10 tips for online shoe buying this holiday season
Online shopping is a heaven-sent invention for people unable or unwilling to go out shopping, especially during the holiday season. However, it works well for some things, and not so well for others. One of the most difficult items to buy online is shoes.
SOLUTIONS TO SHOE BUYING PROBLEMS
In most cases, the size and fit are off. In other cases, the color and style are not exactly what the shoes look like on the website. These are the two most common issues with buying shoes online. Here are ways to avoid these as well as other problems with online shoe buying.
1. Go to a well-reviewed site or seller. The best way to avoid any problems with your shoes is to go with a site or seller that gets it right most of the time. Reviews will give you a good idea if the site or seller you are considering does well by its customers.
2. Give the returns policy a close look. It is a bad sign when the seller has stringent rules on customers returning merchandise they have bought. They probably get a lot of those. Look for those cute pumps somewhere else.
3. Check for details on the images. You are buying shoes without actually seeing them physically, so you want to check for as many details as you can. If the site provides fuzzy or low-res images, find another one that invests more on the images of their shoes.
4. Take the time to read the description. The next best thing to holding a physical pair of shoes is finding out about the materials used to make them. If you are not exactly sure what the description means, call customer service.
5. Make sure your screen represents the true color of the shoes. It is easy to make a mistake with the color if your screen is off in terms of color. Calibrate your screen using a free software or your phone settings before buying anything. If you are still in doubt, call customer service for the precise color of the shoes.
6. “Size up” your foot (pun unintended). The biggest issue with online shoe buying is getting the shoe size right. You can use this chart to find out your standard size in E.U., U.S., and U.K. formats after measuring your own foot from heel to toe in centimeters. It helps to trace your foot on a piece of paper and then measure it with a ruler.
7. Go for the bigger size. Your feet are not the same size, so you will need to measure both and choose a size that will fit the bigger one.
8. Beta testing may be required. Despite standard size charts, many shoe manufacturers have slight variations that can make all the difference in fit. You probably have to take a bit of a risk with your first purchase of a brand, and adjust the size accordingly for future purchase.
9. Keep the tags until satisfied. Ripping the tags off a new pair of shoes is strangely satisfying, but you should delay that gratification until after you’ve tried them on, which you should do immediately. This makes it that much easier to return the shoes if they don’t fit.
10. Wear them indoors only, at first. When you buy shoes at a store, you get a good feel of the fit by walking around in them. You should do the same with shoes bought online, but do it indoors to keep them clean and damage-free so you can return them if you don’t like the way they feel on your feet.
Online stores can be just as productive and satisfying as physical stores when buying shoes if you follow these tips. It would be even more satisfying if you have a multi-currency online account to facilitate your purchases from international sellers. Ready, start, shop!