Be a Savvy Online Shopper – win $250!

**This is a sponsored post for American Express via Ogilvy Public Relations**

I would definitely say that I’m an online shopper. It took me a bit to get comfortable with buying stuff online but now I buy almost everything online from clothes, shoes, makeup to home decor and electronics! I have yet to try online grocery shopping but after hearing how great Amazon Fresh is, I’m seriously considering it! Anyway, American Express recently reached out to me to participate in the Savvy Online Shopper program to educate shoppers on how to best shop online and thought it sounded like a great opportunity, especially since I get to give away to one of you a $250 giftcard! All you have to do is let me know what your biggest online shopping mistake is and you’ll be entered!

One of my biggest online shopping mistakes came when I first started buying clothes online (years ago!) and found a pair of Seven for all Mankind jeans that I had spotted at Nordstrom and were dying to get but they were out of my budget. Imagine how excited I was to have found them on an online boutique but for about 50% off the retail price that I had seen at Nordstrom! I put in my order right away and when they arrived, well, I had been seriously duped. The jeans looked the same as in it had all the right labels but when I put them on, something just wasn’t right, the fit was off, the color was a bit different and you could just tell there was something just wrong about them. I had no idea back then the prevalence of fake jeans. Sure, I knew of fake designer purses, but jeans? That seemed so weird to me! Well, after that I learned my lesson. I now only shop at reputable online stores that people personally recommend to me or online stores that have actual stores that I can shop at and are reliable. I’ve also learned that if something seems to good to be true, it most likely is. Luckily during that experience I had used my American Express card which comes with protection benefits for free – I was able to take advantage of the Return Protection and was able to get my money back when the store refused to take the return.

What I have learned is that you can actually find a lot of great deals online (of authentic merchandise) if you really take the time to look for them. I often get greater deals online than I would shopping at the store! Here are the steps that I almost always take before I make my purchase:

  • Check out if the store is on Ebates to get cash back – no matter what, even if the cashback amount is small, it’s still some money back and I’m always happy to save this way!
  • Check Retail Me Not or See Chloe Shop for discounts codes. If I don’t find the store listed on either site, I will do a google search of “name of store + Discount Code” or “name of store + free shipping code”.
  • Some items, I would rather risk waiting for it to go on sale so with those, I end up bookmarking it and continually checking back to see if it’s gone on sale or sign up for the store emails to find out when their sales go up.

That’s just a few ways that I try to be a savvy online shopper. I’m sure you guys have some great tips as well, so feel free to share!

Now, onto the details of the giveaway! Like I said before, just share with me your biggest online shopping mistake through comments here, tweets (just remember to @styleish in your tweet so I’ll see it!) or post on my Facebook page. Once you’ve done that you will be entered to win $250 worth of giftcards through Membership Rewards. Your choices are giftcards from:

  • Saks Fifth Avenue: (denominations: $50, $100, $250)
  • (denominations: $50, $100, $250)
  • Neiman Marcus: (denominations: $50, $100, $250)

You may choose just one store to get your $250 gift card from or if you prefer to have a combination between the stores, it’s up to you! I’ll be including some of your stories in a later post so I can’t wait to read them!

    *Disclosure: Compensation in the form of merchandise was provided by American Express via Ogilivy PR. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of American Express or Ogilivy PR.

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  • Erin
    October 13, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    mine is ordering chairs for our dining table. we found something that we thought we liked. but when we received them, the wood color was way off, the material was NOTHING like the pictures. Needless to say we had to return it, and we lost about $50 in shipping and returning. i think we learned our lesson in terms of always ask for a fabric swatch. and i do buy fabric online – so often i'll order swatches it really does look different online than in person!

  • Schnelle Couture
    October 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Wow, what a great giveaway! My biggest online shopping mistake was ordering not one but two maternity dresses (when I was not pregnant). I ordered 2 size small dresses for to wear to my bridal shower and bachelorette party. The online store combined all of it's categories and when I searched under "dresses," all of their dresses were compiled into one list. I got the dresses in the mail and thought they looked a little big, tried one on and though it was strange because the small was huge on me and then I realized all of the extra material in the stomach area and realized what had happened! It was pretty upsetting because I loved the dresses and I really needed them for my upcoming events but I returned them and ended up finding something great to wear just in the nick of time.

  • whatsanitasdeal
    October 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I love a good deal but I've gotten lazy on price comparison after a long month of work. So I have free shipping at a site that offers almost everything you can think of. So often times I don't even compare prices and assume it's the best deal. When I check post purchase, I realize half the time it's not a deal, what I'm paying for is convenience. I'm a sucker but that's the price you get for not being more diligent in price comparison. I rather pay a little extra so that it can be delivered to my house than drive down the road to get it. I am my biggest shopping mistake.
    **Hi Tiffany-how many times can we enter this giveaway?

  • yupitsmabel
    October 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    My worst buys for clothes is probably on ebay! You know it's going to fit funny and the material is going to be awful when your seller is from China or Korea and the price of the outfit is dirt cheap. But the lure is that they look so good on the "model" pics they put up! total dupe. I got a jacket which was cut funny in all the wrong places and worse thing is that I can't even return it! never buying clothes from ebay again!

