ONLINE SHOPPING FOR CLOTHING – HAVE YOU BUDGETED FOR IT?
You go online and come across an excellent deal on some clothes– you buy them straightaway, only to have buyer’s remorse kick in a little later. Then you discover you have actually exceeded your credit card limit.
Does this sound familiar? Online shopping for clothes sounds great, and it has lots of advantages. However, we must become aware of how to avoid overspending on our budgets. Let’s look at some of the challenges.
CONDUCT AN ONLINE SURVEY OF WHAT REPUTABLE STORES ARE OFFERING
It is important not to focus on one store only, with the idea that “this store must be the only one selling this beautiful garment.” Online shopping affords the user, at the ease of a few clicks, the excellent opportunity to compare prices of clothing in various stores. You may be pleasantly surprised what you may find. Looking out for sales provided by various shops speaks for itself, but be careful you don’t buy something just because it’s on a sale. You can sign up with your favourite online stores for email alerts. Check regularly what stocks the reputable online stores are offering. This is what makes online shopping so powerful.
WHY BE AWARE OF CLEVER MARKETERS?
Marketing and advertising are designed to entice you to buy a particular item from an online store. Thus, you have to be alert to this, and not be influenced to buy something that you will have regrets about later.
TAKE CARE WHEN A “FREE” ITEM IS OFFERED BY AN ONLINE STORE
Often, clients are happy to obtain the “free” item that comes with a certain purchase, only to discover that it would have been a lot cheaper without the “free” item or they wouldn’t have been shopping there in the first place.
HOW DO YOU SEARCH FOR AN ITEM IN AN ONLINE STORE?
When you are online, and are looking at what a particular shop has to offer in the line of jeans, type in the site’s “search” function the word “jeans.” Research has shown that if you go through all the general categories until you find the jeans you want, the chances are pretty good that you’ll end up buying a few additional items on the way. You need to inventorize the clothes at home, so that you can be specific about the extra clothes you intend to buy.
SHOP ONLINE BY PLANNING AND COMMITTING TO A LIST
Some planning is essential when it comes to buying clothes. What about that new jersey that doesn’t match the rest of your clothes? You may end up not wearing it at all. If you don’t put down specific boundaries for what you need, the online shop will do it for you The other favourite saying is that if you don’t stand up for something, you’ll fall for anything. So, you need to draw up a list that is based on some careful planning, and on what you already have got in your cupboards back home. Commitment to the list is essential, because otherwise it becomes irrelevant. Your list is also drawn up based on what you can afford – namely, your budget. Keep referring to your list, and so keep it within reach at all times. In so doing, you’ll keep any impulsive buying at bay.
SHOULD YOU WAIT A BIT BEFORE BUYING CLOTHES?
Think slowly about what is on offer, and spend some time sleeping on it. Be patient and do not rush into anything. What fights against that is the pressure the store places on its potential clients. “Hurry, while stocks last” is a favourite phrase that gets many into an unnecessary spin.
To beat the urge of impulsive online buying, set aside the idea of buying the specific clothes you want for a period of 30 days. Then, revisit the idea 30 days later, and see if it is still necessary to go ahead. Obviously, this does not apply if there is a dire necessity to buy some clothes.
STICK TO YOUR BUDGET
Committing to a budget is essential. At the end of the day, what you spend on your credit card will have to be eventually paid. There are no free rides. Once you hit the limit of the amount you have set aside for online shopping, you need to immediately stop any further purchasing.
DOES BUYING CLOTHES ONLINE MEAN USING ONLY A CREDIT CARD?
Many shoppers not using the online facility prefer to use cash when going shopping. So when the cash runs out, the shopping stops. However, this is where online shopping is considerably safer, because then we are not walking the rather unsafe streets with loads of cash on us. However, if you are using your credit card to buy clothes online, know exactly what you can spend and then stick to it no matter what.
DON’T GO AND DO ONLINE SHOPPING IF YOU ARE EMOTIONAL
If for any reason you are upset or overly happy about something, rather calm down first, and only then go online. Buying clothes online when you are emotional may get you buying the wrong clothes. High emotions can lead to impulse purchases.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT MATERIAL
Are you prepared to go to the dry cleaners quite often? If the answer is no, then rather avoid buying clothes that need dry cleaning such as a silk dress. Check the label instructions carefully – they might say “dry clean only.” 10 Unfortunately, this is a drawback of online shopping, but if you are in a store, you can do the “ironing” test. By squeezing the material tightly in your hand for a while, and then letting go, if the material bounces back with hardly any creases, it won’t need to be ironed.
WHAT ABOUT FITTING ON THE CLOTHES YOU BUY ONLINE?
Buying clothes online means that you can’t go to a fitting room to try out the clothes you wish to buy. Unless the online store allows you to try on clothing when you pay for it Cash-On-Delivery (“COD”), and then allow you to return them if they don’t fit, this is an inherent risk that online shoppers have to take.
On the other hand, new clothes don’t always fit perfectly, so some needed alteration is not the end of the world. However, it will be most helpful if you make sure about the online store’s return policy. Rather deal with online stores that allow you to return the clothes with free shipping included.
DO NOT STORE YOUR CREDIT CARD INFORMATION ONLINE
Storing you credit card information with online stores may make things seem effortless, but it does also make buying online just too easy. Having to enter all the credit card details every time you want to make a purchase makes it a little harder for you to buy those clothes you want.
As we have seen, online shopping for clothes is full of pitfalls to which the online buyer is constantly exposed.
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