As above! I adore it when online retailers offer free shipping. To me, this is one of the cornerstones of frugal online shopping–buying only from places which offer free shipping so you’re not just adding additional costs onto the price of your clothes. When you’re as parsimonious as I am, you like to keep your orders small and cheap, so ordering, let’s say a $20 dress with $10 shipping is just paying 50% more for your order! (Which is absolutely ridiculous for me) Free shipping is a perfect accompaniment to good service and I will only ever order from online stores which have both of those.

Another thing you want to look at is whether online retailers will allow you to return the item for free. Posting the item back to the retailer is not a free returns option. A single dress will cost you $10 in postage fees to return, so you’ve instantly lost $10 off the original purchase price! The Iconic is amazing in this regard. Print out a form, stick it on the original packaging, and it goes back to The Iconic and you get your refund, no strings attached. Stores that offer returns to physical stores (there are many of these, but an example would be Dotti and Coles’ Mix Apparel) are also invaluable, and you’ll want to check on the website if they offer this or otherwise be damned sure that you’re going to love what you buy.

As you probably know, ASOS has a pretty good system going too. Whenever I order something from them that doesn’t turn out quite right, I don’t just quietly take it like a sissy and post it off for a refund and lose out on that postage cost! I always have a reason for returning it and I always complain. It’s your God-given right to complain if something you’ve received isn’t right. It seems petty, but usually there’s a pretty good reason that I’m returning something because of how long I spend umming and ahhing over whether I should buy it or not.

In the last two cases that I’ve sent something back, they have delivered me items that were completely different colours than I expected (we’re talking the difference between orange on screen and firetruck red in real life, and golden yellow on screen and taxi orange in real life), so I kicked up a fuss and lamented about it to their sales team, and they offered me a refund on shipping costs as well as the item refund, and in the last case, they also offered me a 15% off coupon for my next purchase (including sale items!). I deserved a full refund for those things because it was their fault, not mine.

With that last note, I want to show you guys what I bought from Dotti!

At the original price of $60, it was a bit of a stretch for me (okay, you caught me, it was a huge stretch for me), but at $20, it’s not bad at all! I picked up the last one in the size 8, too ;)

So I’m curious, frugalistas, have you guys had any troubles with ordering from online stores who don’t follow the above guidelines (not necessarily Dotti)?


  1. Hi! I like ordering on ASOS and Shopbop, even if I have to return things work out ie: quick refund, free returns, discounts.

    However I just made my first purchase on boohoo, well it was giant boo!
    The pants I ordered in an 8 ‘slim fit’ were gigantic, tailoring cannot assist as they are dimpled scaled up all wrong! The color was different too. Then the dress, which I was do excited about, I ordered an 8, then sent a 12, it’s already a smock style, so it’s way too big. I sent it back (my expense), they won’t refund my shipping and can’t send the right size. They only offe refunds on items, not exchanges! It was their fault! I can’t be bothered re-purchasing an 8 again, as was their suggestion.

    They are advertising all over TV they need to get their warehouse right first!

    -rant over! But I do want to warn people

    • Demi

      Oh gosh that sounds really awful. I avoid ordering from anyways because of all the awful awful things I’ve heard about the quality of their clothes–I imagine them to be sort of like a cheap copycat of ASOS. You should have complained that you had to spend money correcting their mistake! I would have kicked up the biggest fuss if they didn’t want to refund my postage costs on something that is 100% their fault.

    • That’s horrible! I’ve read so many terrible reviews of Boohoo, but I recently won a $100 voucher for their site. I’ve ordered three items, which I’m yet to receive, but I’m a little nervous about the quality of the items and whether they actually look the same as they did on the Boohoo site! I intend to do a full review of Boohoo on my blog once I’ve received the items, but I anticipate I won’t be impressed (better to be surprised by a good delivery than hoping for something great only to receive something that disappoints). Though it has free shipping, the prices aren’t really that low when compared to Asos and even other Aus fashion websites, which seem to offer much cheaper prices on better quality items.

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