We all love online shopping. It’s convenient, easy, and and saves both time and gas money. You can often find a much better selection online–especially if you need a hard-to-find size or are looking for a wider range of styles.
Online stores are also open 24/7, which can be much more convenient for those of us with busy lives and work schedules that don’t allow a lot of browsing during regular business hours. But a lot of us are hesitant to buy shoes online.
How will you know if they fit? What if they don’t feel good? You can reduce your stress and feel better about shopping for shoes online by following some of these tips:
Know Your Correct Size
Do you have a particular brand of shoe in mind? If so, you can do a couple of things before you even go online to shop. First, do you own a pair of shoes from that brand? If so, check the size on the shoes you already own. Brands run pretty true to size, so you have a good chance of the shoes you’re going to buy being the same size and fit as the ones you already have.
If you don’t have shoes from the brand you are interested in, it can be a good idea to visit the actual store and try some on–or measure your own foot at home. They may not have the shoes you want, but you will get a much better idea of what size you need.
Even if you don’t have a brand in mind before you start shopping online, you should go try on some shoes of the brand you think you want to buy, because no two brands size their shoes exactly alike.
Many online sites make it easy to return shoes that aren’t the right size, but you want to make the process as simple and painless as possible.
Check out the Store’s Return Policy
This should be easy to find on a store’s website. If it isn’t, that probably isn’t a good sign.
Here are some things you want to look for in return policies:
- Will the shipping be free? Will you have to pay to return shoes that don’t fit well or that just aren’t comfortable?
- What is the time limit on returns? That is, how long after your purchase do you get to return the shoes? Look carefully–does that time start from the day the shoes leave their warehouse? From the time that you receive the shoes at your home?
- When you return the shoes, will you receive a full refund? Or will you only get store credit? Are you ok with that second choice?
Make Sure the Store is Legit
It is unfortunately true that some online retailers are scams. We’ve all seen the horror stories about clothing purchased online that turned out not to be anything like what they expected. The problems that people shopping online run into range from not receiving the item at all–to receiving an item that looks completely different than what they were expecting.
Shop from a reliable retail store that you know you can trust. When you get to the checkout, look for the padlock in the bottom right of the screen. Reputable business should have a SSL certificate that protects your information–indicated by the padlock. If the site doesn’t have this, you shouldn’t go through with the purchase.
When you pay, it’s always better to do so with a service like PayPal or a credit card–using a debit card on an unsafe site could lead to your bank account being drained.
Look At Reviews on Both Price and Quality
Take a look at the website and reviews and make sure you’re shopping at a retail store with good prices. You want the quality to be good for the amount of money you’re paying.
This will be easier, of course, if you are buying brands that you are familiar with. However, you also want to find websites where the photos of the footwear are large and clear, ideally allowing you to view the shoes from all angles.
You may have looked at third party reviews already, but look at the reviews from actual customers on the website too. See what kind of things people have to say on both price and quality.
The Bottom Line
The truth is, even if you try your hardest to not be a victim of an online shopping scam–it’s likely you will be at one point in your life. Learn from your mistakes to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Remember–you’re spending a significant amount of money on these shoes, so you want them to look good.
Make sure you’re shopping from legit retail stores and are looking thoroughly into the reviews. Pay attention to all the details about the product and make sure it’s up to your standards. Online shopping can be risky, but as long as you’re following these simple steps, you should be good to go.