  • Addicted to Black
    October 13, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I can be sort of impulsive when it comes to shopping – especially when I think I'm getting a great deal. I found this wonderful leather Treesje bag online by a re-seller for a fraction of the cost in store. I jumped on it despite the small notation of minor damage that had been repaired and was "barely visible." While the repair job was well done, it is definitely noticeable and there were markings inside the bag that hadn't been disclosed. I kept the bag because I love it despite these flaws. 🙂 Just learned my lesson about buying goods without having a *really* good look at whatever damage there might be and of course, if it seems like too good of a deal, it probably is. 😉 I feel like I'm a more cautious shopper in some respects, though still impulsive at times. 🙂

  • Natasha
    October 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I have to say it has been buying shoes and boots online!They all run different and lots of times i get the size wrong, eve thou i wear an 8, most of the time!

  • Anna
    October 13, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    When I was in college (also on a college budget) I had been lusting after these boots for EVER. I finally found them on what I thought was super sale! I jumped on them and ordered so quickly I apparently didn't stop to read the description. My order came about a week later, I lived in an apartment building with the little mailboxes and then if you received a package, sometimes a key would be left in your box to unlock a "bigger box" for packages. Well, a key was in my box, odd because these were almost knee high boots! (They were tall UGGs, I can't believe I ever lusted for them, but it's true) Turns out I ordered a toddler's size 5 instead of a women's. They were really cute, but went back asap!

  • Steph
    October 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    My biggest online mistake was buying a Fendi Mini Croissant bag on Ebay. It was sort of an impulse buy. I should have checked the listing more carefully because when it arrived I realized it was TINY! I literally can only fit a credit and a lipstick. Now, I make sure to check out everything I buy online more carefully. I always buy things after I've seen it in person at a store or if they have a model displaying the item. That way I know for sure how it looks and there are no surprises.

    Thanks for holding this contest!

  • Lily
    October 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I have definitely made mistakes multiple times ordering things online that are on sale or better yet on Forever 21. The low prices are so tempting that its hard not to add five or so items to your cart from time to time. But really that is a store that you need to shop in person and be able to try things on before purchasing (especially because of their return policy). I have also been impulsive during sales on websites like nordstroms or bloomingdales….if its something I really wanted then it goes on sale but the size wasn't right and I still kept it, the items just end up sitting in my closet !!


  • Christina
    October 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Mine was definitely allowing my then-boyfriend to order a copy of the complete West Wing from ebay at the slightly (by $10) lower price than amazon from an unreputable seller. It didn't show up for 3 weeks, the disks have never worked, but they don't COMPLETELY not work, so we didn't realize initially that we clearly had purchased a counterfeit copy. So unfortunate. And I really don't want to shell out the money for the same TV show twice…

  • Carrie
    October 13, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    my biggest online shopping mistake was actually buying a textbook online. I know it's what a lot of people do and it was my first time. Imagine how skeptical I am of buying textbooks online now. I think I'll have to stick to buying it in person from now on to ensure I'll have my needed reading materials for school on time.. I ordered it when school first started, and almost two months into school, and I still had not gotten my textbook. Good thing I was able to contact the seller (a book store of some sorts) and they refunded my money.

  • Christine
    October 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    my biggest online shopping mistake: not checking the return policy for online returns! I live for "returning to store." However, take note that Victoria's Secret does NOT let you do this! So I bought two of the same swimsuit in 2 diff sizes (at least it was on sale). But when I returned the size that didn't fit, I lost $6 in return shipping costs! …basically counteracting the awesome sale price. fail.

  • Neris / Fashion Fractions
    October 13, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    My biggest online shopping mistake was buying TONS of clothes from a web page based in China. My college friend told me about this really cool site and how you can get really cute clothes at affordable prices. After checking it out, I was totally excited! I ordered 10 shirts, 10 dresses, and couple of pairs of pants for less than $200. Little did I know back then that Chinese sizes differ from European sizes A LOT. When my package arrived, I realized that EVERYTHING is about 2 sizes too small for me and I was stuck with all these tiny clothes! Thankfully, I have a younger cousin so I gave all the clothes to her 🙂 My loss was her gain 🙂 Needles to say; I never went back to this site!


    Fashion Fractions

  • Heather @ Mrs. Southern Bride
    October 13, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    My biggest online shopping mistake was thus: I had been looking at online auction sites for a new camera body. One day, I saw a very nice body at an extremely discounted price. In my flurry to get it before it sold, I FAILED to notice the HUGE mark up in shipping costs. The shipping price more than made up the difference of what I thought I would have been saving…

    Thankfully, my story ended with a happy note. Literally about 3 minutes before the auction closed, someone out bid me and I was no longer held to the deal (if it had ended on my bid I would have had to pay).

    Live and learn!

  • kam wam
    October 13, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    I gotta say my biggest mistake was not joining ebates sooner. I've been online shopping for a long long time and somehow didn't trust ebates until last year. I know! Sad! All that cash back I could've gotten…

  • Susan
    October 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    My biggest online shopping mistake was ordering a black North Face Fleece jacket, which turned out to be fake 🙁 it was brand new and cost about $80, so I thought it was a great deal! I didn't find out until months later that it was fake, after I put it in the dryer and the zipper melded shut. I asked a seamstress how I can fix it, and she said it was most definitely fake! By then, the seller was long gone and wasn't responding to any emails. I asked Paypal, but since my order date was months before, it was too late to take advantage of their buyer protection policy. Lesson learned- if it sounds too good to b true, it probably is!

  • Kim
    October 13, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    My worse online shopping mistake was buying shoes that were two sizes too small and I couldnt return them 🙁 I love shopping online because it is easy but its nice being able to try on shoes and clothes in store:)

  • kb3lla
    October 13, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    My biggest mistake was ordering two pairs of the same shoe. Years ago, I was really excited to order these tweed sneakers from Urban The shoes were more than 50% off so when I reviewed my bill statement online, everything was right. Weeks later when my order arrived I opened the box and found 2 of the same pair of shoes. It was such a hassle to return the shoes that I kept one pair for myself and gave the other to my sister as a gift. Lesson learned…always check the size, quantity, price, and read the fine print on all sales.

