Shopping Online: My Experiences and Tips

Hi Everyone!

Online Shopping. Everyone has their own opinion on it. Some love it, others hate it, and quite a number of people have yet to experience making a purchase online. I'm here to share some of my experiences buying things online and some tips to remember.

Although I am not a very frequent online shopper (I'll explain later), I have tried making purchases on a number of different websites. I will be listing the ones I most often visit.

1. ZALORA - Homepage

Zalora is one of the most well known online retailers in Asia, and for good reason! They sell a variety of beauty and fashion items from various brands. Prices range from affordable to high end so you have a great variety to choose from. Sometimes, you will find items that are also on sale! Like for example Ezra by Zalora is currently 70% off! They sell really nice shoes and dresses in my opinion. Also if you sign up for the newsletter, you can occasionally get a coupon code for a discount every now and then ;) Who wouldn't want that?

What really made me the final push to buy from Zalora is the fact that they have a "cash on delivery" method of payment. This is great for paranoid people like me who are afraid of paying and the items they ordered never arriving. Also, shipping is free when you meet the minimum required purchase :)

TIP: When buying something online, always read the description of the product. You may be surprised when what you order is not the size you expect. I've experienced this before and I know it was my fault for not reading. You also have to double check your size with the size charts (if the site you are buying from has one) so that you avoid getting the wrong size of shoe or clothing.

In any case, for Zalora they also have a 30 day free return policy (with exceptions due to hygienic reasons of course). They also allow exchanges if you do happen to get the wrong size.

2. STUFF IN STYLE - Facebook / Instagram / Ebay

I discovered this online seller years ago through Windy, the girl who runs the store, mostly sells beauty related products from the US. Now that Multiply is already down, she uses other social media accounts to show what she's selling. A nice thing about her is that you can easily send your order via text or through her Facebook Order form. You can also text her first to ask if she has certain products on hand, and she always replies in a timely manner.

Her prices are definitely lower than what you would pay if the product is available at the mall here in the Philippines. But, they are not so outrageously low that you would doubt the authenticity of the product. I can say that I have bought items from her and from the department store and I found no difference between them at all (aside from the price!). She also sells products that are not easy to find/not sold here like Urban Decay, EOS and Physician's Formula.

TIP: Always read reviews. Before you buy from someone. and even before you buy a certain product! Read what you can about what other people think and what their experiences were with the seller or with the product. Reviews are very helpful so that you don't waste money on a bad product or perhaps risk being scammed by a bad seller.

Payment for Stuff in Style is through bank deposit. She usually sends the confirmation and bank instructions to you via text after she receives your order :) I admit I was nervous about doing this at first, but it's normal for first timers. I've never had any problem with it.

Whats especially nice is that Stuff in Style delivers your goods a day after your deposit! (with some exceptions like holidays) I have always loved that about this seller. Always so fast :)

3. BELLE DE JOUR (BDJ) - Homepage

Now, BDJ started as a beauty subscription box but they now have their own store! That aside though, I have never actually tried buying something from there (lol). Okay so you're all wondering why the heck I bothered mentioning BDJ. BDJ was actually the first "online transaction" I ever made. It was also my first online Bills Payment experience. That said, it served as my stepping stone into the online shopping world.  I'm sure ordering through BDJ's online store entails the same procedure as when you subscribe for their beauty box, so I can justify including this sentimental choice :p

BDJ is one of the growing number of beauty subscription boxes here in the Philippines and based off other reviews, it's a crowd favorite. I have not tried other beauty subscription boxes so I cannot say much in comparison, but I can say that ordering at Bdjbox is easy and their service is wonderful.

I normally pay for the box through online bills payment although I know they have other methods of payment. It was a little tricky and scary for me at first, but if you follow instructions carefully you won't have a problem. In any case, if you have questions you can always contact them through email.

TIP: If you need help, don't be afraid to ask. Also learn to read instructions carefully. Sometimes when we don't read, we make mistakes with the orders or encounter problems and in the end just get frustrated. Avoid that by educating yourself with the procedures. If that fails, don't hesitate to ask the seller/site through their indicated contact details. Take note of how the people reply to you. Helpful ones are worth going back to. If they don't reply or aren't of help, then they don't deserve your money.

Overall, I have enjoyed making purchases online. It's definitely a lot less of a hassle (no lines for the cashier, you don't have to leave your chair, etc), and it's a hell lot easier to search for what you're looking for online (search by price and size? yes please). But for me, sometimes the experience of window shopping and having the chance to hold the object in your hand is part of the fun. Not to say that browsing online isn't addicting though (It is! I've spent hours browsing on Zalora and Stuff in Style). Each has it's own advantages and disadvantages to take into consideration. And sometimes depending on several other factors (my mood, schedule, what I'm buying, etc), I may choose one over the other.

What are some of your experiences shopping online?