I’m sure I’m not the only person to have purchased something online only to realise it’s not what you were expecting. Buying lingerie online is both easy and hard. At 3am after a few glasses of wine it can be a little too easy. Bye bye money. So here is a few pointers I wish I had back in the day to avoid any serious regret.
If it’s you’re first time buying from a brand my advice is to buy sale. Personally I can’t make the commitment of a full price purchase of a brand I have never tried before. What’s the fit like? What do the fabrics look like in person? It’s an expensive mistake to make if the fit doesn’t work for you and then it’s not returnable. A lot of people/sales assistants look down on you for buying sale but it is the best way to get a feel for a brand with a smaller financial risk for yourself.
STUDY THE SIZE CHART
Size charts are your friends. Go through every aspect of them. Get that measuring tape out! Each size chart is different so while you may be one size in brand A, with the same measurements you might be a size bigger in brand B.
Read as many reviews as you can about the brand or product you are thinking of purchasing. The best information usually comes from other lingerie addicts. Also seeing how the same product fits on a range of body types is immensely helpful. If you are still not sure, email the customer service for the brand and ask for more information and advice.
CHECK THE RETURNS POLICY
It may seem obvious, but in the heat of the moment when you’re excited about purchasing something new and amazing this may be the last thing on your mind. Not all brands/stores accept returns. Some don’t accept knickers as returns for hygiene reasons. Custom made lingerie and accessories are 99% of the time non-refundable. If they do accept returns, there is usually a very short time period to send it back. Also the return postage may be at your personal cost.
If you have time, shop around online. Some brands are stocked on multiple websites and all have different pros and cons. What I look for is free shipping. If there is free shipping over $200 and my order total is $150 I’m more than happy to buy something extra rather than pay $15 for shipping. Also if shopping on international websites it’s always best to shop in the local currency as there is sometimes huge differences in their currency conversion rates. Also signing up to mailing lists usually gets you a ‘welcome discount’ of 10% and is worth utilising.
TAXES AND IMPORTS
Be aware of custom charges for your country. For Australia if you have goods over the value of $1000 in one order you will be charged an import tax and it isn’t cheap. This tax has to be paid to release your items and if you decide to return your purchase you don’t get your tax back! Also if shopping on European websites, check who charges VAT and who doesn’t when shipping to Australia. Technically we don’t have to pay it so it’s kind of a 20% discount when available.
I always go for track and trace options for post as there is nothing worse than your order going missing. Sure its $10 more expensive but lingerie is precious cargo and I like to know where in the world my babies are.
HAVE A WISHLIST
Write down things that you actually want to buy and save towards it. It’s easy to get distracted by sales and promotions but if you only want it because it’s on sale you probably aren’t shopping wisely. That may sound like a bit of contradiction to my first suggestion but this applies to long-term investment pieces. Better to buy one thing you really want like silk stockings over a sale set from Heidi Klum that almost fits…
There are a lot of articles out there about safe shopping online. The most important part of them is make sure you shop with a reputable retailer or if buying off eBay/etsy/depop make sure they have reviews of over 95%. Best way to pay is by PayPal. Its secure, fast and easy to use.
Nothing really compares to shopping in an actual store but for many people this isn’t a reality. Stock limitations, sizes, location and budget all affect your options if you want to try before you buy. Online shopping is far easier, accessible and relatively stress free. And better yet you can do it all from the comfort of your home drinking tea in your pj’s.