  • Chic Work Wear
    October 13, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    I would have to say that my biggest online shopping mistake was getting our destination wedding coordinator online based on nothing but the beautiful website they had. It was a disaster, they quoted us a great rate for our group package and then it turned out that the hotel was in the Dominican where our wedding was taking place, but the flights had been booked to Cancun! When we went back to them, the price increased by over $200 per person, which we ended up paying for because we didn't want our guests to know! Additionally, everytime, I had a question regarding the venue, they would just forward my emails to the hotel's wedding coordinator! I eventually caught on that it would be easier for me to deal directly with the hotel since the wedding coordinator we paid thousands of dollars to didn't even speak Spanish, but I did. Luckily, we also paid with our American Express card and when they tried to charge us for services that I'd coordinated directly with the hotel, AMEX was on our side and made at least that situation a bit more bearable! I would never book actual services online again without actually seeing the person I am hiring physically and having an in-person conversation! I learned my lesson in a very difficult and expensive manner… 🙁

  • Mia
    October 13, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I bought a beautiful Max Mara dress on super sale once, but failed to notice that it was a final sale and there were no returns. It didn't even come close to fitting and I ended up selling it at a consignment store. So bummed!

  • Grace - Stripes and Sequins
    October 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Amazing giveaway. My biggest online shopping mistake is Forever 21. I get sucked in, order too much, and end up hating half of it!

  • Polishedeyes
    October 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    My biggest online shopping mistake consisted of ordering a cocktail dress that was too big.I thought I picked the right size, but later found out it was ill-fitting. Rather than return it, I decided to have it taken in.

  • Jen
    October 13, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Oh, I have so, so many – you'd think I would learn!

    The funniest was probably an online furniture purchase – I found a good deal on a leather armchair through Target's website. The dimensions of the chair weren't listed, but the package size was – and by my (flawed) estimation, sounded like it would be the perfect size to fit in our living room (and the shipping was free, bonus!). Well, the ginormous box barely fit through our front door, yet after digging through all the packaging, the resulting chair was TINY! To compound the problem, we couldn't send it back through the mail, and the box was too big to fit in either my or my husband's cars. Thankfully, my friend with an SUV took pity on us, so her husband and my husband loaded the reject chair into the back of their truck, and helped us lug the thing into the store (a whole other ordeal, thanks to the layout of the parking garage and the store itself). What a nightmare – I'll never purchase furniture online again, no matter how great a deal!

  • Alexis
    October 13, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Definitely impluse shopping. Coupled with not checking sizing information and/or fabric. I've been dissapointed so many times after receiving an item that's unexpectedly sheer or wrinkle-prone, for example.

  • as i breathe
    October 13, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    OMG! I had the same horrible experience like you with buying designer jeans online. Back then, I was sooo desperate to buy my first pair of 7 jeans but couldn't afford the crystal-adorned stitching on backpocket. It was selling for $300+++ and only celebs were seen wearing them. So I searched high & low and found one on Ebay. I remember paying $100+, which didn't sink well with me coz I wasn't used to paying that much on a pair of jeans! But knowing how much it was retail wise, I was proud of my ebay find. When I got it & tried it on, I knew I was duped! It was a rude awakening for me, like you I knew of fake designer bags & accessories but jeans, who knew? I still have it til now. Cyrstals have fallen off and it has shrunk beyond recognition! So there you have it. 🙂

  • cryskay
    October 13, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    i first started shopping online towards the end of high school when i had my first debit card. being naive, i bought a designer knockoff purse off ebay. it knew it was too good to be true but the photos were amazing and fooled me… until the actual item came! at least it was a good lesson to be learned! xx

  • Musubi
    October 13, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    My biggest online shopping mistake was buying shoes for my wedding. My first choice was to buy the infamous Manolo shoes, but even though I loved them on, I just couldn't justify spending that much on a pair of shoes I most likely would not wear again (I'm a black shoe type of girl). The week before our wedding, I still had no shoes, but as I was browsing ebay for silver shoes, I found a beautiful pairs of brand new silver shoes. The shoes arrived the day before the wedding. They looked nice enough. W/ no time to break them in, I didn't wear them till the day of the wedding. Big mistake. Not only did they hurt like heck, they were too big. The whole time I was walking down the aisle, I had to cling on to my dad and had her literarily drag me down the aisle since it was impossible to pick up my feet. I don't ever buy shoes from online sites that don't accept return anymore. I learn my lesson. Thank God for emergency slippers.

  • cbedbc70-f5dc-11e0-8f65-000bcdcb2996
    October 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    My biggest regret about shopping online is buying something that turned out to be counterfeit! The item (of course) was listed as an authentic item, and the images used were stock photos, not of the actual item being sold. Needless to say, thank god for credit card and online shopping. When the seller refused to acknowledge the item was not real, I had to call my card company and dispute the transaction, along with returning the item via post. So I've definitely learnt my lesson, only purchase from reputable websites or major retailers, and if purchasing from EBay, only buy from sellers with stellar feedback and if at all possible, use an escrow account for payment, just incase the EBay item turns out to not be what you expected. But in my case, I followed all these "rules" and still got burned…so it just goes to show you, that you never really know. So might as well save up and splurge on a brand new item, from a major retailer because perhaps the savings may end up not being worth it.

