Online shopping dos and don’ts
While the internet has opened up a whole world of fashion that was once only accessible to those in major cities, now designer collections are available anytime and from anywhere in the world with just a click of a button. But to know you’re getting a good deal and your transaction is safe – and legitimate – there are a few things you need to know.
- Compare prices: if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is
- Read reviews: see what other customers have to say about the quality of the item they received and the service
- Check out the returns/exchange policy: This should ne clearly outlined on their website
- Check the site’s sizing chart: take the time to measure yourself properly to avoid buying things that don’t fit (although this is often tricky with online shopping). Also read sizing reviews and see if the site’s clothes are true to fit – and then again refer to their returns/exchange policy to see what your options are if it doesn’t fit
- Check the contact details: Is there a way to contact the company directly, a phone number and a physical address?
- Check that the site is secure: All secure sites will start with https:// - it’s the S you’re looking for, and this will usually appear with a padlock in the address bar.
- Report any unusual activity on your bank/credit card immediately to your bank: they are always on the hunt for fraud and will sometimes even contact you before you’ve realised anything has happened.
- Use a secure payment method like PayPal
- Sign up to your favourite sites and brands newsletters: they will alert you to sales, discounts and rewards programs
- If you’ve been lusting over something and you keep going back to it, clear your cookies, log out of any accounts and go back in, sometimes the prices can vary according to your browsing patterns.
- Some retailers will also see you’ve had an item in your cart but haven’t made the purchase and will then send you a further discount enticing you over the line.
- Use a public computer to online shop – hackers can get access to your details much easier than a private
- Don’t do direct money transfer or ever give your credit details out over email, or provide them through an unsecured website.
- Don’t get lumped with hidden charges such as taxes, import duties or major shipping fees: always check the fine print before you click buy
- Don’t buy the first item you see: shop around and look for the best price
- Don’t rush in: check if there are any discount codes for the site, or check their social media for any sales they have on or coming up
- Don’t forget to check delivery times: especially if you are buying it for a special occasion or a gift and you need it to arrive by a certain time.
10 of our favourite Aussie online clothing boutiques
What: Adelaide based, BNKR offers selection of Aussie designers including C/MEO Collective (FKA Cameo The Label), Finders Keepers, Keepsake, The Fifth
Shipping: Free shipping for all purchases over $79 (within Australia). Next day delivery for orders placed by 2pm AEST to most metropolitan areas.
Returns/Exchanges: Returns and exchanges offered on full price purchases (subject to conditions) within 14 days and store credit only offered on sale items unless faulty/incorrect.
What: The Connection was founded by blogger Nadia Bartel and her sister Michelle Coppolino. Based in Melbourne, the store offers brands such as Viktoria & Woods, P.E Nation, Camilla & Marc, Asilio, Thurley & Acler.
Shipping: Orders dispatched within 24 (business) hours and standard shipping within Australia costs $6 (orders over $150 are free). Same day delivery is offered (Melbourne only) starting from $18.50.
Returns/Exchanges: Full refund offered on full price items (excluding lingerie and intimates) within 14 days and subject to conditions. Sale items can be refunded (excluding ‘final sale’ items or items discounted at 40% or more).
8. PARLOUR X
What: Founded in 2001 by Aussie fashion legend Eva Galambos, Parlour X is a go-to for high-end designer fashion from the likes of Céline, Chloé, Fendi, Balenciaga, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Comme Des Garçons, Loewe, Proenza Schouler and Isabel Marant.
Shipping: Items are usually shipped within 1-3 days, with delivery charged at $20. – same day delivery offered (Sydney only) POA and free shipping is offered on orders over $500.
Returns/Exchanges: Return, exchange or credit offered on all full price purchases within 10 days of purchase (subject to conditions). Sale items can be exchanged or returned for store credit.
RELATED: At Home With Eva Galambos
7. MODE SPORTIF
What: Founded by Deborah Symond, the daughter of Aussie Home Loans founder John Symons, with a desire for deconstructed luxury for the 24/7 wardrobe – so think designer pieces alongside elevated sportswear. Offering a curated edit of international designers including Ganni, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, Kenzo, Yves Salomon, Toteme, Anine Bing, adidas by Stella McCartney, Nike, Monreal London and more.
