So, if you’re reading this than it means you have access to the internet, and if you have access to the internet then you’ve probably discovered the charming blessing/curse that we call online shopping.
Depending on what level of online shopper (OS) you are, you have or may not have created your own version of this list during the many hours of scrolling through ASOS for that perfect dress.
If not, and you’re wanting to minimise the time you spend searching online but still find exactly what you’re looking for, then read on amigos!
Hack #1: Build up at Little Black Book (L.B.B.)
– Or a favourites folder. Whatever floats ya boat.
This one is pretty straightforward, but will save you a tonne of time when you need something specifically. Having a L.B.B. basically just means creating a list of all of your go-to stores, and have it saved somewhere accessible (hence why saving in favourites folder is great – if you’re working with Apple products then the saved links will automatically be synced between your devices) so that you can have a flick through when you’re needing inspiration on where to look.
Yes, this is going to be a little time consuming at first, but your friends and Instagram are going to gems when compiling your L.B.B., as more often than not someone you know has bought from somewhere you haven’t. So get chatting – or scrolling, as most online stores will have an Instagram account that is regularly updated with their new stock and is the perfect way to get a gist of what type of styles the company stocks and what their vibe is.
If you want to be realllllly organised, you can add little notes to each store to make it even an more thorough guide to shop with such as; ‘… stocks great shoe brands’ or ‘… products are usually $10 cheaper than this store’ and so on.
Once you’ve site-hopped a few times you’ll barely even have to glance at your L.B.B. in times of need, instead being able to pass on the knowledge to future gals in need.
Hack #2: Get familiar with the brands available
Some websites will purely be designed as an e-commerce store for selling the brand’s products, which is great if you’re wanting to buy from that brand only; but in recent years there has been a huge surge in e-retailers who stock products from a variety of brands. Think sites like Princess Polly, Pepper Mayo, Free People – just to name a few that are super popular in Australia.
They’re great because they often sell stock from brands that aren’t necessarily social media giants, but still make killer threads and obviously make profit from their products being sold through said stockists, so it’s a win-win situation.
So what’s the point of knowing this information? Well, once you get to know the brand, you’ll know the signature fit of their clothing (trust me, it’s a thing!) and it will make it a SHIT TONNE easier to shop online and get the perfect size for you. Because there’s nothing worse than psyching yourself up to buy an item, get super excited when it arrives, then try it on and – oh, it’s totally NOT how it looks on the model in the pictures.
Knowing what you like + knowing what brands SELL what you like = one very happy gal.
Hack #3: Use customer support
You’d think this would be a totally obvious thing to do – but it’s not. The number of times I’ve gone to order something but been a little unsure THEN ORDERED IT ANYWAY is just embarrassing. Sometimes it’s just because the pictures aren’t the most detailed. Or you’re not sure how the fabric will feel. Or you can’t visualise how it’s going to sit on someone who’s not 5ft 9.
I don’t have any specific figures to work with here, but I’m pretty sure most of us would just click that ‘Proceed to Checkout’ button and hope for the best rather than taking a few extra minutes to contact the customer service team from the store to get that deal-breaking info. So my advice is simple: talk to them! It’s their job to help you out, and I can only talk from personal experience here, but all of the online customer services girls I’ve spoken to in the past have been absolutely lovely and super helpful (and quick to get back to you!), so it’s definitely worth a shot.
And worse comes to worse, you can always (hope) to send it back and pick something else as equally as cute out.
Hack #4: Shop around
Hence, why it’s handy to have a L.B.B. 😛
But in all seriousness, if you’ve got the time it pays to shop around. And by pays I mean you are literally saving money by doing so. A few years ago there was this stunning playsuit that I was just dying to have (because I am materialistic and like pretty things, OK? No judging, haha) and of course at the time every other girl in freaking Australia wanted it too, so it would sell out in a matter of hours whenever it showed its face online.
The point of this cute little story is that about 4 different stores were selling said playsuit at the time (of course they were all selling out super quickly) but some were actually as much as $10 cheaper than others for the item, and shipping costs also varied. And because I was at uni and on a tight ass budget, I was willing to wait for the cheapest option to become available. And I did. I think. I can’t actually remember how it all ended to be completely honest, but I know that whenever one store would sell out I would pop over to the other one for a look and more often than not they had SOMETHING there (even if it wasn’t my size – boo).
Thinking back now, I can’t even remember what the frigging thing looked like – I definitely still don’t own it – but the experience taught me a valuable lesson on the importance of patience and looking at other options.
Hack #5: Sign up to those pesky newsletters
Yes, it’s a total freaking pain having all of those subscriptions spamming your inbox (especially when you’re broke – talk about depressing!) but they DO hold valuable information. And by valuable information I mean details about sales.
This little ‘trick’ (that most of us will do anyway so we can get that initial 10% off sign up bonus) really does come in handy if you’re not one to regularly check all of your go-to websites in hope of a sale or something you like going clearance. Especially when you’ve got your eye on a number that’s just a littttttle (OK, a hellovalot) out of your price range, and a sweet 40% flash sale would be the perfect justification to buy it.
In fact, some companies have even introduced specific ‘Insta-sales’, where they realise secret code words specifically so that their Instagram customers get first dibs on the massive sales (yes, I am guilty of using such codes). So the moral of the story is basically just to stalk your faves on ALL of their social media outlets, and you are bound to be rewarded for your efforts. Eventually.
And there it is, guys! I guess it’s not the most original list of ‘hacks’ and as I said previously, I’m sure you all have your own variation of this guide book (in which I’d love to hear about – I’m always looking to reduce my time spent online when I need one of those painful ‘special occasion’ outfits) but I hope you liked reading anyway!
I kind of felt like the devil’s advocate writing this up, as I know shopping can be a serious addiction (to the point of links to mental illness) for some, so obviously you shouldn’t be going insane and blowing your entire pay check on cute shorts and belts, but I definitely do believe in treating yourself and feeling confident in what you wear, so if this post helps you do it then I’ve done my job 🙂
Till next time,