  • saskgirl8
    October 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    I have to admit, I've made a few too many mistakes. One would be buying clothes online when I was pregnant and guessing what size I would be when finished. Only to find out that I'm no where near that size. Spending a lot of money on clothes I like to look at in my closet was not the best decision I could have made. I also have made the mistake purchasing a designer purse online only to learn the item was not being sent to me at all. It was a scam and the sender was flagged numerous times through PayPal. Not cool. Lesson learned. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Carrie
    October 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    My biggest mistake was not checking all the details. I just bought printer cartridges online for what looked like a great price, but paid $20-plus for shipping, which I didn't notice til it was too late! Definitely going to be reading the fine print in the future …

  • ♥ tiffany
    October 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    As a serious Hello Kitty lover and collector, imagine my excitement when I saw the many many listings pop up on eBay the first time I searched the keywords "cute" and "Hello Kitty". I was intrigued by the words "rare", "one-of-a-kind", "collector's item" and I knew I had to have them. I was a freshman in college with my very first credit card and in one night, I placed about $350 worth of bids on Hello Kitty goodies that will make any devout fan of that iconic feline squeal. For the next couple of weeks, I await impatiently for my new purchases to arrive while bookmarking and keeping an eye out for more. My first item greeted me in a little teeny manila envelope. It was supposed to be my new carry-on bag but it was too small to fit even my lunch in. The material was cheap and thin and the bag came with a stain– maybe that was the "free gift with purchase" I was promised in the listing. One by one, my following purchases came and while some arrived in better conditions, overall I was very disappointed. Most of them just sat under my bed until eventually I moved it into the trash. I considered donating them but most were in such poor conditions that it was better off trashed. The items were not significantly cheaper than items I can find in Sanrio stores but many were things I've never seen before. Moral of the story– Fakes items are not limited to just designer names. There are even fake Hello Kitty things out there, so be sure to check how reliable the seller is before make a purchase! Too bad I had to learn the hard way, a broke college student with credit card debt and a whole lot of useless fake Hello Kitty items. Never again!

  • RockiDreams
    October 13, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I recently bought a new Dell computer and completely forgot to go through Ebates first. That would have been one nice check coming back to me. I now have their icon and link on my toolbar to remind me to click there first.

  • newpetite
    October 13, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Oh.. My husband had ordered a pearl necklace for me which as per their advertising came with a pair of earrings. When we received.. it only came with the necklace n no earrings. Sent it back and they blamed us for stealing the earring but then after further investigation and going back n forth they got to know that the earrings were not shipped and was a mistake on the employee part. Luckily we got our money back n Husband swore never to buy things without my knowledge!

  • vbgems
    October 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Biggest online mistake is buying shoes online. Sizing is not consistent between different manufacturers and you just must try them on first. Zappos is great for buying shoes because they have free shipping and free returns.

  • gucgreports
    October 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Mine was back in high school. My dad let my sister and I each pick out a few things to get online for our fist time, we were sooo excited. 🙂 But I soon realized it's not all that fabulous. Shipping took nearly three weeks, and when my two pairs of shoes arrived I was disappointed. I purchased them from Urban Outfitters so I mistakenly thought high price meant high quality. I returned one pair and barely wore the ones I kept. Fail!

  • Unknown
    October 13, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    My biggest shopping mistake is buying things that fit while I'm standing up, only to come home and find that if I'm sitting down, the item is too tight/short/etc.

    If I won this gift card I'd have to choose Neiman Marcus to splurge on a nice quality handbag!

  • Whittie101
    October 13, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    OMG i bought a fake louis vuitton bag off of ebay back when they still allowed that nonsense…so young, so naive, so embarassing! my parents still talk about that error in judgement to this day! 🙂

    you live and you learn, right?!

  • SB
    October 13, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    My biggest shopping mistake was not being familiar with the sizing and not realizing the return policy. I ordered a dress from a brand I wasn't familiar with and now I have a dress that I am completely swimming in. Now, if I am in love with something I need to make sure I go find it somewhere to make sure I know the sizing and if not the exact item, at least something similar so I know the sizing.

  • the buyer
    October 13, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    My biggest shopping mistake is constantly buying the wrong size clothing — especially when they're on super sale. When looking at the magnificent deal online, I feel like the price of something is worth the item of clothing being either too large or too small. However, when I actually get the clothes I order from online, I realize that it wasn't actually worth it.

  • Wendy T.
    October 14, 2011 at 12:35 am

    My biggest online shopping mistake is to get "filler" items to qualify for free or cheaper shipping. It's better to pay a shipping fee than to get a bunch of less than lovely or stellar items.

  • Viviane
    October 14, 2011 at 1:35 am

    I used to be an impulsive payer, seeing the cheaper prices and discounts and get all excited, but the one thing I didn't look was the size and measurements. I bought a blazer from J Crew, it was on sale and big discount, in the end I selected the wrong cut. I'm petite and I selected regular.

  • Lisa
    October 14, 2011 at 1:39 am

    My biggest online shopping mistake is one I make constantly – I just did it today, in fact! I have an ebates account and I am constantly forgetting about it. It hurts a little to think of all the 'free money' I could have had if I had just remembered to go through ebates first. One day I'll learn 🙂

  • iRrorschach
    October 14, 2011 at 2:27 am

    My biggest online shopping mistake was ordering shoes that were the wrong size! Luckily they were my moms size and she liked them so she kept them instead yay!

  • Kat
    October 14, 2011 at 3:37 am

    Hi there! Thanks for the chance to win a gift card.

