Hey BellaStylistas! Welcome to The Ordinary Guy. A monthly BN Style column for men and about men. See this as our man cave. We are going to have a nice ride monthly, talking about everything from style tips to grooming and sometimes masculinity. Yup, we are conscious like that here. Who knows, we might also have a few of your faves drop by this side sometimes, to bare it all about living in the Instagram age. So come along!

For our very first post, we are going to be talking about how to become a guru at online shopping.

At least once in our lives in this digital age, we’ve had a #WhatIOrderedVSWhatIGot moment or, when we buy stuff that is not only not important, but almost useless to us. You unpack the items and you’re like, gosh, what did I just do to my bank account? Perhaps it’s not the right fit, or just doesn’t go with our style. Sometimes, we have a clear picture in our heads of the things we want to buy but we see those other things that we didn’t plan for and go for them, instead. When we do see what we actually want, we’ve run out of our budget. Calm your nerves, it happens to all of us. But I have a solution. I got tired of buying things and feeling so sad when they arrive. It’s tiring and so I started this strict rule that I never put aside. Since I started to apply them it almost never happens to me anymore. Stick around to find out what they are and how you can apply them to avoid making your online retail therapy not so therapeutic.

These are 5 tips to turn you into an online shopping guru.

Know Your Style and Stick to it Strictly!

This is the first thing you have to discover before even thinking of shopping online for yourself. You need to know your style. Many people don’t know their style or what works for them. They end up buying things that don’t speak to their style. Sometimes, you see, say, a pair of skinny jeans on display and they look really cool, so you buy them. You’re happy at the moment. But when they are delivered, you try them on and discover that you are not even a skinny jeans guy. Oops! Or you buy a body-hugging tee because you love the design and you are more of a free tee guy, but you fell for the cute tee that you won’t like wearing so much. When you know your style and stick to it, you end up buying only things that actually appeals to your taste and will almost never have a bad delivery moment.

Know Your Brands

Sounds straitjacketing right? But it actually isn’t. Honestly, to enjoy continuous good shopping days, you have to know where your people at and stick to them. Have you ever come across that one brand that you love every single thing on their website, that you almost never regret shopping from, and every single thing that they make just feels so well-tailored to your style? That right there is your brand. Don’t be afraid to stick to them. Some brands make all their pieces to a specific taste and if that taste is not yours, you will end up buying things that you don’t even like. There is also an extra good side to this one. Because I have taken out time to know my brands, I know the stores to buy Medium and the ones to buy Large from and even the ones to buy Small from. I explore their websites knowing what I will find and when it gets delivered, I almost never get the wrong size and have to do the whole back and forth trying to get an exchange or refund. Easy-peasy!

Know Your Size

I can’t count how many times I think I have found my size and I find out I actually haven’t. This is how to know your size. You need to walk into a bunch of brick and mortar boutiques and try out things from different size rolls till you find the one that fits perfectly. This way, when you do shop online, you know the size to order. If you don’t know your perfect size, you probably shouldn’t be shopping online at all else you end up with very bad online shopping experience.

Matching Saves The Day

This is a very important secret to becoming the perfect online shopper. With all the ads on Instagram and our favourite websites, we could end up buying things that we don’t need because they look so well-curated or cute on the screen. This is what I do to make sure I only buy things online that I can actually wear. I shop for things that I have something to go with. I never buy things online that I don’t have other things to wear them, that way you are tight and if you end up buying out of impulse, be rest assured it will be a good fit with that tee or sunglasses you already own.

Read Reviews Please!

When shopping online, checking reviews is a must. You will be surprised what you might find from reading reviews. People who have bought that produce might just say something that could make you want to buy or not buy the product. However, there are also tricks. To be sure I am actually reading an honest review, I check how constant the review comes and how many reviews are on the site or the comment section of the item. Trust me, you definitely will find the truth about the product after that research.

Try out these tips and be sure of the best online shopping experience.

Photo credit: Flickr/Tim Reckmann