12 Ways Not To Be an Asshole When Purchasing Online

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Sometimes the human race lets me down. Make that most of the time. As a fellow consumer-not-designer, I frequently run across horror stories of consumer – seller interactions where the consumer is at fault. Seriously guys, this is so not cool. Today I am going to let you in on 12 simple ways not to be an asshole when you purchase lingerie (or anything) online. Note: In this article I use the term ‘seller’ as an umbrella term for indie designers, boutiques, Etsy stores, etc.


The 6 Don’ts

 

1) Don’t expect to be an exception

The world does not revolve around you. You are not entitled to special treatment because you are ____ [insert random reason here]. Therefore, you are subject to the same policies, wait times, back orders, and customization charges as everyone else. Did you wait too late to order and now the sale is over? The seller does not have to make an exception for you. Do not expect – or even worse – demand to be treated like a pampered princess because you know someone who knows the designer, you are a blogger, you have a big social following, the world has to revolve around you, etc.

 

keep-calm-and-take-the-responsibility2) Don’t expect a seller to pick up the tab when you make a mistake

Did you order the wrong size? Did you wait too late to order and now you need rush shipping? Did you order the wrong colour? Those are your mistakes and you should not expect the seller to pick up the tab. By pick up the tab, I mean both financially and emotionally. You should not be unloading your frustrations on the seller for your mistake even if you do not expect financial compensation for your error. If you do expect financial compensation, then refer to ‘Don’t #1‘ above.

Anecdote: I recently thought I bought matching underwear for a bra I had from Claudette. Unfortunately, I failed to notice that the pair of underwear I bought had pink trim instead of purple trim on the bright orange mesh. Woops.

 

3) Don’t waste a seller’s time if you don’t plan to buy or have the money to buy

A seller’s time is precious – whether you are buying directly from a company, boutique, or indie designer. Do not send them loads of inquiries that take time and effort to answer if you have no intention of buying. A single inquiry may be put forward if you will not buy the current line but might buy the line should a different size or colourway be made.

Anecdote: Sometimes this gets so confusing because I will mention something I want: like a luxury lingerie set, and others will make brand recommendations. Seeing this, the brands reach out and say “Hey, we can make what you want – let’s talk” when I may find their aesthetic not for me or not have the funds to afford a custom set. Awkward!

 

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4) Don’t expect high-end quality at a low-end price

The old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ this is true in so many ways. If you have a small budget, then do not expect the same quality from a lower-end brand as a higher-end brand. A bra from La Senza is not going to be the same quality of materials or construction as a bra from Fleur of England. I have heard some bloggers (I think it was The Lingerie Addict) say to choose two: style, quality, or price. Figure out your priority and then DO NOT use social media to bitch about the quality of a $20 robe.

 

5) Don’t sweat the small stuff

Does that item you just bought for 75% off have a few loose threads? Perhaps there is a smudge of dirt on the fabric. Do not go running to the seller demanding compensation for such slight issues! Grab a pair of scissors and trim the threads. Wash the item (or spot treat) to remove the dirt. Small marks that are a) fixable and b) do not affect the integrity of the product should not be world-ending affairs.  Look, the seller is already taking a large hit on the product so your bitching to get a discount because of some negligible blemish is just being an ass.

 

6) Don’t ask for a purchase to be sent as a gift to avoid customs

Seriously, just do not do this. First of all, it is illegal for any business to ship goods as a ‘gift’ to a customer who has purchased them. It is considered fraud and no business should place your desire to avoid customs above their own integrity and law-abiding status. This includes Etsy sellers – just because you can put a face and a name to a seller does not mean they should be treated like your grandma sending you a knit sweater for Christmas again.

 

The Six Dos

 

fc4vt8f7) Do read the FAQ [Frequently Asked Questions] before emailing a seller

In this mythical document – known as the Frequently Asked Questions – are answers to many of the questions a consumer will have. Details on shipping, international shipping, return policies, payment info, shipping time, and more can be found in the FAQ. While happy trigger fingers may like to hit the ‘contact’ button, you can really save yourself some time and indulge in immediate gratification when you find answers in the FAQ. You also save the seller time and sanity.

 

8) Do acquaint yourself with return policies, especially when buying sale items

Make sure you know a company’s return policies before making a purchase. If the seller does not have a return policy you like, then buy at your own risk. Even if you do not read the return policy, you should not expect an exception to be made for you because of your inability to click on a page link. Many sellers consider sale items and custom items as ‘final sale’, which means no store credit, no returns, no exchanges. You are still bound by these policies even if you fail to read them. There are some givens when it comes to return policies as well: never return soiled items. Never return underwear you have worn even if you left the tag on. Never re-attach the tag for the purpose of returning an item that you have worn and since decided you do not want. Essentially: don’t be an ass.

Anecdote: I live in Canada and buy most my lingerie from the USA, UK, and EU. Therefore, I consider pretty much every purchase to be ‘final sale’ as return shipping rates rarely make it worth returning an item.

 

9) Do your own homework

Before making a purchase, do your own homework on the brand, style, material, and more. Make sure to measure yourself often so you know your current measurements. Consult the company’s size chart for fit. Look for reviews on the brand and on the item specifically. Reading reviews will give you an idea whether a brand fits small or is generous. Look at the product on different websites (if you can) to see colour variations in pictures and size chart differences. Send a shout out to your social media followers to see if they can help. There is so much information you can find on the internet that before making a purchase that will save you the remorse of a bad purchase.  Lastly, if the detail you need is still not covered, then email the seller for more information.

 

il_570xn_22906875810) Do be respectful in all correspondence

There is no need to rant, yell, curse, or make an ass out of yourself when corresponding with a seller. Even if the mistake is their fault, you will get much farther with a simple explanation of the facts and a polite request for the issue to be rectified. In fact, approaching a seller in a courteous and understanding manner can often result in a better and faster resolution.

 

11) Do thank a seller when you experience exceptional customer service

Sellers whether they be boutiques, indie designers, Etsy stores, etc. receive a lot of flack. As a species, we seem to do a damn good job complaining about everything a seller doesn’t do and doesn’t have rather than praising what they do. If you experience exceptional customer service, then take the time to write to the seller and thank them. Make mention of it on social media to help ‘give back’ to the seller by letting others know that they are great to work with. These little extra step can really lighten up a seller’s day and creates good will between you and the seller.

 

12) Do put your money where your mouth is

If you have asked a brand to expand their size range and they do so, then buy from that brand. If you have asked a boutique to stock a larger size range (plus size, small band, full bust, etc.) or a specific product, then buy it when they get it in stock. If a designer sends a call out on social media trying to gauge interest in a product and you say “OMFG I would so buy that!,” then buy it when they make it. Your words can actually have financial consequences for businesses who try to listen to their customers when customers do not follow through.  For example, a designer may get 50 people saying they would buy something if made but then only two buy so the designer is left with 48 deadstock items – wasted time, money, energy, materials.

Anecdote: There are exceptions to this rule. If you love a sample item but the designer makes changes to the item before it becomes produced, then there is good reason to not buy if you do not like the changes. This tip is not to turn verbal words into contracts, but rather for customers to show good faith and good will.


If you have any tips for being an amazing consumer, I would love to hear them! 😀

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