    It also took me ages before I ventured into online shopping – I was scared of paying for an item I have not seen, touched, or tried (on). But I finally did try, and after several shopping faux pax, I'm now a more savvy and confident online shopper. One online shopping mistake I did during my 'innocent days' was to buy the cheapest Tory Burch shoes I could find on ebay – suffice it to say that I did get a great deal ONLY to be emailed by ebay that they closed the account of that seller for 'reasons they could not divulge'. Boy was I pissed off and terrified of the thought of not being able to get my money back!!! To make the epic story shorter, I eventually did get my money back. LessonS learned: 'if it's too good to be true, it probably is' or simply, 'be a mindful online buyer'.

  • Chic 'n Cheap Living
    October 14, 2011 at 4:44 am

    My biggest online shopping mistake was to order a dress that was too big from a j. Crew final sale. Luckily it is something that alteration can fix and is now with my mom!

  • Breezer
    October 14, 2011 at 5:12 am

    My biggest online shopping mistake is an ongoing one, and sometimes it's helpful, sometimes I think it's a mistake. I can very easily get sucked into the "spend $75, get free shipping deals." If I'm at $55 and shipping is already $10, then I think, "Well, wouldn't I rather spend an extra $20 and get an item?" rather than spend $10 for shipping alone. So sometimes I end up overspending because of this!

  • Edda
    October 14, 2011 at 6:01 am

    My biggest online purchase was over 2 years ago when I first signed up for Gilt and was excited when I saw Rock&Republic jeans and Juicy. I got both in the same size. The RR jeans were wayyy to big n not flattering while the Juicy was too tight AND not flattering. 🙁

  • Jinsight
    October 14, 2011 at 6:19 am

    My biggest mistake came from buying clearance shoes from Nordstrom online. When they came, I think I mentally over-glorified them because I didn't want to deal with returns. Well, after wearing them a few days, I realized that 1) they're super uncomfy! Kept rubbing into my achilles tendon 2) they're not that cute – in fact, they have these really weird flower things and a strange pattern and 3) the quality sucked. The inner sole came off after just a couple weeks of use.

    I'm definitely just shopping shoes in person from now on, especially given the many in-store clearance racks!

  • cheryl denise
    October 14, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Years ago when I first started using "expensive" shampoo and conditioner, I found Bed Head on ebay at half the price of the salon/ulta/etc. Once I received the bottles, I realized the product in the bottles were definitely not that of Bed Head. It didn't have th same scent, and it didn't make my hair feel as smooth as the bottles I'd used before. I learned quickly there are a LOT of fake products on ebay – not just handbags.

    I'd love the $250 gift card to Saks!!!
    a peek of chic

  • cheryl denise
    October 14, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I also tweeted about this @apeekofchic
    a peek of chic

  • Michelle
    October 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    My biggest mistake was not being proactive enough with returns in the beginning! I bought a gorgeous pair of shoes that were too big and convinced myself that I could just live with it rather than bother exchanging them for the right size. I've padded them to high heaven and I still can't wear them for long. Never again! Now, if I'm not completely satisfied, it goes straight back! (Still wish I could wear my shoes though! They're so pretty… sigh.)

  • Zera for you
    October 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    My biggest online shopping mistake was when I paid for a nice purse on a website. This was long ago when I didn't know anything about reviews and thought that every shop selling goods via internet had been checked by the "internet people" lol!! Silly me! At least I should have known something was wrong when I was asked to pay via Western Union gasp! Against my better judgement, I paid for the purse and till today have yet to receive that purse. That purse would have looked so good on me lol!! Well after about a month, when my intuition slapped me in the back of my head, I decided to google the company name and lo and behold, negative reviews for days. Well, I have never done that again, did not let that experience bar me from shopping online and conduct about 95% of my shopping online; and yes, I have received every purchase since then 🙂

  • Madiha
    October 14, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    My biggest online shopping mistake was when I thought I was buying a vintage Chanel bag but it ended up being fake! I knew it was to good to be true, when it was less than half the cost! At that time I didnt know much about designer bags so I thought the price was about right. But not really the bag turned out to be fake and I cant believe I paid that much for a fake chanel bag! 🙁

  • Brenda
    October 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    My biggest mistake was signing up for one of those "free shipping" websites. I made an order somewhere that had to pay for shipping, and then in the confirmation email there was an offer to get my shipping fees back if I sign up for a free shipping program. The program offered that for a monthly fee, I could get shipping fees refunded from hundreds of online shopping sites, and the first month was free. Of course I forgot to cancel at the end of the trial period and didn't see the charge for the next month until I got my credit card bill. Of course the fee was very high and more than I would usually pay for shipping at any website, and since then I've found out that I can easily get free shipping at many online stores simply by searching for codes or waiting for promotions!

  • Sara
    October 14, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Similar to your story but mine were fake sevens on ebay. Lesson learned!

  • Maria
    October 14, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I'm such an impulsive shopper. My biggest online shopping mistake is similar to yours. I bought clothes from a disreputable store for a low price (low enough to be a good deal but it didn't scream fake to me). Lo and behold, the actual items never arrived. I wrote to their "customer service" for weeks on end to no avail. Later they sent one item (a scarf) but didn't send the rest. Unfortunately, I bought it with my debit card which doesn't offer much protection so I never recovered my money. It was definitely a lesson learnt!

  • mandyz
    October 15, 2011 at 12:03 am

    My biggest mistake was ordering circle lens from this online site (fobbybarbie) because it was $5 cheaper. I had a feeling it was too good to be true, but they said it was their sale price so I believed them. After a month of waiting for my item, I knew something was up. I emailed the site and they brushed me off by saying it has already been shipped out. After checking with customs, I knew I got scammed. Good thing I paid with paypal and was able to file a dispute and get my money back. Lesson learned. I only order my circle lens from reputable sites now.

