Walk around the mall aimlessly on the lookout for the perfect pair, or stay in bed, scroll through Zappos, DSW, or Bloomingdales and conveniently stumble upon my one true pair?
Online shopping was not only made for average people, but the lazy shopper, the impulsive buyer, the hopeful bloggers, and the bargain hunter as well.
How else (airfare and international travel excluded) would you have access to your favorite foreign brands and designers?
E-commerce has gone a long way since Amazon started in 1995. Who would’ve thought we’d be able to acquire a whole new wardrobe with just a few clicks on our screen?
You mean I can “visit” as many as ten stores in an hour just by using my phone? Sign me up!
Here are some things to consider before you proceed to checkout:
1. The season, style, or brand
It’s not uncommon for stores to conduct end of season sales, but before you indulge in the limited time offers, take the time to refer back to the sizes of shoes and brands you already own.
Those boots in size four may fit, but for those flats and sandals you’ve been eyeing, you may need to bump it up a half or full size.
2. Sure sizing
Shoe sizing charts are usually available on websites to make conversions from American to European sizes easier.
Consider the length and width of your feet and match it with the style of the pair you plan to order. To avoid overestimating or underestimating your foot size, measure your feet down to the exact millimeter, but also allow for an extra full centimeter of wiggle room for your toes.
3. Find possible physical store locations
One downside of online purchasing is not being able to try the shoes on for reassurance. If the need for that new pair isn’t critical, take the time to visit the brand’s physical store, or the displays at the mall. Try them on to see how it fits and feels, then decide which option offers the better deal, or if you want to pull through with the purchase at all.
For people with ankle problems, heel pain or wide feet caused by bunions, deciding on a pair through a screen becomes a stressful task. They can scour through websites that offer customized fittings or plan a trip to the mall instead.
4. Avail of promos and deals
There is no shame in trying to save money, sometimes websites even encourage them. Decide on a budget first, and then filter your choices by price.
Compare prices of same item in different websites. Be aware of the labels and beware of replicas and fakes.
Be on the lookout for free shipping offers, clearance sales, or buy-one-get-one promos. By signing up for their newsletters, you’ll receive emails which usually offer coupons and promotion codes, too.
Amateur online shoppers should save expensive brands for actual store shopping. Online transactions for comfort purposes are safest.
5. Familiarize yourself with warranty, delivery and return policies
Sometimes shipping fees are unreasonable and delivery time develops into a drawback. Before you know it, your delivery fees and extra charges have accumulated. Your charges may even ridiculously cost more than the actual shoe itself.
What are odds that the company mistakenly sent a pair that is both for the left feet only? Upon delivery of the package, immediately check for damages or errors in the item anyway.
Try them on without taking off any labels first. You may be able to evaluate how well it fits on the get go, and if you’re unsatisfied, send it back with the courier – hassle free.
Also be cautious about accidentally or impulsively clicking on pop-ups that can lead to scams. One click can do more damage than you think.
6. Read Read Read
Go over the details, materials used, variations or colors, and customization options.
Make use of the contact information provided by the website for concerns and customer service inquiries.
Customer reviews, ratings, comments and feedback are also useful. Ask around for recommendations from people you know who have tried and tested the site’s services.
Keep the receipts, warranty certificates and shipping information for any miscalculations and issues in the future. Cash on delivery options are available for those who would rather not use credit cards or don’t own any. Most importantly, protect your identity.
You can always just go back to your cart or the bookmarked page when you’re ready to finalize your order. So many choices and even more time to decide. Ahhh, the beauty of technology.
Impulsive buying, on the other hand, is a whole ‘nother story.