Fashion

Secrets Of An Online Shopper

From a click to your doorstep: Fiona Green shares her successes in virtual shopping

Adam Moco

I’ve always loved high-end fashion and seeking out new and unavailable labels, which led me to the world of online shopping. I bought my very first designer item online—a printed Marni top from eBay—and from that point I was hooked. My current schedule keeps me busy from store-open to past store-close, so online shopping in the twilight hours is hugely convenient.

Surf Around
DO Search for a particular item on more than one website. Online retailers vary in shipping methods and costs, price markup and size runs, so you can actually spend more on one site than another. DON’T Buy during the first round of markdowns. If you’re willing to take the risk, waiting a week or so could see a discount plunge.

Size Wise
DO Look for a detailed description of fit that includes a size chart and measurements of the model pictured. Email customer service to ask how the item really fits. DON’T Buy a piece from an unfamiliar designer before trying something on from their line at a store. There’s no such thing as a standard size.

Shipping Costs
DO Factor in the additional cost of duties once a parcel shipping from outside of Canada arrives at customs. For example, you’ll need to add about 30 percent to the cost of a pair of leather shoes. DON’T Lose sight of your purchase. Keep all shipment confirmation emails, and track your parcel to ensure a smooth delivery.

E-tailers
Online stores such as Net-A-Porter, or online components to retailers such as Aloha Rag (aloharag.com), offer detailed product knowledge for their customers. DO Sign up for email blasts of sales and promotions. At first I was wary of spam, but most websites will let you specify the type of alerts. DON’T Deal with a retailer with inflexible shipping options. A quick call to customer service can help negotiate more reasonably priced options.

Online Auctions
Online shoppers bid for rare merchandise or bargain buys via worldwide online shopping service eBay. DO Search eBay.com rather than eBay.ca for a greater range of auctions. I also find better search results for European labels such as Christopher Kane by hunting on eBay.co.uk or eBay.fr. DO Look for a reputable seller with a high number of sales and high feedback percentage. I typically message the seller for additional information about the item and to gauge their professionalism. DON’T Purchase designer goods from a listing with incorrect spelling, sparse product information or absence of confirmation of authenticity. It may be a fake.

My Top Websites

theoutnet.com Sale items and overstock from Net-A-Porter are
sent to The Outnet, a site that boasts markdowns up to 70 percent off.

farfetch.com This website acts as a middleman between you and an elite list of independent fashion boutiques in Europe and North America. Product is categorized by Luxe (high-end labels), Lab (emerging designers) and Cult (leading contemporary lines).

yoox.com Look no further for hard-to-find items. It features discounted designer apparel and accessories from previous seasons, plus a range of eco-friendly fashion lines and exclusive capsule collections.

eBay.com A leading source for bargains on both fast fashion and high-end items. Start your eBay experience with eBay Stores run by reputable sellers.

lagarçonne.com With labels including Preen, Carven and Jeremy Laing, this is the It girl’s online fashion staple. 

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