  • Kim
    October 15, 2011 at 12:21 am

    A week before my wedding, I was in desparate need of placecard holders. My vision was a cute and simple favor plus the ease of figuring out where you were sitting all without the clutter. I found these pretty gold sleek frames online at a wedding website… the size was perfect, the look was perfect, the price was perfect too. Since I was crunched for time I was forced to expedite my shipping and pay about $50 extra for next day shipping. Well, not only did they NOT come the next day, they came the day before my wedding in the late afternoon and they were CRAP! The worst quality ever. They were plastic (which was NOT mentioned in the description) and the glass was also plastic, many of which had creases in them. It was horrible, not only did I have to figure out how to do my placecards without the frames, my guests weren't getting favors either. This is what happens when you A) Wait until the last minute and B) When you don't use a reputable website.

    oh and when I tried contacting the website to let them know how incredibly disappointed I was, I never got a person on the phone… I left voicemail after voicemail, email and email with no response.

  • Sheila
    October 15, 2011 at 2:54 am

    My biggest online shopping mistake was going thru a floral delivery website to order flowers for my mom for mothers day. Typically during holidays or ones where flowers are typically ordered, they have specials or little gift baskets that they advertise on their website. This is a known floral website, but I ordered a gift that contained a floral pot w/small minature roses, a mug and a tea packet set. It was super cute. Well Mothers Day came and my mom called me to tell me how much she loved the gift, but asked me if she had to water the minature flower plant that came in the delivery? I told her "uh no?" it should be a bloomed plant why would you have to water it? She told me that the plant was dead! I was devasted! I had gone over there to see that the plant was dead and brown and dried up, it was horrible, especially for the price I paid to get a dead plant delivered to my mom for mothers day! I called the next day to tell the floral website of what had happened, they ended up sending me a gift card to their store… let's just say I never went back there… always go to a actual florist even if you are in a rush!

  • Amaranta
    October 15, 2011 at 6:00 am

    similar to you, my first online shopping mistake was buying a pair of 7FAM jeans on ebay- the size was SO OFF i couldn't even fit the jeans over my knees. Thankfully the seller took them back. Other bad ones include buying non-returnable bathing suits online- bad idea! what are the chances a bathing suit will look good sight unseen??

  • Ari
    October 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    My worst shopping mistake was buying "new" sneakers from an Amazon vendor. Unfortunately, they were not one of those that have an Amazon guarantee, and I neglected to check their customer reviews. Needless to say, I paid $44 + shipping for sneakers that looked like they'd been used as chew toys with no return or refund. Lesson learned.

  • Phuong Pham
    October 15, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    My biggest online shopping mistake was when I ordered two pairs of pants from a Korean website. After studying carefully their sizing and taking my own measurements, I decided to get a Xl and a L. When the package came, the Xl turned out to be one size bigger and the L is way too tight. I couldn't even zip it up. And the material is not stretchy as I thought. Lesson learned is u have to try out to buy unless it is the style and sizing you're familiar with.

  • MJ
    October 16, 2011 at 3:43 am

    Mine would be trying to order jeans without having ever tried them on… Multiple returns later I just couldn't quite get the fit right. Now I know better!


  • Nikki
    October 16, 2011 at 4:27 am

    My biggest online shopping mistake was buying a Coach crossbody bag on eBay. I thought it was a really good deal, then when I got it I realized that it was Coach Outlet not real Coach. The seller was passing it off as real Coach. So it wasn't even that good of a deal. Fortunately I do really like the bag and I still use it.

    -Nikki nikkimcdaniel(at)me(dot)com

  • weblingeggs
    October 16, 2011 at 9:13 am

    My biggest online shopping mistake was not double-checking how many items were actually in my cart. I had been to the site prior and put everything in my cart. When I went back to the site later in the day, I put the items in my cart FIRST and THEN logged in. Logging in put my old items together with my new items. Imagine getting double your order. Thanks goodness the site has a brick and mortar store in my state to return to or else I'd be stuck!

  • Stacey Lee
    October 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Mine is that I don't shop online enough, for fear of the common mistakes. That is a big mistake on my part because I know I'm missing out on great bargains!

  • Jackie
    October 16, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    My biggest online shopping mistake happens after I find something that I really, really want… in order to take advantage of the free shipping and sometimes the minimum needed to use the discount code, I scour the rest of the site (sale section!) for good deals on cute things. I try to justify everything that was added to my cart by thinking that I can always return it to the store or via free UPS/USPS return shipping or I can resell it, give it to a friend, or by thinking that it's so cheap that it's not a big deal. Unfortunately, most of these options are a huge hassle for me and all of them result in my loss of $. In the end, I end up with a lot of nice things for good prices — in addition to the one or two things I originally intended to buy — but this is how I always spend so much money at once and oftentimes the tradeoff is not worth it. My biggest online shopping mistake is getting carried away with good deals thus spending way, way too much because I do this often.

  • won
    October 17, 2011 at 12:15 am

    My biggest online shopping mistake was placing an order for a new computer online when I was moving! As if moving weren't stressful enough, I thought it was a good time to add a bit more to the mix.

    I listed my previous address as the one to ship it to! It all worked out in the end, but it was a few tense days of calls, emails and fingers crossed.

    I suggest shopping for any significant purchase only when your focus is not too many places at once!

