Vogue Nippon Editorial by Camilla Akrans
April 30, 2013
April 16, 2013
I recently sent an email to a friend sharing a few of my online shopping insights gleaned from many years scouring the net for deals and hard to get pieces. As a Sydney sider, I have found things tend to be much more expensive, not stocked at all, or sell out fast! Although I still believe in buying in local stores (um, the Corner Shop, always), there are often times I will turn to the online world in search of more variety, convenience or better prices. Over the years I've stumbled across these gems which many of you will know. I feel this list provides a good starting point for anyone who always wanted to try online shopping, but was always too afraid...
- Know your products and brands - if it's a US/Canadian brand, odds are it will be cheaper on a US website. A UK/European brand on a UK based website.
- Some big companies are restricted by brands which restrict online companies from selling in Australia at American prices. If you still really want a product but are finding this to be the case, it helps to google the product and look for a smaller online retailer based offshore, who may not be restricted and who may still be able to sell it to you at the cheaper US based price.
- If the website looks dodgy/ too good to be true it probably is - do your homework. Google the web company online for a review and see if you can see if there's any further info before committing if you're not sure.
- Your credit card company will usually protect you for fraud so if you end up with a dodgy product, it doesn't arrive, or something else similar, and the retailer is refusing to refund you - contact your credit card company - they'll usually refund the payment or put a stop on it and investigate.
- Voucher / discount codes. If you go to check out at the online checkout and there's a blank box for a promotional code, then gooogle it. You can often get an additional discount just by doing this - type in the name of the online store and "promotional code" or "voucher". Often you'll find some hits for live codes. Sometimes expired codes will still work too. If you've tried about 5-10 links from your google search and none of the codes you're trying are valid, then it's probably time to stop, but it helps to look at a few options as you may be able to pick from a few options and tailor it for the best discount. (eg $20 off $100 spent may be better than $15% off a $10 purchase).
- Use your wishlists. Create lists of items you're thinking about. Save them down. Then when there's a big sale you may be able to snag a bargain on these. Also useful generally for comparing prices across sites.
Cheap and cheerful
- Revolve clothing (US based, not great product photos - if you want to compare fit, you can use something like Shopbop to look at their fit model pictures for more accurate sizing)
- Shopbop (US based, definitely has become more expensive recently) - try to buy on sale only - they're always on sale and clear stock regularly, especially when down to last sizes
- Asos - there is an AU based site now - I personally like to surf from the UK site as think prices/stock may be better there, but you can always switch between sites to compare.
A little bit more special
- The Outnet - Net-a-porter's outlet store. There's a US, UK and Asia site. Sometimes it pays to shop some of the non AU sites and pretend you're in their country to see the price benefits. Although they may reprice it once you enter your shipping address - it's a bit of luck.
- Matches fashion - my current favourite. UK based. Great stock and prices and you can choose to have your bill sent in GBP or EURO s you can play the FX rate. Look out for free shipping promotions and their sale tab is often good. You will also get your purchases VAT free.
- Forward by Elyse Walker - the bigger sister of Revolve with more designer labels - again the sale section can be a goldmine. US based. Good range
- Net-A-Porter - I'm off it now, but it still deserves a mention. It's generally more exxy these days.
- Colette.fr - French based, a bit challenging to navigate. Some good bargains at sale time (although I haven't figured out when these are exactly).
As I said, this is in no ways a comprehensive list, but I a good way to get started. I'd love to hear what other tips and sites you may have come across!