Online Boutiques. They are all the rage. From t-shirts to shoes to art prints and more, you can outfit your closet, home, car and lawn from their daily selection of items.
I will admit, I LOVE online boutiques. I have been shopping with them for the past six years and have scored many, many cute and original clothing pieces and accessories. But I’ve also been burned by a thing or two (or seventeen, but who is counting), so I’ve put together a list of tips and tricks for shopping online boutiques. And some tips and tricks for shopping my favorite online boutiques.
Tips, Tricks For Shopping Online Boutiques
1. Be honest about your size. Most sellers do a great job of outlining their sizing – either saying it runs true to size, runs small, or runs large or giving you a sizing chart. But as a general rule there is no such thing as vanity sizing at online boutiques, so order your correct size.
2. Be brand specific. Unless an item really makes you stop in your tracks, purchase from retailers/brands that you know and love. You’ll have a good idea of the quality before you receive the item and that leads to a happier customer.
3. Items go fast. If you love it, put it in your cart now. Most online retailers have between a 15 – 20 minute window allowing you to think about your purchase before you hit “checkout”. Putting it in your cart means you’ve laid claim on it, and you can always delete the purchase later. Also note, items are usually only available for two to three days.
4. Return it. Most online boutiques allow for returns. You will be out shipping and handling, but it is better to make a $10 mistake than a $45 mistake. I’ve returned things many times without issue.
5. Take advantage of earning credits. Most online boutiques offer a $10 or $15 credit after you refer someone to the site and they make a purchase. If you are already posting selfies, might as well put that referral link in the post.
Tips for Jane.com (My Favorite Etsy-esque Online Boutique)
1. New Deals Go Up At Midnight MST. That’s right. All of the new deals go up at 12:00 am MST, so it is best to look at their new offerings first thing in the morning.
2. Follow your favorite retailers on Instagram/Facebook. Most of the retailers have a Facebook page or Instagram account (or both). And they usually post what the next day’s item will be. It’s a great way to get insider intel about the next days offerings.
3. Accessories are dirt cheap. But not all accessories are made the same. Make sure to check the pictures carefully for the quality of the chain, locket, or necklace. Just because it looks awesome in a tiny photo, doesn’t mean it will look awesome when you receive it. Usually, the finer the chain, the better the quality.
4. The best days to shop are Monday, Friday and Sunday AM. Those are the days when the best stuff (in my opinion) goes up for grabs.
Tips for Zulily.com (My Favorite Daily Deal Online Boutique)
1. Zulily groups items based on brand or topic. One day you see a big group of items for making coffee, the next day it will be all Cuisinart. When you are brand specific (and you should be according to tip #2 above), you can save up to 60% off retail.
2. Zulily shipping is slower than molasses in January. Need an item in 10 days? Don’t order it from Zulily. While they have some killer deals, items can take up to 30 days to arrive at your house. Which is fine if you are purchasing new drinking glasses, but stinks if you are buying something for your daughter’s birthday.
3. Buy multiples. Once you make a purchase, you are able to get FREE shipping on any other item until midnight. This is great if you want to purchase multiple kitchen or bath items or multiple clothing items.
Tips for RueLaLa.com (My Favorite High-End Brands Online Boutique)
1. Sign up for their email. They are scary good about telling you when certain brand events start – plus after you purchase a couple of times, they will tailor your email messages with content that is relevant for you.
2. Buy once, get FREE shipping for a month. That’s right, their shipping is high ($9.99), but once you purchase, you get FREE shipping for the rest of the month.
3. The best brand events, period. Their brand events are EPIC! I’ve purchased $180 jeans for $90 or $200 cashmere sweaters for $100. The discounts are steep, the selection is good – it’s like the best clearance sale you’ve been too, only you are shopping in your pajamas.
4. If an item you want is sold out, ALWAYS put your name on the wait list. So don’t be discouraged if that awesome handbag is gone, put your name on the list and wait patiently. About 80% of the time they will find an item for you – up to 30 days later.
Those are my best tips, tricks for shopping online boutiques. Did I miss any? Are there any online boutiques I should put on my radar?