Apr 17, 2012

Online Shoe Shopping

I consider myself to be technology friendly, internet savvy (hey, I write a blog!) but there is still one thing that I’ve never done (okay, perhaps there are more things than just the one, but those are all different posts….on different blogs…)

Anyhooo… What is this one thing? Online shopping. Specifically, online shoe shopping. I have never bought shoes online.

I know, I know. In this our very tech savvy age, who doesn't buy everything online? When I am so inclined, I do quite a bit of shopping online. I actually prefer to online so as to avoid the otherwise necessary interactions with other humans... random shopping included. I’ve bought clothes that looked fabulous on the model (not so much on me), socks for my brother, a nifty tool kit, even panties and a bra once and even gum. I really would buy just about anything online.

Except shoes. Because there’s a line, people!

First, there is just the sheer pleasure of trying on shoes when shoe shopping and you can't do that when buying online. Clicking on the images showing a pair of shoes from different angles is not the same as putting them on and turning in front of the mirror to admire yourself wearing the shoes and seeing how that awesome heel accentuates your own leg.

But more importantly, you can't try the shoes on. So how do you know they're going to fit right?? Answer: you just don’t.

But if you’re bent on depriving yourself of one of life’s pleasures, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Return Policy
Very, very important: Does the vendor you are buying from have a clearly stated return policy? If so, what's the time line and is it reasonable? (No good if it's two weeks and it takes two weeks to receive them.) Under what circumstances will they accept returns? Most places are very reasonable here but occassionally this can be an issue (ie: they'll only accept the return if THEY sent you a wrong size and not if they sent the size you ordered but now it doesn't fit.)

Shipping
What is the cost of shipping? What is the standard time for shipping - if you want these shoes for a specific event on a set date, this is important to note.  Do they pay for return shipping?

Shop Around
Don't settle for the first vendor you come across, shop around to make sure you're getting the best deal, based on both price and service.

Fit
Don't end up like Cinderella's sisters with blood in your shoes. Make sure you know your size. While shoe sizes are generally fairly standard, there is some variation between brands and styles. Does the vendor use North American or European sizing? Here's a handy website to help with the international size conversion: OnLineConversion.com

Does the shoe fit true to size? The best way to know this of course is to try the shoe on, but since you're doing this online, take advantage of other's experience: check reviews.

Reviews
What are the complaints... too tight in the toe box? Heel slipping? Do the shoes fit true to size? Is the colour the same as in the pictures? These things are subjective, but if you see a trend in the reviews, you'll want to take that into consideration.

Payment
Since we're all very techny, this goes without saying... but I'll say it anyway: Make sure it's a secure site before you give out credit card information.  I prefer a credit card instead of PayPal for the additional security my credit card company provides, but that is my personal preference.