Posts Tagged: finances

Smart Internet Shopping for Style Lovers

how to shop for clothes online
I brag a lot about my ability to track down virtually any product online, and several years ago I decided to put my prowess to reader-fueled use through the Insomniac Sale Picks series. But I’ve had a few questions about online searching and shopping techniques, so I thought I’d share some of my personal practices so you can try them out for yourself!

Here’s where I look when I’m looking for something online:

  1. eBay – If you missed out on an item when it was first being sold, it is likely to be somewhere on eBay. If you’re looking for something super trendy or runway reminiscent – like burgundy boots or a peplum top – eBay will sell you vintage and used versions for pennies on the dollar. Check vendor feedback and don’t go with anyone less than 100% if you’re super skittish (I go as low as 97% myself). Tips for shopping eBay here.
  2. Amazon – I remember when Amazon sold books, and books only. I’ve bought green tea, cosmetics, and cheese curds (for my gran) from them. And they often have amazing deals on clothing, shoes, and accessories. Check Amazon for any and everything.
  3. Google Shopping – Google Shopping used to be my secret weapon, but it’s changed. Google switched its model to favor paid entries, so many times the service points you to sponsored listings. But not always, and using Google Shopping or just plain Google can help you narrow down an online search. Especially if you’re looking for a specific, named item – like a pair of Timberland Earthkeeper boots – since even related retailers may be offering different prices for the same item. If you’re looking for a category of item, like high-waisted skinny jeans, also search. The shopping tool is limited, but will still introduce a few vendors into the mix that you’d never have thought of on your own.
  4. Etsy: I have nearly endless patience when I’m questing for something, and will pore over 65 pages of search results. Not everyone has that kind of stamina. But Etsy’s vintage offerings are amazing, handmade goods are often reasonably priced, and accessories are unbearably fun.

For those who are skittish about shopping online, here are some general tips: READ MORE

Originally posted 2012-11-20 06:20:36.

The Benefits and Pitfalls of Brand Loyalty

As I’ve mentioned before, I am brand loyal. I love Fryes, I love Clarks, I love Prairie Underground long cloak hoodies, I love Karen Kane jeans and Desigual everything. As someone who knows firsthand how frustrating it can be to search for a perfect item, and how marvelous it can feel to find it, I am more than happy to trust certain manufacturers based on past experiences. Good experiences. It makes shopping easier when you rely on brand loyalty: Doing so narrows the field and increases your chances of quick success. READ MORE

Originally posted 2012-05-23 06:02:00.

Reader Request: When to Make Shopping Compromises

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Reader Monica e-mailed me this question:

You’ve mentioned before that you’re lucky enough to generally be able to wear most clothes off the rack in a standard size. I have my share of fit challenges, being that I’m tall with long arms and legs. My shoulders are proportionally wide compared to my torso, I’m short waisted… you get the idea. Off the rack, very very few clothes fit me just perfectly. Because of this, I’m constantly trying to determine what constitutes “good enough.” Are these pants long enough? Do I love this jacket enough to cope with the sleeves being slightly too short? Is this shirt nice enough that it’s worth altering? Is it better to buy this tee shirt in a smaller size that’s not quite wide enough for my shoulders, or the bigger size that’s too baggy on my torso? I’d be very interested on your take about these questions if you have any thoughts. I am still working on developing my judgement about these issues, and it seems to be a frequent source of confusion for me. READ MORE