficult. There are usually a few different options for making returns when online shopping. However, online shoppers should always be aware of return policies before they make an online purchase. This article will discuss a couple of the options for making returns when online shopping including returning the items to a traditional store and shipping the items back to the online retailer.

Returning Online Purchases to a Traditional Store

Online retailers who also have traditional stores often allow consumers to return items to the regular store instead of having to ship the item back to the online retailer. This is generally an option for large retailers who have a number of stores available. Consumers may want to purchase an item online for a number of reasons. The consumer may wish to make the purchase online because the item is not currently in stock at a local store, because the local store does not carry the item or simply because ordering the item online is more convenient for the consumer. Still other consumers may opt to purchase the item online because the online retailer does not have a traditional store located near the consumer. In these cases the consumer would likely opt to ship the item back to the online retailer. However, in the other cases, as long as it is convenient, the consumer may wish to simply return the item to a traditional store.

The process of returning items purchased online to a traditional store is often as simple as making a return on an item that was not purchased online. The consumer may simply have to bring the item with its original packaging and the receipt to the store. The consumer may then be able to receive an exchange, store credit or a refund depending on the store’s policy. As with any return there may be rules which apply to whether or not the store will take back the item. These rules may vary from store to store and even with different items purchased from the same store so the consumer should verify these policies before making the purchase.

Other Options for Returning Online Purchases

Consumers who make a purchase online and are dissatisfied with the purchase for any reason may have a number of options available to them for making returns. One of these options is shipping the items back to the online retailer directly. However, there are a number of ways in which this option can be accomplished. In some cases the consumer is responsible for shipping the item back to the online retailer and assumes the financial responsibility for the shipping. This is usually the case when the consumer wishes the return the item for reasons such as changing his mind about the purchase or purchasing the wrong item. However, in cases where the item purchased from an online retailer is defective or the retailer shipped the wrong item, the online retailer may assume the financial responsibility for having the item shipped. In some cases, the online retailer will mail the consumer a pre-paid packing slip while in other cases the online retailer will arrange to have the package picked up from the consumer’s home.

Understanding Return Policies when Online Shopping

As previously mentioned the return policies can vary from one online retailer to the next and may even vary for different products purchased from the same online retailer. For this reason it is important for consumers to carefully review the return policies before making an online purchase. This is especially important if the consumer is unsure about the product and suspects it may be necessary to return the item. This may be the case with clothing items where the consumer may be unsure whether or not an item will fit. However, with any purchase there is the potential for the need to exchange the item so consumers should read the return policy carefully and inquire with the retailer if they have any questions about the policy before making a purchase.

Dealing with Defective Items When Online Shopping

One of the most frustrating aspects of online shopping is definitely dealing with receiving defective items. This is a rare problem which may happen regardless of whether the shopper patronizes an online retailer or a traditional store. However, dealing with the problem can be more difficult during online shopping endeavors. Dealing with this problem may be somewhat more difficult when the consumer purchases an item online but there are some useful tips which can make dealing with defective items significantly less stressful and failure to follow these tips can make it difficult for online shoppers to have a defective item replaced. This article will discuss some of these useful tips namely the importance of testing items immediately, contacting online retailers and dealing with unresponsiveness from online retailers to help online shoppers deal with this dilemma.

Testing Items Immediately after They Arrive

One very important tip for online shoppers is to always test items immediately after they arrive from the online retailer. This means the shopper should open and test the item as soon as possible after it is delivered. Doing this is important for a couple of very important reasons. One of these reasons is testing the item for functionality immediately will help to ensure the online shopper is able to return the item within the limitations of the online retailers return policy. Online retailers often have specific policies pertaining to returns and failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in the shopper not being able to return the item for a refund or exchange. These policies can vary significantly from one online retailer to the next and some policies may be more liberal than others. However, consumers who determine an item is defective within a couple of days after the item is received will likely still be within the period in which returns are still accepted even with online retailers who offer the stingiest return policies.

Another reason why it is important to test an item purchased online for functionality immediately after receiving the item is it helps to ensure the consumer will not lose the original packaging or receipt. This is important because most online retailers will require the item be returned with an original receipt and in the original packaging. It is certainly still possibly for online shoppers to lose the receipt but they are less likely to do so if they realized immediately that the item was defective.

