Get the Best from Online Shopping

The internet has caused quite a stir in the retail industry since it introduced online shopping. Overnight, we saw established brands scurry to website designers and social medial strategists to help with empty stores while e-commerce start-ups boomed. If you’re not a fan of online shopping, then this is the best time to start. With Diwali around the corner and shopping malls, bazaars and flea markets all swamped with churning masses of perspiring shoppers sit back in the cozy confines of home and click away till you’re decked out in the best of Diwali fashion. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your online shopping.

shutterstock_389433475Bargains and Best Prices: Yep. It can be unfashionable to talk about money at dinner parties but let’s face it, this is India. And the only thing Indians love more than money in the bank is a good bargain. Skip over the haggling and the price tag comparing in crowded stores and choose from any number of websites which offer heavy discounts on festive merchandise.

Shopaholic’s Advice: Sometimes, just sometimes, the ‘Original Price’ mentioned on the website is not the ‘MRP’ but rather an inflated amount created to stir your interest. When in doubt, call and check with a local store quickly.

Quick to (Ex)Change: Be cautious when buying a brand you are unfamiliar with. The fits can often be wrong for you. When in doubt, check to see if the e-retailer will refund your money or exchange the apparel in the event of a size discrepancy. If they don’t have a good exchange policy, please move on!shutterstock_192063296

Shopaholic’s Advice: Do take the time to examine each product you buy online carefully. Whether it’s a tie or a computer, make sure you read the reviews from other customers. If this is not available, then choose the ‘magnify’ option on the product’s photograph and scroll over it.

Made to Measure: Check the measurements of each piece of clothing you buy carefully. Have your measurements taken regularly by a professional tailor or a trained retail assistant. This ensures that you buy well-fitting clothes always and avoid the hassle of exchange.

shutterstock_211764844Hidden Charges: Check to see if delivery is free in your pin code. Some shrewd e-commerce retailers cite government taxes and extra delivery charges at the very end of your shopping spree, thereby adding hundreds of extra rupees to your total. Issues such as these are usually addressed in the ‘FAQ’ section or ‘Delivery’ section of each website.

On Time, Always: Often the products you purchase may be stored in a warehouse in some far-flung warehouse in the country. Always check how long delivery may take. You don’t want your Diwali outfit to arrive on Christmas day!

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Shibi Kumaramangalam
Shibi, like the song in ‘West Side Story’, is oh so pretty, witty and bright! Modest too, but we can discuss that later. A Chennai native (34) who now dwells in the capital, there is nothing she loves more than a good story. Except for a good handbag. A self-professed shopaholic with impeccable taste, the young women’s rights lawyer and mother was ‘discovered’ by an Indian Express editor in Chennai at a famous boutique eight years ago and she has not looked back since. Fashion writing allows her to combine her two greatest loves and Shibi has been published in The Hindu, the Indian Express, Femina, Scroll, Bodahub, Hi-Blitz Magazine and many more. A militant optimist, Shibi abhors armchair activism and suggests that everyone ‘Be the Change’ instead of complaining about Modiji. Or run for POTUS – anybody seems better qualified than Trump. She also loves animals and has orchestrated many a doggy/kitty rescue; her most fervent hope is to see the status and treatment of both animals and women improve in India and the world over. Also, she requests you to RECYCLE and to REUSE. Climate change is real, people. Jai Hind!