Debating online purchases

My moto sweatshirt came in the mail the other day.  At first glance I was overjoyed.  Love the style and the material was so soft inside.  But then I put it on and started to question it.  A little boxy through the torso.  But good sleeve length (often sleeves are too long for me).  Great colors, but the white portion is right in front, making me appear, again, kinda boxy.  Oh, and no pockets!  Shipping was $9.  Return will be $7.  Will they refund the $9 or will I be out $16 with no item to show for it?  Could I resell on eBay to recoup cost?  Get it taken in on the sides a smidge?   Do these kinds of questions go round and round in your mind?  What to do, what to do!

chaser moto-jacket

I think this is unique to online purchases that you have to wait to actually see and touch in person to finally decide on.  In store, it’s much easier to disqualify an item on fit, or fabric, or such before it even makes it into your cart.  Once bought and in your house, however, the hemming and hawing can be quite a production.  The second guessing.  The hand wringing.  Oh, who knew internet buying could be so fraught with indecision!

I still don’t know if I will keep this piece or not.  To add to my confusion, I found a wonderful faux shearling lined sweatshirt at Ross two days later for just $15!  It fills the same wardrobe gap.  Fits better, is warmer, but is not as stylish in its design.  Just a typical hoodie.  I suppose I could keep them both, but I’m really trying not to a) settle and b) buy more than I need.  One of these would do the trick.  Do I keep the $15 one with an eye out to upgrade if/when the perfect moto style sweatshirt comes along to replace it?  Or do I keep the not quite right fit, but great style, colorblock moto version?

Do you struggle more with purchases that arrive in the mail, or is it the same for you whether you are in a store debating an item as if it comes in a box on your doorstep?  How do you deal with shipping and return costs, and how do they impact your purchases and return frequency?

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10 thoughts on “Debating online purchases

  1. I would return the moto jacket. You like it, but do not love it. You would probably question it, every time you would wear it. Or you would spent money on tailoring to ‘make it work’. Personally, I would pay the shipping fees and sent it back. The right jacket will come along eventually 🙂 And keep the sweatshirt!
    I check the shipping fees, before I order. In Holland (where I’m from) shipping fees are much lower, returns are often free of charge. I prefer to shop in brick and mortar stores, although I am extremely proud to say that I have not bought new clothing this month (has never happened before).
    I would like to add, that I love your blog. I have been reading comments on Recovering Shopaholic for ages and since you are a regular contributor I was thrilled you dediced to start your own blog. Please keep up the good work 🙂
    Also, I would love to see that sweatshirt!

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    • Thank you so much! I added pics after reading your comment. It really is just a basic everyday grey sweatshirt by all appearances. Nothing fancy but the softest lining in the whole world lol.
      I would have added pics yesterday but was out of power for 9 hours with the high winds from the CA storm and was worried I’d lost my post. That’s why it didn’t go up until later at night.
      I love Debbie’s blog and the comments over there, too. I asked her recently about a group for those of us who have similar issues to share and she is talking of maybe a Facebook one in the New Year. Yay!

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  2. Absolutely. It is worse when shopping from Canada where the shipping and return costs are even higher. I have many items in my closet/drawers that I likely would not have purchased had I tried them on in a B&M store. I am trying to limit my online shopping for this reason but it is SO easy to hit the buy button.

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    • I know you guys have it even harder there! I started tracking my shipping costs last year and I hit around $100 give or take. That’s 5% of my budget! Not a minor thing. But . . . . keeping a bunch of so so stuff around would cost even MORE and then I’d still not have the best pieces, so it’s really wiser to bite the bullet and pay for those returns. But I find it so HARD. Why is that? This return would be about 20% of the cost of keeping the darn thing. If I knew I didn’t like it, the decision would be easy. But adding my indecision makes it all the harder.

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  3. I really try not to order things online at all if I will have to pay for to-and-fro shipping. You won’t get the original shipping fees refunded–at least, I don’t know of any company who does–so you are indeed paying $16 for the privilege of trying the item. I think about that before I order it: if this doesn’t work out, is it worth to try on?

