How to shop online successfully

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If you're always ordering clothes online and then sending them right back again, it's time to consult our internet shopping check list.

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© Getty - Handbag

When it comes to shopping online, there's certain skill behind knowing what a piece of clothing is going to look like in real life. So take some of the the gamble out of internet shopping, with our 5-point check list.

Know your measurements


This comes in two parts. Not only should you get out a tape measure and note down your height, hips, bust and waist digits. But where possible, also know what kind of size you tend to be in your favourite shops. Are you a size 10 in New Look but a 12 in Topshop, for example?

Edit your shopping basket


It's fine to add whatever takes your fancy to your basket as you go, but before you buy, edit it strongly. Since you're not holding all 10 of those dresses in your hands, it can be easy to forget this is still real life. Would you really buy all those if clicking weren't so easy?

Consider the fabric


Will it be stretchy? Clingy? How will it fall? Can you wash it in the machine? By looking at the fabric and material info, you'll answer a lot of questions.

Beware of models in catwalk videos


Catwalk videos of a model wearing the garment are great in terms of seeing how it fits and how it moves etc. But remember to compare the model's height and bodyshape with your own. If she's tall and you're short for example, the length is going to be different.

Check you're shopping safely


Most well known shopping sites are safe these days, but if you've found a hidden gem or an independent boutique, make sure they have a privacy policy (you'll find details of how they keep your information safe here), a returns policy, and look for the padlock, unbroken key or PayPal symbol (normally at the bottom of a page) that means your financial data etc will be encrypted for security.

Know the returns policy


Do you have 28 days to return an item that doesn't pass the try-on test? Is it free? Do you get a full refund? Know the score before you part with your money.

Any more online shopping tips to share? Tweet us @handbagcom

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