Contacting the Online Retailer

Once an online shopper realizes an item is defective, the first step he takes should be to contact the online retailers. This should be done immediately because the online retailer will likely document the claim of defectiveness during this initial call and this documentation will serve as evidence of when the item was reported to be defective. This proof will come in handy if the online retailer gives the customer problems with returning the item and there is a need to pursue legal actions.

In most cases, the receipt will list a contact phone number which will put the consumer in contact with a customer service representative. However, if the receipt does not have this information the consumer may return to the website of the online retailer to find the necessary contact information. The consumer should then contact a customer service representative and describe the problem with the item as accurately as possible. In most cases the customer service representative will be able to provide the consumer with information on how to return the item for an exchange or a refund.

When the Online Retailer is Unresponsive

As with any retailer, it is always possible that the online shopper will not be satisfied with the response to the complaint offered by the online retailer. The buyer may be dissatisfied with the response offered by the online retailer or may be dissatisfied by a lack of a response from the online retailer. Regardless of the reason for the dissatisfaction the consumer will likely have to pursue other methods of obtaining a response to his complaint. The consumer may wish to elevate his complaint by asking to speak to a supervisor. If this does not rectify the situation it may be necessary to file a complaint with an agency such as the Better Business Bureau. They can than contact the retailer on behalf of the disgruntled consumer and attempt to rectify the situation.

The Dangers of Online Shopping

Although there are many who enjoy online shopping, there are others who have fears about online shopping and do not enjoy this type of shopping. For these shoppers there too many concerns which prevent the shopper from feeling completely comfortable shopping online. Some of these concerns include identity theft, difficulty making returns and misleading product descriptions. This article will address these concerns and offer information about how shoppers can help to avoid these online shopping dangers and feel more comfortable about the process of shopping online. Shopper who are able to put these concerns aside will likely find they actually enjoy the conveniences offered by online shopping.

Concerns about Identity Theft

Concerns about identity theft are one of the most common concerns for those who are considering shopping online. Identity theft is a very real concern because unscrupulous individuals who acquire sensitive information about an online shopper can do a great deal of damage to the individual’s financial situation and credit score. Although it is usually possible to correct problems which occurs as a result of identity theft the process of making these corrections is usually long and difficult. Additionally, there are some problems which result from identity theft which cannot be corrected especially if the identity theft was undetected for quite some time.

While identity theft is a very valid concern, online shoppers are not completely vulnerable to identity theft in most cases. However, the online shopper should know how to determine whether or not the information they provide online is secure or not. This is important because while the risk of identity theft associated with online shopping through a secure website is relatively small, this risk is significantly larger when the website is not secure. For this reason, online shoppers should carefully examine the web address for any website in which they submit sensitive information. Websites which start with https:// as opposed to http:// indicate the information is being submitted through a secure server. Most reputable online retailers will provide a secure website for shoppers but some smaller online retailers may not offer this degree of security. If the server is not secure the shopper should consider calling customer service to place the order instead of submitting the information through the unsecured website.

Dealing with Returns

Another problem which faces many online retailers is the potential for problems which result from the need to return items purchased online. In most cases the return process with online retailers is quite simple and is not more difficult than returning items to a regular store. In fact online retailers who have a traditional store often allow online shoppers to make returns to these locations instead of shipping the item back to the online retailer. However, returns are not always this easy. In some cases the shopper will be financially responsible for the cost of shipping the item back to the online retailer. This can be costly if the item is oversized and could require pricy insurance if the item is expensive. Online shoppers who have concerns about the return policy for an online retailer should carefully review these policies and inquire if they have any questions about the process before making a purchase.

Misleading Product Descriptions

One final concern many potential online shoppers have about shopping online is encountering misleading product descriptions. This may include product descriptions which are intentionally or unintentionally ambiguous. The concern in this situation is that the shopper will purchase the wrong item or an item which is not as described by the online retailer and the buyer will have difficulty returning the item if necessary. Although this problem may occur there are simple steps the consumer can take to avoid this problem. The simplest solution to this problem is to contact customer service to clarify information about the products offered for sale online. This enables the consumer to speak directly to a representative from the online retailer and verify whether or not the product offered for sale will suit his needs. Based on this information the consumer can then decide to either make the purchase or not.