When you have a busy family home, it can feel like hard work keeping on…
Buying things online can sometimes feel a bit like navigating a minefield. Without being able to see items in the flesh, it’s easy to end up buying something that wasn’t what you’d thought it would be. Although you can usually return items to retailers the process tends to be long-winded and in some cases, you may even need to pay the return postage – so what can you do to help you get it right the first time around?
1. Always read the item description in full
When shopping online, the item description is designed to give you all of the information that you need to make an informed decision. The first few lines tend to be a brief overview of the product, but then further down you’ll usually find more information such as the materials used, dimensions and care instructions. It’s very important to read all of these sections to make sure that you’re purchasing what you think you are. Without being able to touch and feel clothes, the materials section can give you an idea of what the item is made of so that you aren’t taken back by itchy wool or uncomfortable synthetics.
2. Always use the sizing guide
We all know that stores size their clothes differently, and buying online is no exception. Just because you may be a size 14 in your current jeans doesn’t mean that you will be this time around. Use the size guide for each retailer and take your measurements as directed to help you determine which size you need. Although the size guide is usually a good indication, it’s also worth reading a few customer reviews to see if people report the sizing to be small or large. If you don’t have one already, then a dress-makers tape is a good and cheap investment that will help you to take your measurements.
3. Read customer reviews
When it comes to avoiding bad decisions, customer reviews are your best friend. Most retailers now incorporate reviews on their own websites, however, you can also find reviews on third party sites by typing in the brand name, for example, ‘The White Company reviews’ straight into Google. Reviews can tell you a lot about a product or a company including details on their customer service, how they handle returns, the quality of their items and how their sizing matches up.
4. Always measure furniture
Whether you’re buying a shelf, a wardrobe or a desk for your home office, never underestimate how important it is to measure first. As mentioned previously, most retailers include dimensions on their web-listings, so use these measurements to measure where the new item will go to ensure it fits before it comes. It’s also a good idea to visualise dimensions of products so that you know exactly what you’re buying. Sometimes online advertisements can make an item seem bigger than it actually is, and you may be paying for a dolls-house accessory or a child’s picnic table rather than the real thing.
So there you have it – four simple things that will help you to make better online purchases. Do you buy things online? Let me know how you pick items in the comments.