-Always have a ruler or tape measure handy. Even though you think you know what 28.5 inches looks like it is always best to measure while on the computer to get a visual. I always do this and it saves me from overestimating sizes.
-Understand that colors on your computer may be different in person. I often have been looking for the perfect item in a perfect shade of yellow, and online you really risk colors. All screens alter the color, along with how the item was photographed.
-Don’t forget to check return policy. Not that the amount of time you have to return the item, check how it needs to be repackaged. A lot of times it needs to be returned in the same box it was shipped in. Some companies also mail to you return address labels, keep these handy if you do change your mind about your purchase. Also, check if you pay shipping and restocking fee or if it’s free. Zappos.com has the best return policy of any store I’ve seen online.
-Check online coupons. Before checking out, open up another window and go to www.retailmenot.com and type in where you are shopping. It will then generate all online coupons associated with that website. It’s great!
-Shop with a protected payment option. Paypal and Amex protect most of your online shopping for greater security against fraudulent stores and sellers.
-Subscribe to online shop e-mails. I get tons of daily e-mails of coupons and limited sales to those who are subscribed; it’s very helpful but also probably makes me buy more than I should.
-Join 1-day shopping sites. The new thing is one day sales up to 80% of retail prices of designer brands like BCBG, Prada, Louis Vuitton, etc. Sites are: www.hautelook.com, www.ruelala.com, www.beyondtherack.com, and www.ideeli.com are my favorite although there are plenty more.