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I am the self-professed, seasoned and proud queen of online shopping.

Don’t get me wrong. I love brunch on a leisurely Saturday afternoon followed by browsing the racks of my favorite brick and mortar retail locations. But when I’m actually looking for something specific, I’m on a war-path where I want what I want and I want it now! There’s nothing worse than hoofing around from store to store to deal with spacey salespeople and sluggish crowds.

Now, I know it’s not for everyone and it can certainly be intimidating. But overall, I’ve found that when I shop online, with just a little bit of strategy and planning, I get to create a more peaceful and personal shopping experience with nice glass of wine and my favorite Spotify list. I’ll help you find your online shopping zen, too, with a few helpful tips and techniques to stretch your fashion cents.

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1. Order Multiple Sizes

I learned this early on in my online shopping journey. When I order anything, I anticipate the package like it’s a birthday gift from my favorite aunt on my 8th birthday. I track the order daily and always know the day it is expected to be delivered. I check its journey until it finally arrives at my doorstep. Then, when I finally get it in my hands, I’m bursting with excitement.  I cannot wait to try on my new toys … er, clothes.

But if God forbid I buy everything a size too small or large, it’s like someone popped all of the balloons at my party. It really sucks when you have to wait to get the proper size after re-ordering, especially if you’re on a timeline. If you can swing it, pony up a few extra bucks to make sure you get the right size by ordering two and returning the one that doesn’t fit.

2. Check the Return Policy

Have you ever been too lazy to go to the post office to return something right away only to let the deadline for returns pass you by? That is easily one of the top 10 most infuriating things that can happen to an online shopper. Review the return policy in advance to find out whether stores offer free shipping on returns, if they accept returns at their brick and mortar location and how long you have to decide whether the latest pair of trendy shoes are a need or a want.

3. Keep Shopping Baskets or Wishlists

Try to keep an ongoing shopping basket or wishlist at your favorite online sites. If the price on an item in your cart has dropped or is close to being sold out, retailers will often notify you directly in the cart or via e-mail. If you’re a loyalty club member, you might get that good discount code sent straight to your inbox.

Mixed race woman working in shoe store

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4. Find, Search, Compare

Always get a second opinion! I never buy anything without first checking retailmenot.com for discount codes. If there is a particular pair of shoes that you like and you know that brand is sold at multiple retailers, search for discount codes at each. You’ll find that sometimes, those shoes are priced differently depending on where they’re sold. There are a ton of shopping comparison sites out there that can help you out like Nextag or even Google Shopping. Also, check out sites like Shopstyle that aggregate tons of cute styles and direct you to the retailers’ sites to purchase.

5. Don’t Toss the Box

I try not to toss receipts, tags or packaging until I’ve worn something and decided that I want to keep it. I always try to buy clothes that are well-made, but some pieces slip through the cracks. If something is falling apart within an hour of wearing it, I want my money back. Without a receipt and packaging, I may not be able to return the item, so be mindful of this.

With this list, you’re well on your way to your own personal shopping experience minus the lines and headaches. Do you have some tips and tricks of your own? Leave a comment below.

Follow The Werk! Place at www.the-werk-place.com and Follow The Werk! Place staff writers on Twitter or Instagram: @thewerkplace @lemonherbert

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