Online Shopping Do’s and Don’ts

She found a great deal, and her hair looks fabulous!
She found a great deal, and her hair looks fabulous!

My wife told me about a girl from work that ordered a dress online for an upcoming wedding. It is a rental place and their gimmick is to send you two of the same dress, one in your size and one the size next to it, thereby “guaranteeing” the fit. They only charge you for one dress, and when you’re done, you just send them back.

I don’t know how revolutionary this is, but it’s a good example of the kinds of perks and benefits you can get when shopping online, mainly because there is so much competition for your dollar. At the same time, it’s a little oddball. “You order one and they send you two? What’s the catch?!?”

Every retailer is different, and not all are on the up and up (more on that in a minute.) So, what you do to enjoy a more satisfying online shopping experience? The Sacramento Bee has some ideas. Here are some bullets:

  • A good return policy: Look for at least a 30-day policy.
  • Free Shipping: It’s pretty common, especially at places with actual stores where they ship the item for pickup.
  • Fit: It helps if you are familiar with the store and the label. Some sites have different “Virtual Fit” software but, again, look at the return policy
  • Fit, comma, shoes: Can be difficult online. Maybe buy two pairs, like the girl above, and return the ones that don’t fit?
  • Restocking fees: Can be pretty steep for electronics, media, games, etc.

Lots more info at the original piece, so check it out!

As for things to watch out for, I will simply direct you to something called the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. A lot of the negative things about online shopping relate to ID and credit card theft. They have a bunch of advice about that.

So, are you among the 25% shopping mainly online? What’s your favorite part? What worried you? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a GREAT weekend!