I may live in NYC, land of retail madness, but I’m an online shopping kind of gal.
I’m not patient enough to rummage through racks and wait in long lines. Plus, dressing room lighting always seems to be less than flattering. (Who’s with me?)
With bathing suit season in full swing, here are tips to ensure that finding your perfect fit online goes swimmingly, courtesy of STELLAService.
Look for free shipping and lenient return policies: These days, a slew of stores offer free shipping and free returns. For example, J. Crew is offering free shipping and free returns on all swim styles, all summer long. And popular retailers Nordstrom and Shopbop offer free standard shipping and free returns using the return label included with your order.
Try ordering several suits in different styles and sizes, and simply return the ones you don’t want without having to pay a fee.
Related: Bathing Suits: Find Your Perfect Fit
Easy to read size charts: It used to be that size charts were way off base, but now-a-days they’re more detailed than ever. Take Nordstrom, which provides specific measurement instructions: “Bend to one side to find the natural crease of your waist. Measure across at this point.” These measurements can then be applied to size charts sourced from specific designers. If you have any questions, try calling customer service.
Ask questions: Today’s customer service representatives are well-trained in what they're selling. And, if they don’t know the answer to the question, they’re often willing to reach out to the manufacturer to find the information you need. Saks Fifth Avenue has received particularly high marks in providing friendly support staff with expert product advice, while Nordstrom and Shopbop also earn a gold star for knowledgeable reps.
Look for 24/7 support: Can’t make it to the stores before closing time? Try shopping for bathing suits at online retailers that offer 24/7 support, like Victoria’s Secret, SwimOutlet.com, Amazon.com, Zappos.com, and Neiman Marcus. That way, even if you’re shopping late night, someone will be available to answer your burning fashion questions.
Related: Summer Swimsuits for EVERY Body Type
Use the technology: Looking for a bikini in a bright color? Most sites have filters that let you sort by style, color, size and price to find the perfect product. Others, like ASOS.com, also offer video of models wearing the suits, so you can get a better sense of style and fit.
Try live chats: Speaking of technology, more and more retailer are offering live chats. This creates a seamless shopping experience where customers can have their questions answered easily and quickly, just like they would in-store. STELLAService recommends top Internet retailers like Amazon.com, Overstock.com, Sears, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Take advantage of wide selection: Your choices are endless on the Web. Whether you’re looking for a modest swim dress or a skull and crossbones thong, you can Google your way to your ideal suit. Specialty retailers like SwimSpot and Victoria’s Secret offer hundreds of styles.
STELLAService is an independent company that leverages a nationwide network of full-time mystery shoppers to evaluate the customer service of online retailers. Its research is regularly sourced by a wide range of media outlets including Bloomberg Television, Time, Aol, SmartMoney, and Consumerist.
More from GalTime:
- 5 Dresses Every Gal Should Own
- Best Booty Exercises
- Summer Shoe Staples
- Tips for Pulling Off Floral Prints