Online Curious ? How Not to be Scared of Internet Shopping.

Online Curious ? How Not to be Scared of Internet Shopping.

Are you nervous about buying clothes online? Fear not, we're here to help :)  

When COVID struck with lockdowns and movement restrictions, a lot of us found ourselves spending more time online and getting deliveries. Businesses from food boxes to car parts; fish, cheese, shoes, cleaning supplies, wine, groceries, everything can be ordered on line and arrive at your doorstep.

Online shopping was already a global trend for clothing before Covid, and since then it has only increased. If you haven’t bought clothes online before , or if you haven’t had great experiences, here is our guide to how to do it right.

As an online store ourselves, we are very mindful that buying clothing without seeing it or trying it on can be intimidating, and sometimes disappointing when it arrives. Making dancewear which is comfortable and flattering for every body, and is easy to buy is what Butterfly exists for.

To state the obvious, everybody’s body is unique. Also obviously, we have to make clothing within a standard set of sizes. And that’s the thing with online clothing purchases; sizes differ between brands and it’s hard to know what is going to fit and what isn’t.

So with that in mind we’ve come up with some hints and tips for buying clothing online.

Firstly, check that you are dealing with a legitimate company.

Look for a key or padlock icon in your browser's address bar. Legitimate online stores and sites that store personal information will have a closed padlock or key in the address bar portion of your web browser (the bar at the top where you type in the website's address). This symbol means that the connection with the website is encrypted and your information is secure. Some browsers may also show the address bar as green for these websites. Avoid sites where the address bar is red, the padlock is shown as open, or the key is broken. This signifies an unsecured connection.

Check where the business is based. It is not uncommon for a business to give the impression that they are from one country, e.g. New Zealand, but then you find your order is being sent from another.

  • check where the item is being sent from, if it's overseas is there any import duty? In NZ you can buy up to $1000 without attracting additional customs duty
  • How much is the freight cost?
  • What is the return policy?
  • Check the currency of the pricing e.g. that it’s not US dollars when you think its Kiwi dollars.

Read reviews if it’s a business you haven’t bought from before, but know that they are not all 100% trustworthy! Reviews can be faked, and people get sent freebies to try with the expectation of a favourable review, but where there are large number of reviews and overall ratings, such as Google and Trustpilot, they do have some validity.

Check out the social media pages, a legitimate business will generally be making regular updates to their pages, telling customers about new products and engaging with customers comments. If the Social Media is inactive, beware. A good test is to ask a question and see if you get a reply! 

When it comes to payment, never give out any of your details to a website that is not secured by the https:/ prefix as mentioned above. You can shop with confidence where payment intermediaries such as PayPal and ShopPay are involved as they check businesses credentials. Similarly websites hosted by well known providers such as Shopify, SquareSpace , Wix, GoDaddy etc are safe since the business will be using their secured payment process.

It can be a good idea to have a separate credit card to use online with a small limit on it, so if you do get scammed you have a limited exposure.

If you are going to sign up as a customer make sure your password is unique and secure, and not the same one that you use for 'everything'.

Once you have satisfied yourself that you are dealing with a legitimate business, let the shopping commence!

The most important thing when buying clothing is to get the right size. 

As they say in the trades, measure twice cut once. In this case, read the website's sizing guide and get a tape measure. Clothing sizes vary between brands, between countries and even sometimes between individual styles within a brand. So just because you’ve always been a size 14, you may not be for this garment. Check your measurements and compare to the sizing chart. When you can’t try things on this is critical. Be realistic - this is not the time to buy your aspirational size, but the real one as declared by the tape measure!

If the manufacturer says the sizing is small and to order up a size, they mean it!

Be sure to read the description of the item, don't just rely on the picture. Manufacturers may want you to know something special about the fabric or the fit. 

If you’re unsure about anything, don’t be shy to ask. Online businesses should have a contact form, a messenger or a chatbot to help you work through any questions and they should be glad to help. If they’re not, then maybe wonder how they will be to deal with if the product arrives damaged or is the wrong size.

Before buying it's a good idea to consider what you’ll do if it is unsuitable – will you keep it and try to on-sell it or give it away? Do you have to pay postage to return it? Will you be bothered to? Online shopping is supposed to be a hassle free way to shop but having to repackage something, go to the post office and pay to return it is very much a hassle, so it's worth spending time to try to get it right first time.

So far as Butterfly Dancewear is concerned, we have tried to provide practical and realistic sizing information. There is a general sizing guide and then each garment has additional Fit and Style Guides to highlight any special features.

Online shopping is a fantastic way to support local businesses. You can get access to boutique stores throughout the New Zealand and the world, and it gives small businesses like ours a way to reach customers beyond our home town.

Finally, and very importantly

Don’t drink and buy!



We hope that this blog has been helpful. If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you … contact form here

Happy Dancing Butterflies



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