  • Anonymous
    October 17, 2011 at 2:32 am

    What an awesome giveaway! Thank you! The biggest mistake I made several years ago was ordering what I thought was an authentic LV speedy 30 and it turned out to be completely fake. I will never buy from someone that isn't a confirmed authentic dealer on ebay. I ended up loosing several hundred dollars and the seller deleted her account. It was my fault for not doing my homework. I was so naive back then and so glad that I've found several blogs including yours, that help others know what to look for when shopping online. You have given great recommendations and wish I would've found you several years ago. Your blog has been a great help. Thank you and keep up the great work!
    -Lisa H.

  • Amy Lynn
    October 17, 2011 at 2:36 am

    I'd have to say my biggest online shopping mistake would be deciding to place an order (luckily only for not-too-expensive rainboots)after finishing off a bottle of wine with my SO. I entered my phone number AND address incorrectly. STUPID! I ending up fixing everything the next day but learned my lesson – "no drinking and e-shopping"!! This could really be dangerous!

  • LizWA
    October 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I bought a slightly more expensive suitcase at one shop just to get money back on eBates & Upromise, but didn't think about the fact that it was more expensive AND I had to pay for shipping. Then, the shipping process was slower and I ended up not getting the suitcase (a new carry-on) in time for for my business trip. It was ridiculous.

  • stylefriendly
    October 17, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    My biggest online shopping mistake would probably be buying books off of Amazon and then not being able to return them when I realized I did not need them. I had bought them from an online seller on Amazon rather than the actual company, and the seller refused to let me return them.

    stylefriendly at gmail dot com

  • heatherb626
    October 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    My biggest mistake is ordering the wrong size. I'm always afraid to get the wrong size and double guess myself … and always end up getting the wrong size, which is terrible. I need to get out the tape measure and make sure or go try things on first. 🙂


  • Lucy
    October 18, 2011 at 4:23 am

    My biggest mistake was ordering a pair of Shure earphones on ebay. My first clue should have been the price was too good to be true, but I was too excited. They came and were completely fake, then the seller removed his profile. Eventually, after much hassle and taking them to a dealer for a statement they are fake, paypal refunded my money but I learned to never fall for deals that are too good to be true!

  • Cin
    October 18, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Biggest mistake is accidentally pressing the arrow down button to navigate the page, without realizing that I increased the quantity of the item purchased. I didn't pay attention and purchased 3 of the same shirt from Forever 21. Luckily it's F21 and not some expensive store, and I was able to return it. However, it was somewhat embarrassing to explain why I ordered 2 of the same shirt. :/

  • romanholiday
    October 18, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Like many of the commenters have said, most of my online shopping errors have involved eBay. The most egregious one was an auction for an ivory Ya-Ya jacket that I thought looked very similar to a similar design I had been lusting after…but when I received it, surprise! The proportions were just a little off, especially the sleeves (oh, the sleeves!)– those sleeves needed a sign stating "Sleeves May Appear Much Puffier in Person". It looked like the infamous Seinfeld Puffy Shirt…and it still hangs in my closet, new with tags. Lol, live and learn, right? Thank you for this giveaway!

  • tasha
    October 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    My worst online shopping experience happen in college. One of my friends asked me to be a brides maid. Well we all know how that can run up the bill. So I thought why not get all the things i need online. I went to this site and it had the exact dress and shoes i needed for the wedding for like $300 cheaper. I was excited because i knew i was saving a ton of money. When i clicked on the dress it said back order but i would have it at least 2 weeks before the wedding which is fine. I clicked to have both items shipped at the same time. So 4 months later my items arrived … WRONG COLOR, STYLE, SIZE and torn on the inside. I went back on the site to get contact information. When I called the number it was disconnected. Emailed for a week straight no answer. I was hysterical. My dad had to give me money to buy everything last second which was way more than the original price of everyone else. The company disappered … worst experience ever. i think i didnt shop online for a good 6 months after that.

    tasha {

    Neiman marcus $250

  • JustJen
    October 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I have many many mistakes but the best one involves an online airline ticket purchase. I was looking at multiple dates and times for my trip. After choosing my itinerary, I booked, received and printed my ticket and set it to the side.

    Day of trip, I showed up to the airport for my flight but there was no flight scheduled — nothing at the time or with the flight number I had on my ticket. I was completely panicked. Then a savvy airline employee pointed out that I had booked my departure city as my arrival city and my arrival city as my departure city! Completely reversed my trip!

    Lesson learned. Always triple check your trip! LOL….

  • Alex
    October 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    My biggest online shopping mistake was buying a wig for a Halloween costume online…what was supposed to be a 1960's "mod" hairstyle wig looked instead looked like the hair of a trashy woman from Rock of Love! I also tried to fix it a little bit by taking out the cheap looking headband, but it didn't look any better, and after that I couldn't return it. As much as I love shopping online, there are just some things that you need to try on in person!

  • Tanya
    October 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    My biggest shopping mistake is always buying something just to have it go on sale next week! Like that pair of Elizabeth & James shoes I bought off ShopBop that were 30% off next week. Always happens to me. ALWAYS!!

  • Raechelle
    October 20, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    My biggest shopping mistake was back when the discount airline ticket sites were just starting. I was about 15 and booking a flight to Florida on my dad's credit card. Back then you had to enter your cc info and all the flight info you wanted and it would book it for you. Well, the computer kept freezing so I kept having to go back to the site and put the info back in. Little did I know I actually bought 4 plane tickets! I was able to get some refunded, but I learned that you have to be careful with confirmations and such. Luckily the way those sites operate has also changed.

  • Lain
    October 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I have a different story on counterfit goods and fraud. I am a corporate buyer, so I should have known better.

