Because we are all shopping online now more than ever, knowing how to tell if a garment – or almost anything else – is actually worth it or too good to be true is an essential 2020 (and beyond) life skill. Besides being well-aware of any site’s return policies, here are some methods that we use to decide if a purchase is worth it or not when shopping online.
How To Decide If An Online Purchase Is Worth It
Look At All The Colorways
Often flaws in a garment are a lot more visible in a lighter color or pattern – black and other dark colors can cover a multitude of problems. Also, keep in mind that some brands may just photoshop the different colors or prints, so their photos might not be as accurate as actual reviews. For instance, many sellers on Amazon tend to show the exact same picture but photoshop the various colorways; on the other hand, plenty of brands do unique images for each color option, like BTFBM does for this versatile t-shirt dress.
Search For Outside Reviews to Find Out If The Online Purchase Is Worth it
Google the brand and style names if applicable and see if any bloggers have written about it or if anyone has commented about it on various social media sites. Rent The Runway’s user reviews might be a good resource as well if you are looking at a brand that participates with them or any other outside website that allows for user reviews with photos.
For example, Madewell is available on Nordstrom and Shopbop in addition to their own website, so you may find better examples of their products and reviews in different places. Also, speaking of Madewell, we love this ribbed square neck top – it’s the perfect frame for a necklace!
Of course, video is even better than photos to see how the garment or item actually looks, and in the case of clothing, videos will let you see how it actually drapes and fits on a live person. Some products on Amazon have videos (and there are often customer submitted videos in the reviews), like these cozy-looking oversize sweatpants.
Also the app LIKEtoKNOW.it now has video so you can instantly shop videos from your favorite influencers (like our own Lauren) to hear her first hand reviews.
Check the model’s or the staging environment for furniture on any interior design items. Models posed in odd “artistic” ways might be hiding a lesser quality or oddly fitting piece, and anything related to home style might be photographed in a way that doesn’t let you understand the actual proportions of the piece to decide if your purchase is worth it.
For instance, having the item floating on a sea of white space versus among other pieces doesn’t let you see how it may look in the context of your home. We love how Nordstrom always photographs things at straightforward angles (check out this patterned Free People top for example).
Wayfair almost always shows items in actual rooms (plus how cute is this desktop fountain!). Also, always look at the measurements and compare them to things you already own for reference.
Know Your Measurements
Speaking of measurements, a tape measure might be the best investment for any of us in regard to online shopping and they are super inexpensive. You can get a pack of three tape measures or more on Amazon for under $10. You should also measure your favorite pieces so you know what proportions and lengths that you prefer.
What are your tips and tricks for successfully shopping online?
Shop Our Online Purchase Picks
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