Shipping: Items are usually shipped within 1-4 days, with delivery charged at $10 – same day delivery offered (Sydney only) for $20 – and they also offer pick up from their Paddington Boutique if you’re going to be in the area. Free shipping is offered on orders over $300.
Returns/Exchanges: Refunds or exchange offered for most products purchased within 28 days, (exceptions include jewellery and sales items). Sale items discounted at 20% or more will not receive a refund or exchange.
6. THE UNDONE
What: The Undone is the brainchild of blogger Sara Crampton of Harper and Harley and is basically a shoppable version of her Insta feed. Think effortless minimalism with a focus on wardrobe essentials, elevated basics and succinct trend pieces that will stand the test of time.
Shipping: Items are usually shipped within 2-5 days (Australian metro), with delivery charged at $10 – same day delivery offered (Sydney only) for $20. Free shipping is offered on orders over $300.
Returns/Exchanges: Returns are offered on full priced items (subject to conditions) but this excludes pierced jewellery, bedding / linen and accessories (unless faulty or damaged).
What: This iconic Bondi beach boutique-come online destination showcases the perfect mix of emerging talent alongside Aussie favourites Bassike and SIR as well as international heavyweights such as Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang and Rag & Bone.
Shipping: Tuchuzy offers free standard shipping within 2-7 days on all orders or express from $9.95.
Returns/Exchanges: Returns are offered on full priced items (subject to conditions) and does not include sale items (unless faulty or damaged). Tuchuzy does not offer exchange and you must complete the returns process and re-order the desired item instead.
What: INCU is renowned for being one of Australia’s first go-to designer destinations, and they carried this into their online destination, offering a carefully curated selection of cult designer brands including Acne Studios, Mansur Gavriel, Ganni as well as emerging Aussie brands.
Shipping: Orders are dispatched within 2 days and shipping costs $10 but is free on orders over $100.
Returns/Exchanges: Refund or exchange on full priced items excludingg earrings, hosiery, lingerie and hairpieces) are accepted within 7 days (subject to conditions) . Sale items cannot be returned unless damaged or faulty.
3. MY CHAMELEON
What: My Chameleon offers a unique edit of local, international emerging designer fashion including Albus Lumen, Christopher Esber, Georgia Alice and Comme des Garçons.
Shipping: Items are usually dispatched within 24 hours and shipping is $8 but free on orders over $100. Same day delivery is offered within some Sydney locations starting at $15.
Returns/Exchanges: Refund, exchange or store credit is offered on full priced items returned within 7 days (subject to conditions) excluding gift cards, underwear, beauty products, fragrances or candles.
2. STYLE RUNNER
What: These days we want our activewear just as chic as the rest of our wardrobe, enter Stylerunner. The site offers exclusive labels alongside the world’s most coveted activewear brands.
Shipping: Items are usually shipped within 3-5 business days and costs $9.95, with orders over $50 free. Express shipping is offered for $12.95 and is free on orders over $150.
Returns/Exchanges: Stylerunner are so confident you’ll love your purchase that they offer You can return any Full Price item within 365 days of purchase (if unused with the original tags attached and subject to other conditions) for a credit note and 90 days on sale items. Exchange is not offered.
1. THE ICONIC
What: The Iconic has become one of Australia’s leading online shopping destinations thanks to its broad range of clothing and accessories from over 1000 brands both local and international and boasting over 200 new arrivals daily.
Shipping: The Iconic offers a range of different shipping options that it’s best to read them all here but basically if you suddenly realise you have an event tonight and nothing to wear - The Iconic is your go-to.
Returns/Exchanges: Their returns policy is equally customer-friendly, offering returns on any item (subject to conditions) within 30 days –they’ll even pay for delivery.
*Information provided here is as accurate as possible and relates to Australian customers; please see individual site’s policies for their most up-to-date details.