We don’t just buy clothes because we need them. Sometimes we just want to add some pieces of clothing to our wardrobes because we want to improve our style or we simply feel like going shopping to de-stress. Or maybe even reward ourselves with a new beautiful dress or pair of boots.
However, most of us can’t spend all our money on clothes, which forces us to go on a budget. This may sound like a simple thing to do, especially if you’re good with sticking to a budget, but the problem is that stores will never cooperate with that mentality.
At times, it may seem that only buying clothes when they’re on sale is a smart financial decision, but you can end up spending even more by trying to grab every interesting deal. And since stores went on the online route as well, there are many tricks implemented that will try to make you buy more than you wished for.
In any situation, do not despair! It’s not impossible to shop online for clothes while on a budget. Here are 5 things you can do to prevent yourself from overspending.
5 steps to shop online on a budget:
1. Pick two sizes of the same clothing piece when ordering:
Yes, you read it right. This seems like the complete opposite of what we’re trying to do, but it’s actually to prevent the possibility offending to change the item for a smaller or bigger size later. Most stores online allow their customers to return items that didn’t fit or that they ordered plenty of, by mistake.
If you only order one then it might not be your size and you will get stuck with a piece of clothing you will never be able to wear. You can give it to a family member or a friend, but you won’t get your money back. And if you’re here we know you’re not willing to spend so much money on clothes.
Sometimes it is hard to see if something will fit you nicely when shopping online. So, this way, when you’re looking at an item that you like, but the fit makes you doubt what size to order, order it in your regular size and order a bigger or smaller size too. The extra size will depend on what type of clothing it is and if you think it will be smaller or larger.
This way you spend a lot of money at first sight, but when you return all the second pieces of clothing that you got, it will feel like it’s payday when your refund comes through! Also having so many extra pieces of clothing will force you to return all the ones that didn’t make it for you, rather than end up with a few pieces in your closet that you were too lazy to return; every time you shop online. Trust us, it happens to all of us!
2. Check the pictures in the review section:
This is something that is probably one of the first things we learn when making decisions about going shopping for clothing. The quality matters more than a low price tag. If you invest in quality clothing, it may seem that you’re spending a big amount of money at first, but in the long run, you won’t have to replace your clothes for years.
This is harder to judge the quality when shopping online. You can’t feel the quality of clothes online, but there are a few things you can pay attention to. Many sites enable reviews for products and those reviews can include pictures of the product received sometimes, instead of just a comment.
If a product looks good in theory then check its pictures in the review section. Either way; if you find it strange that the price is too low, you can scroll down to read the comments to confirm your suspicions. Plus we all know few extremely cheap websites that have very low quality, so those are a no-go under any circumstance!
3. Set a budget that includes the shipping fees:
Of course, you should always have in mind the amount of money you can realistically spend without feeling bad. However, one extra cost that you will be charged when you shop online is the shipping fees. And these fees are not cheap. They sometimes are free when you shop for a big order, and this is a marketing technique for online stores to make you buy few unnecessary extra pieces.
What’s worse is that websites that sell very cheap clothes from Chine and look attractive at first sight; usually have the longer shipping time and the highest shipping fees too. That’s because it probably won’t be a walk in the park to ship you a couple of cheap socks when you live on the other side of the planet.
That’s why you should learn about the shipment fees of the website where you intend to shop first; so you can better evaluate if it’s even worth it.
4. Have in mind the things you need:
If winter is coming and you need warmer sweaters, that’s what you should aim for. It’s very easy to wander through all available clothing sections, when you are shopping online and to end-up with more than a couple unnecessary items.
It’s even easier than in a physical store because you are just sitting in front of your computer or phone and the other clothing sections are just a few clicks away. It would be a waste of money to buy clothes that you will only wear for a day or two, just because they’re on sale or because you think you’ll look terrific that one time you’d wear them.
5. Compare several online stores before shopping:
Much like the previous point, it’s so easy to visit different stores online at the same time. Not only do you do it from the comfort of your home and it’s quicker, but it’s also a good way to see if the item you’re looking for is available in other stores at a better price.
Or maybe you find a similar item but the shipping costs are cheaper, which is still a better choice.