    Talk about odd and dangerous counterfeit goods… After the heparin scare (Dennis Quaid’s kid died from it), other similar products using the same base ingredient went on a world-wide shortage. My employer uses one of these product specifically to store very rare, expensive and life-saving products. We had run out and people were going to die if I could not find any. I literally had a manager in my office crying and begging me to do anything to get some. I searched and searched and found a web site offering the product I needed. They said it was in-stock. The site had a "Security-Verified" badge, so I ordered with my credit card. Two days later, my card racked up the limit in charges in Russia. Thank goodness my card company refunded it, but I had a lot of explaining to do to my boss. I later looked at the site and all other links were dead, so the site was literally preying on those of us who needed a product to save lives and committing fraud! Thankfully, the site is gone now.

  • JulesNYC
    October 22, 2011 at 4:04 am

    My biggest online shopping mistake is currently happening right now. I rushed into purchasing a Halloween costume for a big party from one establishment only to do more surfing and found the same costume from another site at $10 less and cheaper shipping. I then of course proceeded to cancel the 1st order only to have the customer service lady who didn't sound like she knew she was doing hesitantly
    said she would and could not provide a confirmation number. I now have a pending status on my credit account and hoping that my 2nd purchase will arrive on time for my event.

    Lesson learned-take your time to compare prices around before hitting the purchase button.

  • eat love pray
    October 22, 2011 at 6:10 am

    my biggest online shopping mistake is ordering clothes and swimsuits online. It is true that online shopping is more impulsive than going to the store and trying on stuff. I needed a summer dress for my beach vacation and thought I had found the perfect one on a well known website which uses super models to show case their clothes and lingerie. Of course, as we all know, the super models are gorgeous and can make rags looks like a piece of art. Of course, when you don't try things on yourself, you tend to have an optimistic view of how the clothes will fit. A couple days later, the clothes arrived and you guessed it – it looked nothing like I imagined. The fit and color were both off so I had to return everything and go out and buy new ones two days before my vocation – not a pleasant experience.

    In any case, lesson learned. Thank you for the give away! I'll take the Saks $250.

  • f
    October 23, 2011 at 7:51 am

    I didn't get into the online shopping thing until recently, since I was always skeptical of things (especially shoes) fitting, quality and stuff like that. My biggest mistake would definitely be not reading the measurement references. I ordered a silk scarf once on a whim and it ended up too small for me to do anything with, I pondered about it for so long too before clicking the confirm button, only to realize that I had no idea what size it was. The site did not do returns either, so I'm stuck with something I paid a pretty penny for, that I'm not sure what to do with yet.

  • Canadianpetite
    October 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    After returning to work from a year of maternity leave, I found myself three sizes bigger. During my mat leave, I wore yoga pants and loose tops. So I went shopping. At one particular store, I bought $300 worth of work-worthy blouses, pants and blazers within 30 minutes (lunch break). After playing with them at home, I realized half of them did not fit as I thought. Two days later, I brought them to the store and was told of their return policy: Exchange or store credit only! For the next year, I had to use up my $200 credit. It was difficult to finish up because I was so miffed at the store for not telling me nor having a sign at the counter to advise me so I kept bypassing their store front. Now, before I pay at any store, I ask each time even if I just purchased the day before. You never know!

  • Tiffany
    October 24, 2011 at 3:07 am

    My biggest shopping mistake (which I make repeatedly even now) is buying Christian Louboutin shoes online. I live in Tennessee so I have no other option. It is very difficult because sizes differ by the STYLE of shoe and I can wear anywhere from a 37.5 to a 39. I spend hours researching forums made specifically to discuss his sizing for different styles. Yet, without fail, I always choose the WRONG size. I don't have a single pair that I can just WEAR. I always have to get inserts or accept that my toe is coming a little too close to the edge. Since I am a sale shopper, I have never been able to send the shoes back and get the correct size because by the time I receive them the store is sold out. I end up having to find a way to make due unless the sizing is so off they are completely unwearable.

  • cw
    October 24, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    My biggest online shopping mistake was not looking at the measurements for the size and ended up with clothes that were way too big and couldn't return.

  • Julie
    October 25, 2011 at 2:56 am

    @Schnelle Couture

    My biggest online mistake was when i didn't sign up for Ebates early on to start earning cash back. I had heard about the site and thought it was too good to be true until i kept reading about bloggers using it. By the time i finally signred up, I had missed out on probably hundreds of dollars in cash back.


  • Julie
    October 25, 2011 at 3:06 am

    Hmm not sure why my post says @Schnelle….

  • Anonymous
    October 25, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Hi, I have been reading your blog for a while now and love it. Like you I'm in HR 🙁 and I have dreams of a vintage jewellery or antique store. Sigh… Well done on your venture.

    I'm in Sydney Australia where shopping is not great but its expensive. So I buy over the net all the time. Generally it works out well.

    My biggest mistake/drama is still ongoing. Last year I purchased an antique watch for my husband for his birthday through what seemed to be a reputable dealer. It was fairly expensive but he had been looking for a long time. The watch arrived, it looked nice – so far so good. Contrary to the advertisement, it did not work and its one of those complicated watches. The price to repair was close to the cost of the watch. My husband loved the look of it but the price was too much if the watch did not work. After much tension and harsh words, I was able to negotiate a partial refund which went towards the repair. Almost a year on, due the watchmaker having to source old parts etc it is almost ready. Hopefully he will have it for his birthday this year! For me, a lesson well learned.


  • Ann
    October 26, 2011 at 9:41 am

    My biggest mistake was ordering flowers online. I was so embarassed by the quality of flowers that was received.