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  4. I order very little online because I can’t stand the anxiety of not knowing what color it really is and how the fabric feels and behaves/drapes. Even though I can sew, sometimes things from good reliable brands are cut off grain and will never hang right unless you can recut the whole thing!
    I also hate paying for shipping. My husband terms this buy and return process “renting the clothes.” That said, I’m wearing right now a camel’s hair sweater from Talbot’s that I found on ebay at an inexpensive price a couple years ago. So I’ve had some successes but it’s still nerve-wracking to me. Plus, even without considering returns, shipping adds a lot to the cost of items for me personally since I’d rather thrift most of my clothes. I use a budget of about $50 a month. I don’t sweat it if I go over – hubby calls it a hobby – and I sometimes go over 20 dollars or so but equally I may be under the same twenty now and again. I bought more at retail and on ebay in October and November and so I felt uncomfortable spending that much when I didn’t really need to. I was enamored of a British brand cranberry colored corduroy coat that was beautifully cut but it came from Canada and the shipping would have been over $25. And while I could afford it, what did I really know about it and just because it says it is “cranberry” doesn’t mean it is. I would have been angry with myself if I’d been disappointed in it. And I can get just as pleasing coats at thrift for maybe $5 and don’t feel convinced that the extra expense is worth it even if I liked the coat. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of coats. For example, I wanted to try a sweater coat again and found a grey one – even though I am moving away from gray now that I colored my hair back to the original red – and wear it quite a bit. I happened on another one on ebay that was brown – I like browns – with a brown suede front from a “better” make. It photographed beautifully. It’s okay. I like it well enough but the grey one was $2 and the brown one, with shipping was more like $22.
    I asked for an adjustment because a button was missing and got a $5 refund. Still, do I care that much more about the brown one than the grey one? Couldn’t I just have been more patient and waited until another one turned up some day?

    Your color block jacket surprised me because I wouldn’t have picked it out right away as something from your wardrobe. A lot of your items have a certain fluidity or a ripple effect, that goes so nicely with your hair. Even your leather pants/leggings, which wouldn’t have movement would still follow the contours of your legs. This, to me, is kind of blocky on blocky and a totally different direction.

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  5. I have a lining just like your sweatshirt’s inside an LL Bean plaid cotton flannel shirt. It is amazing and very comforting to wear. Plus I love anything with a hood and I’m 66. It irks me that Bean’s doesn’t match their plaid as well as they could but at least I didn’t pay sixty dollars for it and only paid two.

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  6. I think a lot about the point at which mistakes are made in purchasing. I debate items in a store to a great degree – as to whether will be useful and also enjoyed – and will often leave something for a week or month – and sometimes passed over without being tried on – and if still there will decide to try on and get it. Can still be a mistake. I”m often working on some time pressure when out in a store and will tell myself that that is why I’ve made a mistake and gotten something or left something I only realize I wanted after I got home. Yet I don’t think I have ever impulse-bought anything online and will debate for days over whether to get it and try to run every possibility through my mind and feeling like a jerk for being so indecisive. With all this time spent mulling it over, I still make mistakes. I carry something around in a store and think, Oh I had something like this once and used it a lot but tired of it and I don’t need it…. And will end up getting it despite not feeling any passion for it and once home I realize shortly after that it’s exactly what I needed and in fact is the exact shade I want to own more of and is darn hard to find, too, except at price points in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. One thing I have had driven home is that if I tell myself I want less variety and was more satisfied at points of my life when I had that situation, then I have got to stop getting rid of things because I wear them constantly. Those end up being the things I miss the most as purging mistakes. The needle on my compass just seems to be broken no matter at which point in the whole process!

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    • I also definitely have trouble ‘knowing’ when to make a purchase and when it’s a mistake in the making. It’s one thing to follow your heart and just fall in love with a piece on the spot. It’s another to logically think through what purpose it plays, how often it will be worn, if it’s really just a repeat of a similar item, etc, etc,. Putting a plan in place has helped me tremendously in this, but it’s certainly still not foolproof. I had a moto style sweatshirt on my 2015 shopping list. This is not an impulse. I stalked it for over a month and hit buy when the cost went down considerably. I just don’t know if this is ‘the one’. I’m STILL debating it! lol And in line with the spinning wheels of how to make it work, I’m thinking washing on warm (it’s 100% cotton) could shrink it half a size, just about what I need. Yeah, I know, I know . . .

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