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Ask A Sacramento Expert: Tips On Finding Deals Shopping Online

With the multitude of shopping options available online, the search for that perfect outfit or little black dress is no longer limited to the mall down the street. At this point, most businesses from major retailers to local boutiques have a web presence, but Sacramento style expert Karri Grant knows it is important to be a savvy shopper.
Kerri Grant (Credit, Valerie Heimerich)

Karri Grant
Personal Stylist, Image & Wardrobe Consultant
2015 J St., Suite 201
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 248-9617

Through her image consulting company, dynamic small-business owner Karri Grant helps individuals and organizations look and feel great. Among the many services she offers, Grant does wardrobe analysis, personal style consultations, special event shopping and fashion shows.

"It used to be much easier," she comments about online shopping, because there were fewer sites from which to choose. "There is so much more out there now, but it isn't as simple as it seems." Grant often shops for clients and for herself online, and is pleased to offer some tips.

Check shipping and refund policies before clicking that "order now" button

One of the most important steps to online shopping is the one thing people often forget to do – read up on return and shipping policies. Sometimes the trade-off for a good deal at purchase time is a bad deal if you have to return it. "You never want to get stuck," says Grant, "with a garment you'll that you'll have to pay twice as much to ship back."

Related: Ask A Sacramento Expert: How To Distress Your Jeans

Pick up a fashion magazine first

Grant says that sometimes a talented up-and-coming designer will have a piece or two featured in a fashion publication. If you like their style, do a web search to see if they sell online. When possible, she suggests buying directly from the designer's site rather than a middleman retailer, where you might not get as good of a deal.

Size matters

If you have ever purchased a pair of jeans in your "normal" size and found it did not fit, you will understand Grant's point here. Most sites include a sizing chart or fit guidelines and should be read carefully. Separate designers use different measurements, and styles created outside of the U.S. can fit vary differently. Grant noted that even some major retailers use different cuts for similar items sold inside of a store versus online.

Consider vintage

Anyone who remembers parachute pants knows that not all fashions regain popularity years later, but some do. Whether it's trendy again or you just remember loving the style, sites like Etsy are a great source for vintage clothing and accessories. Grant recalls finding her favorite swimsuit from high school on Etsy, and is happy to report that the same size still fits.

Know where to shop and what you should not buy online

"Personally," Grant says, "some of my favorite sites are Zappos, Overstock and Amazon, where you'll get the right product with a good return policy." Trendy and high-end designer clothes can be found through Shopstyle, which she says, "gives choices from higher market designers than can't be found on Amazon." For non-designer items or basics, she notes "every label you like in a store like Gap has an online site with a better selection." Finally, she advises against buying bras and other lingerie online. Instead, Grant says to "go into a store, get a fitting and if you like it, buy it."

Related: Best Sacramento Fashion Blogs

Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at

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