How to Buy Clothes Online

Online Transaction Details

Did You Know?
Quite a few online retailers, like Macy's, Walmart and Kohl's, may have brick and mortar stores where you can return merchandise purchased from their Web sites. Having a local drop off or exchange location nearby can make online shopping virtually effortless

Pay Attention to the Un-Fun Details

When you're hot on the trail of a great pair of peep-toes, it's hard to remember to lock down the transactional details before you buy.

  • Shipping terms - Sites aren't always transparent about shipping charges. Know the amount you'll be paying as soon as possible. When freight charges are only revealed after you hit the checkout screen, review the totals carefully before you enter your payment details.

    Look on the home or information page of the site to see if there's a free freight option with minimum purchase. Sometimes it's worth spending a little more in order to get free freight. Better yet, group your purchases. Sites will sometimes sell multiples of the same or similar items at a discount. That way, you may be able to score more stuff for what the freight would have cost.
  • Payment terms - Although most sites accept credit, not all sites take all credit cards, debit cards and other online payment options. If you have a specific payment method in mind, check the terms and conditions page of the site for more information about what's accepted and what isn't.
  • Return policy - Most sites readily accept returns at full value, but it pays to make sure just in case. Some savvy online clothing retailers will also include labels for returns with easy to follow instructions.
  • Refunds - If everything doesn't work out the way you plan, make sure that the site will refund your money rather than just offeran exchange.
  • Customer service - Check the customer service portion of the site to make sure they're easy to get in touch with. Look for a toll-free customer service number. If you don't find one, consider taking a pass on the transaction.
  • Bargains - Many online retailers will court your business by offering additional discounts if you join their mailing list, use their proprietary credit card or become a member of their online club. If you like doing business with them, you can sometimes score valuable coupons, discounts and even freebees by keeping your account active.

Related Articles


  • Barbaro, Michael "Less Risk Seen in Purchasing Clothes Online." New York Times. 5/14/07. 4/6/10.
  • Consumer Reports. "5 Tips for Shopping Online." 12/08. 4/5/10.
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  • Microsoft. "Online Safety." Undated. 4/5/10.
  • SafeShopping.Org. " Terms: What Are The Legal Terms Of Your Purchase?" American Bar Association. Undated. 4/5/10.
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