For shoe fanatics and bargain shoppers alike, buying online is a great way to find the styles you want at a price you love. With the seemingly countless number of cyber retailers available, the ways to buy online are innumerable.
Who buys shoes online?
People who know exactly what they want. I was out shopping this weekend with my super-picky husband. Typically an efficient shopper, he knows what he wants, goes to one store, buys it, and is out the door in the blink of an eye. Footwear shopping with him is best described as a chore. After weeks of pleading for him to retire his beloved basketball shoes that have been showing his socks for at least three months, he finally conceded to a shopping trip. Knowing I would get him into one, maybe two stores, tops, I took him to a store with a fair selection at low prices. Did I mention he is the picture of thrifty? To my amazement, he went straight to a cross-trainer we both loved at a price that did not send him reeling. Thinking I had gotten out of what could have been a miserable few hours, I encouraged him to try on the shoe. It fit perfectly, but was not available in the color he wanted. Instead of buying them in a color we both disliked, we went home and found the same style from an e-tailer in the preferred color and correct size for a few dollars less. We did not start the day with the intent to buy over the internet, but when we were not able to find what we wanted locally, we turned to cyber shopping to get the perfect item.
People looking to save time. Some people just feel too busy for traditional shopping. With our world seeming to become more and more fast-paced all the time, an increasing number of consumers say they just plain do not have time to hit the mall. This is especially true during the winter holiday season when we are rushing to parties, family gatherings, work socials, and still trying to get everyone checked off our lists. For this type of consumer, having the inventories of thousands of retailers literally at their fingertips allows them to save time and provides the convenience of shopping at any time… even three AM.
Serious shoe divas love the convenience of the internet because it allows them to find that must-have new style by their favorite designer that might not be available locally. They can search their favorite brands and view the new season’s line with just the touch of a few buttons, allowing them to stay on top of the trends at cyber speed.
Bargain hunters love to scour the web looking for amazing deals. Many price savvy consumers still love the high-end brands but pick them up off-season for a fraction of the price. With the increasing number of online discount retailers, it is not uncommon to find discontinued styles for 50 or even 75% percent of their original prices. Finding these deals can take time and patience, but most treasure hunters will tell you the fun is in the searching.
How can I be sure the shoes will fit?
The short answer is, unless you are physically in the store with the shoes on your feet, there is no fail safe way to ensure a proper fit. There are, however a few steps you can take to make the experience a bit easier
1. Stick with what you know. While sizing can differ dramatically from brand to brand or style to style, similar styles within the same brand are will typically have a similar fit. Choosing items like to those you have worn before will help you choose the appropriate size when purchasing a new item without first trying it on.
2. Read the product description. Many of us look closely at the photo while giving the description nothing more than a glance. Often, it will say something like “true to size” or “fits snugly, order ½ size up.” Looking for these clues will help you make a more informed decision.
3. Check for a sizing guide. Many retailers and manufacturers will publish a table with general sizing information. Keep these guidelines in mind while making your selection.
4. Read and understand the return policy before making your purchase. If you end up with a pair of shoes that just do not fit, it is helpful to know beforehand how the e-tailer handles the return of new condition items. If you are picking up a great item at an extreme bargain, you might be willing to take the chance, but if you are forking out more cash, it is wise to be informed before you buy.
No matter what kind of shopper you are, if you want to buy shoes on line, go for it! With just a bit of investigation, you can find an incredible array of styles without leaving the comfort of your own home.