Who doesn’t like to get a great deal? But shopping online for clothes and shoes can be daunting. Don’t let it be! Many of the best clothing and shoe deals are found at Internet retail and discount sites and are a great way to save money. With these tips and thoughts for online shopping, be more confident with your clothing online purchases.
1. Register for Customer Loyalty Programs / Cards
Customer loyalty programs are a great way to get the inside scoop and first hand knowledge of a retailer’s sales, special deals, programs, and other handy “insider-only” tips. Most are free and easy to join. Some programs require you to apply for their credit card for maximum benefit, but many others only require registration for their e-mail notifications. Here are several favorite customer loyalty programs and snapshots of the benefits each one offers:
- Target REDCard – The Target REDCard gives 5% back on every purchase, and free shipping for online purchases, no minimum purchase and no membership fees. Learn more at Get A Target REDCard & SuperCharge Your Purchases.
- 6pm.com Brandaholics – First, sign up to receive the Daily Deal e-mail notifications. Then sign up for the Brandaholics program. For every 400 points earned, get a 10% off shopping coupon. That’s on top of the already steeply discounted 6pm prices! Learn more at 6pm.com: Shoes and A Whole Lot More.
- Sierra Trading Post – Simply sign up for DealFlyer and BarnBuster e-mail notifications, and receive Sierra Trading Post deals within the hour. There’s always a deal at Sierra! Learn more at Get Great Deals at Sierra Trading Post.
- GapCard – Shop Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, Piperlime? Then consider a GapCard. It’s free and earns $10 rewards for every $200 Gap Brand purchase. And get 15% off just for signing up. Frequent GapBrand shoppers can upgrade to a Gap Silver Card, which offers even greater benefits, including free shipping on all orders (no minimum purchase required) and special 10% off days.
- LLBean Visa Card – Cash in on free shipping, free returns, and exclusive cardholder only sales and deals. Earn 3% rewards for every LLBean purchase and get $10 LLBean coupons. All for no annual fee and no minimum purchases requirements. You can get this card and use it exclusively for LLBean purchases.
2. Coupon Code Search Before Purchasing
Check your favorite coupon code “hot spots” for better savings, or Google search coupon codes for your online retailer. Then “cut and paste” or “click through” to even greater savings. Also check if coupons can be combined and you might just “double dip” a free shipping coupon with a special discount coupon. Not sure where to start? Here are three favorite coupon code sites:
- Coupon Cabin – Read more about Coupon Cabin offers in Get Coupon Cabin Fever.
- Retail Me Not – Learn more about Retail Me Not in this post, Please Retail-Me-Not.
- Mr. Rebates – Not just for rebates, but coupon links too. Read Save More With Mr. Rebates for additional information.
3. Shop Brands/Products You Know Well
Purchasing clothing online is like taking a big leap in faith! You will more likely receive items that meet both your satisfaction and your size needs when you shop brands you know well. Sticking with your favorites when online shopping takes a bit of the risk out of the purchase. Also consider previewing items in a local store before buying online.
4. Read Product Reviews
One way to help decide if that deal is worth it is to read the reviews. Don’t have a review available at the retailer’s website? Then Google reviews for that product. Many items will have a review posted “somewhere” out there. Several popular sites to find clothing and shoe reviews are Zappos.com, Amazon.com, and the brand name’s specific website.
5. Know A Retailer’s Shipping & Return Policies
Clearly understand the online retailer’s shipping and return policies before you purchase, so there will be no surprises afterwards. If there is a chance you might return or exchange a purchase, then make sure the online retailer has a generous return and exchange policy. Ensure before you purchase that if you need to return or exchange a product, you don’t spend nearly as much as it cost in the first place! Not every online retailer is good about returns and exchanges.
6. Shop Online Retailers Who Also Have Local Brick and Mortar Stores
Why? Because you can take a bit more “risk” with your purchases. Doesn’t fit? Don’t like the color? Simply return the item at the local store. No need to pay for return shipping fees. Take advantage of online-only coupon codes for greater deals at a retailer’s website. And, you can shop through your Mr. Rebates account to earn cash back! Just be sure to check that the brick and mortar store accepts online store returns. Most do, but there are always exceptions. Favorite brick and mortar retailers to cash in with online purchases include Kohl’s, Lands’ End – return at your local Sears stores, Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Macy’s.
7. Combine Orders with Family and Friends
Share the savings and save on shipping fees. Have an LLBean card? Save your friend shipping fees, and your reward is more points towards the $10 coupons. Gotta have that dress at Sahalie but don’t have a free shipping code? Order with a friend and split the shipping fees. Received an extra 20% off Gap cardmember’s only coupon? Share the love and combine orders with your sister.
8. Consider Alterations
Found a great price on an awesome pair of pants, but it’s only available in Tall and you are 5′ 3″? Get it anyway! It’s easy to alter hems on most pants, shorts, skirts, dresses and shirts. If you are handy with a sewing machine, for less than a few dollars, pick up matching thread and set the hem to your liking. Sewing just not your thing? Well, there are great “no-sew” hem tapes that only require an iron, a damp washcloth, and a flat surface to redo a hem. Don’t want to hem it yourself? Have that great deal altered by a professional. Most dry cleaners have seamstresses that will alter your item for a small fee.
9. Think “Up-Size” with Kids’ Clothes
Got kids? A little “up-sized thinking” can help you score a great deal and online shopping for “future sizes” is a great way to maximize your dollars. Example – kids always need pants. So if your child is wearing a size 8 now, and you see an online deal for a size 10, grab it. As long as you stick to the basics, you can’t miss! Unless they are teenagers! Then this may not be your “deal”.
10. Shop Off Season
The best deals are often found during the opposite season. For example, right now is a great time to pick up this season’s winter jackets and boots for next winter. Loved those shearling lined winter boots but not the price? Google search them now! They might just be discounted.
What is your favorite online shopping tip? Share with us in the Comments section below.
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