The Budget Fashionista's Cyber Monday Shopping Tips
The following is a guest post from our friends at The Budget Fashionista.
At TBF we're not really Black Friday girls (we like our beauty sleep) but Cyber Monday? Totally our speed (and not just because we can do it in our jammies). Shopping from home is one of our 10 favorite things in life, but as with all of life's pleasures there is risk. Protect yourself (and your bottom line) by following a few simple tips to make the most of your Cyber Monday shopping experience. Here's the breakdown:
1. Know what you want (and make a list). Consider this: It's easy to get overwhelmed in a department store, so shopping online with an endless supply of stores to visit? Same problem, times 100. As with any other shopping trip (at least the kind where you want to make the most of your time AND stay on a budget), create a shopping list and stick to it. And if you might be tempted to extend your shopping trip by tapping extra room on your credit cards (beyond the amount you pre-determined), make sure your cards are unavailable to you during your time online.
2. Be a price checker. One of the benefits of shopping online is you can easily compare prices (especially with sites like pricegrabber.com), so do your homework and make sure you're getting the best deal possible. The one thing better than finding exactly what you want is finding what you want for less. Nice.
3. Security is priority one. We only shop at sites we trust (Zappos.com, Target.com, Gap.com) -- retailers big enough to have security measures in place that we can rely on (or have some recourse with should something go wrong). That quirky little retailer in Timbuktu might have a sweet deal on that Gucci bag, but do you really trust them with protecting your credit info (or with guaranteeing authenticity, for that matter)? We're gonna say no.
4. Be aware of shipping costs. Sometimes a great deal isn't so great once you figure in shipping. Fortunately, the huge amount of competition in online retailing these days has created a situation in which free shipping is the go-to giveaway during the holiday season. Watch for flat rates, free shipping offers, and shop early enough so that you can just go with the regular ground shipping for the cheapest rate whenever possible, and still get your items in plenty of time.
5. Know your return policies. There's always a risk with purchasing something you haven't actually seen or tried on (and especially when you're buying a gift for someone else), so be sure that the company has a return policy you can live with. Some offer free return shipping and/or include pre-printed return labels, but others aren't quite as accommodating. It's worth a few minutes of clicking around and reading the fine print to save yourself a whole lot of grief later on.
Also be sure to check out: Style Stars Show off the 10 Best Looks of the Week
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