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LIKE THE LOOK ABOVE? CLICK ON ANY ITEM TO VIEW/PURCHASE!
i've long been a fan of on-line shopping, ever since i realised that my favourite local boutique was buying their stock from international brands/stores, and retailing at a 150% + mark up. (this happens when you reside outside the home-country of your favourite store, and there is not have a local branch or designated retailer) MADNESS! since then, i've managed to amass a collection of on-line shops that i swear by, and who, were it not for, i'd be broke, and nekkid. shopping online really isn't for everyone, but i'm here to convert the skeptics :)
the plus side:
cheaper: save gas/taxi fare. access to sales at stores that aren't necessarily nearby.
convenient: shop at several stores at the same time; compare prices within seconds. shop from stores around the globe.
environmentally friendly: :D access to one of a kind, hand-made goods; esp via websites like etsy; or second hand goods eg. leather jackets, designer bags etc.
the down side:
can't try on or see goods in-person.
BUT...you can get around this if you measure yourself properly and you know your brand well. you can also go look at the item in the store and then try to find it online cheaper..
so, in my opinion, the pluses outweigh the minuses.so lets go shopping!
HOW TO SHOP ONLINE
payment: before you even begin shopping on-line, you need to know how you are going to pay for your purchase. the simplest option is to pay via credit card. you would most likely need an international credit card or at least one that allows you to shop on-line, esp if your card is issued outside of the country where the store is registered. short of that, you can get yourself a debit card (card tied to an account that you deposit money into, but can use to shop on-line.) or a Visa Travel Money card. additionally, some websites or on-line stores offer the option of COD (cash on delivery) for a minimal fee. contact your local bank for details.
shipping: many websites now offer international shipping, to anywhere in the world. a few even offer FREE international shipping. if the site of your choice does not ship to your destination, you can invest in a skybox* or use a reshipping** company. consider pooling your order with a friend who lives nearby to reduce or split your shipping costs. there may also be on-line branches of your favourite store in the country you reside in, e.g forever 21.co.jp, forever21.co.kr, Zara.co.jp. so shop locally and save on international shipping.
sizing: this is one of the main reasons why many people are hesitant to shop online. but there are ways around this. if you are familiar with the brand or store, then you probably have an idea of how their clothes fit. for example, old navy sizes tend to run large, so i usually buy a size smaller. if you are unsure abt the size, measure yourself, and make use of the sizing charts***.
be sure to read the reviews, as previous buyers may have an insight into exactly how the item fits/looks, and may have recommendations that may be helpful.
stores that ship internationally include:
Asos (free) (btw, Asos has sale right now)
etsy (many etsy retailers will ship internationally)
stay tuned for part 2 of how to shop online ( best websites, how to look for deals/discounts etc)
* there are many skybox companies. some of them even offer a free address, and you only pay for re-shipping. feel free to contact me if you need help finding one that ships to your location.
** a re-shipper will repackage your purchase, and can consilidate several purchases into one package at a minimal cost. some repurchasers may offer to purchase the item for you if you do not have an international credit card. feel free to contact me if you need help finding one that ships to your location.
***most brands now have a pretty flexible return policy (e,g. modcloth, banana republic) ,as long as the clothes aren't soiled and the tags are in-tact, so you can always return it for a bigger size.