Mastering the Art of Online Shopping

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If you come up to me at any given second, chances are that 90% of what I am wearing I bought online.  I love online shopping, so much so that I almost hate going into a store these days, and don’t even get me started on the mall!   What’s not to like?  You can shop multiple stores at one time to find the best deal, all from the comfort of your home, or on the go with your phone.  I know, I know, its hard to figure out the right size size or know how it will look once it is on, and I get that.  I typically shop the same brands and stores, so I can usually guess what size I am.  But, almost all websites these days have reviews where fellow buyers share how the item fits, if its true to size or runs small/big.  So, now that I have established how obsessed I am with shopping online, let me give you a few tips, followed by my favorite places to get the best deals online!

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Tip #1:  Figure out exactly what you are looking for.  Whether that be espadrille wedges or a military jacket, if you narrow it down to specific items, you won’t be overwhelmed by all of the options out there.

Tip #2:  Shop off-season.  I did a search yesterday for booties on Amazon, and I was amazed at how low the prices are right now.  Because its not yet fall, and most stores are still stocked with summer items, the demand for fall and winter items is low, which means the prices are also low.  Yes, some items are from last season, but if you are looking for quality pieces, they will carry over from season to season.

Tip #3:  Use online codes!  If I find something I love and want to buy online, I add it to my cart and then go searching for a coupon code.  In the past I would google it, or check retailmenot.com, but these days I have gotten smarter, and use a browser add-on.  Something like Honey or Wikibuy is a great option.  All you do is download it to your web browser, like Chrome or Safari, and then when it comes time to check out, they will search for all of the possible codes out there, and then run them through the website to see if any are valid.  It saves so much time and money!  Also, if a website offers a special deal for first time buyers, I always sign up for their email newsletters to get free shipping or a percentage off the first order.

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So, those are my tips for online shopping, now let me share my favorite places to buy online:

#1. Amazon.  You may think Amazon is only good for electronics or books, but this is my all time favorite place to get shoes, clothing, accessories, and home goods.  First off, Amazon Prime makes it worth it just to get free 2-day shipping.  But I have also found that Amazon usually has the best price of anywhere else on the web.  I have gotten some really great deals on shoes and bags on Amazon!  I usually find a brand I like, such as Steve Madden or Sam Edelman, and do a broad search, like “Steve Madden Wedges”.  You will get lots of options, and sometimes you will find that one or two styles are on a deep discount, or that a certain color is cheaper than others.  The prices change frequently, so keep checking!  Also, with the Honey add-on, you can see the price trend of a certain item over the last few days, and how it has dropped or risen.  If I’m unsure about a size, I will often buy two and send the other back, since the Prime shipping makes it free and easy.  If I find something I like on one website, I will always go check to see if Amazon has the same item at a better price.  Did you see the embroidered dress I posted on my Instagram?  It was normally $100, and I found it on one site for $80.  Fortunately, I sent that one back because it was too big, and when I went to find it in a smaller size, I found it on Amazon for $50!

#2. Zappos.  Zappos is a new favorite of mine for shoes, but they also have clothing and accessories.  The prices aren’t as low as some, but with the Zappos app, you can get FREE next day shipping!  Seriously.  I ordered something at 5 pm and had it waiting at my door the next morning at 11 am.  Zappos is owned by Amazon, so you will often find the same prices on Amazon and Zappos, but if you need something in a hurry, Zappos is the way to go. 

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#3. TJ Maxx.  Did you know you could order on their website? If you are looking for trendy styles at an affordable price, TJ Maxx is the way to go.  The best part is that you can do all of your returns at the store!  I will often buy multiple sizes of the same item, and take the one that doesn’t fit back to the store.  And there is a TJ Maxx almost everywhere these days!  You have to spend $89 to get free shipping, but if you sign up for emails, they will send you a coupon code for free shipping, and they also do specials regularly where everything ships free.

#4. E-Bay.  I don’t use E-Bay quite as much as I used to, but I will go here if I am looking for accessories, like jewelry, that are really inexpensive.  I also love E-Bay if I am looking for something that costs more new than I want to spend.  You can often find a gently used item for a much lower price than if you bought it brand new in the store.  My one tip for E-bay: if you are bidding on an item, set a reminder about 5 minutes before it is going to end.  Decide the most you want to spend, and place your max bid amount in the last 15-20 seconds so no one has the opportunity to counter-bid.  The adrenaline that comes from bidding online may cause you to get caught up in the fun and excitement, and spend more than you planned, so make sure to be firm on your max price!

#5. New discount websites from China.  If you are anywhere on Facebook, you’ve seen these sites a lot lately.  Some of the most popular are SheIn.com or Romwe.com, and they carry all of the latest styles and trends at a very low price.  Amazon sells some items from these sites, so you can try out their products with Prime shipping before you order directly from them.  I just tried SheIn for the first time, and it did take a really long time to receive my package, even though I paid extra for faster shipping.  I think it took close to 3 weeks.  But I was pleasantly surprised with the quality and fit of everything I ordered.  If you order from these sites, make sure you don’t need it quickly, and also check the size charts, because they vary for each item!

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So there you have it, all of my secrets revealed!  There are lots of other great websites out there that I shop from, like Old Navy, Asos, and 6pm.com.  If all else fails, do a simple Google search for the item you are looking for, and see what pops up!  I would love to hear your favorite places to shop online, and any tips or tricks I might have missed!

Happy Shopping!

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