Shopping online definitely has its perks – no waiting in line for the change room, no dealing with surly staff, and, indeed, no leaving the house at all! There is something intrinsically satisfying about shopping for clothes from the comfort of your sofa.
However, while shopping online does come with a lengthy list of pros, it also has a few cons as well. For example, that killer pair of skinny jeans that wouldn’t even fit your twelve-year-old self; the supposedly lime-green dress that resembles the color of vomit; and the too-good-to-be-true T-shirt deal that leaves you with wonky seams and dangly threads.
To save yourself time and aggravation (aka nasty surprises and hastily returns), read up on our five tips to successfully shop ladies’ fashion online in Thailand. Use our advice next time you’re shopping up a storm, and you won’t be disappointed with your order.
Top Five Tips
1] Know your measurements – Sizes vary depending on the brand, batch, factory and target market (Western fashion is often sized larger than Asian). This is easily handled in-store with multiple trips to the dressing room; but with online shopping, you don’t have that option. So, you’re going to need to whip out a measuring tape and take note of your current (no wishful thinking, ladies!) bust, waist, hips, and inseam measurements. And now, before you head to the Checkout, see how your handy new measurements stand up to the store’s size chart to help determine what size you should be ordering.
2] Read product reviews – The importance of customer reviews cannot be more overstated; these are invaluable real-world insights into how shoppers like you have perceived their order. For every piece you’re considering, take time to scan for comments, looking in particular for mentions about the size and fit, which will give you a good idea about whether or not the chosen item fits true to size, or if you’ll need to size down or up. Not to mention any ‘issues’, such as a dress being tight across the bust or a skirt fitting loosely around the hips. Also look for general mentions about the quality of the piece, in terms of the material(s) used and the overall finish.
3] Research materials – There’s nothing worse than finally receiving the dress you’ve been saving up to buy for months, only to find that the fabric scrunches awkwardly or feels itchy. Since you can’t touch the material in question, you need to familiarise yourself with different ones in advance. Go through your closet and find pieces that you love the most, in terms of how they look and perform. Do the same for anything that you hate. Make a note of the good and bad fabrics you’ve come across and used those as a reference point when shopping online. For example, if you know you love natural and flexible materials like cotton and bamboo, place those at the top of your list and avoid anything made with polyester and nylon.
4] Edit your cart – Online shopping is the land of impulse purchases, chiefly because you’re not physically totting stuff around a store. To avoid buying things you’ll regret later, ask yourself if it’s good value/quality, something you need, can be worn with other items in your closet and will stand the test of time (e.g., is it a fashion staple, like a little black dress or a trendy fly-by-night, like a poncho). One of the great things about shopping online is that you can save any items you like in your Wish List or Cart and go back to them in a day or a week after mulling it over. If you give yourself time to breathe and find that you’re still obsessing over that pair of tie-dyed skinny jeans that you saw last week, then go for it! If it has lost all its luster and you don’t even know why it went in your cart in the first place (hello, 50% off sale!), delete it.
5] Read the returns policy – Even if you’ve followed all our steps 1 through 4, there still might be the occasional slip-up, and you’re left with a lemon. You don’t need to keep such items and have them languish in the back of your wardrobe or attempt to palm them off on an unsuspecting younger sister. Before you order from any store (because each is different), you must familiarise yourself with their return policies. The most important things you’ll want to look for are whether or not they offer free returns; the window within which you can send products back; their policy on exchanges and full or partial refunds; if returns can be made via post or only in-store; is there any restocking fee; and how and when (time limit) store credit can be used.