Online Shopping Hacks (All Shopaholics Should Know)

Because all good things should be shared, no? Here’s how to shop smart and score the best deals on some of your favourite shopping sites.

Shopbop

Stocked with clothes, shoes, jewellery and…everything really (except the kitchen sink), Shopbop is your one-stop destination for mid to high-end designer labels and more. The American retailer makes it easy (almost too easy, in fact) to shop on the site, from express worldwide shipping to a user-friendly interface. Here are some Shopbop perks you should know about.

Discount Codes

Shopbop has two ‘Friends and Family’ discount codes (usually 20% or 25% off your entire order, including sale items) every year – once in mid-April and the other in October. These are the best codes of the year, because they don’t require a minimum purchase and are just a flat out discount on your order. They usually have tiered discount codes during traditional sale seasons too, such as Black Friday. The best way to get advanced notice about these discount codes? Subscribe to Shopbop’s email updates (you can personalise them, so you only get stuff that’s relevant to you), follow Shopbop on Instagram (they post pretty cool Instastories too) and – if you want to be hardcore – download the Shopbop app and enable notifications so you’ll know when your favourite items are on sale (or *gasp* almost sold out).

Time to start putting together your wish lists so you can snap up the good stuff once the code goes live.

Loyalty Programme

Shopbop recently launched a loyalty programme and boy does it feel good to be appreciated as a customer. It’s free to sign up for the programme, and there are 4 tiers based on your spending. The most basic level is Bronze (but you still get some good stuff!) and then Silver, Gold and Platinum. Depending on your membership tier, you can get early access to sales, discount codes and even a birthday discount. Plus, Shopbop gives Gold and Platinum members Mystery Money from time to time – which could be a (really generous) discount code!

Price Matching

If you find an item for a cheaper price on another US-based site, you can contact Shopbop’s customer service team to request for a price match. This means that they will refund you the difference, as long as you meet the stated requirements. It takes a bit of effort to Google for cheaper alternatives, but hey, it just might save you a fair bit of money. For more information, see here (under ‘Price Adjustments and Price Matching’).

Price Adjustments

If an item you just bought from Shopbop goes on sale, you can also contact customer service to get them to do a price adjustment. They will refund you the difference between the original and sale price, as long as the purchase was made within the last 7 days. For more information, see here (under ‘Price Adjustments and Price Matching’).

Taxes

Orders above $400 SGD which are shipped to Singapore will incur GST charges, which you can choose to pre-pay with Shopbop or upon receipt of the item. However, Shopbop offers free shipping on all orders, so you can split your orders into amounts below $400 SGD to avoid the additional charges.

Customer Service

Shopbop has pretty awesome customer service, so if you have questions about an item or your order, you can chat with a customer service rep on their Live Chat service. They also have a 24-hour phone line and they are pretty responsive via email as well.

(Source: Shopbop  Facebook)

Revolve

If you are constantly lusting after every fashion influencer’s #OOTDs, there’s a high chance that you’ll find it (or something similar) on Revolve. The California-based online retailer stocks plenty of Insta-cool brands, such as Lovers + Friends, Stone Cold Fox, LPA and GRLFRND, as well as the usual suspects like Alice + Olivia, J Brand and Vince. Look out for Revolve collabs with some of these brands, as the collections are usually exclusive to the site (and hence, not #basic).

Free Shipping

Revolve Clothing offers free express shipping on international orders above $100 USD, which may sound like a bit too much – but hey, free shipping is always a good excuse to get that extra item you’ve had in your wish list for ages right?

Shop Revolve’s Instagram

Saw an outfit on Revolve’s Instagram that you’re dying to have? You can click here to shop the exact items (which are available of Revolve). Perfect if you need some outfit inspo for that upcoming night out with the girls.

Discount Code

You can score a 10% code when you sign up for the Revolve newsletter (click here, scroll to the bottom of the page for the sign up box). Don’t quote us on this, but the discount code ‘TULIP’ usually works for 10% off most items (except sale items or new arrivals, and certain brands).

Customer Service

Have questions about an item or your order? Revolve has a Live Chat service for easy assistance. You can also contact them via phone or email – they are generally quite helpful and responsive based on personal experience.

Price Match

Revolve Clothing also does price matches, so if an item you’re eyeing is on sale on another site, you can their contact customer service to ask for a price match. Oh, and it would benefit you to ask politely (instead of “Can price match anot?!”) because it’s really up to their discretion. It’s amazing what a little politeness can do for you. For more details, see here.

(Source: Revolve Facebook)

ASOS

Ahh ASOS…the perfect site to while away hours of your time. While ASOS has pretty much anything your heart/closet desires, shipping can take quite long (about two weeks to Singapore). But hey, who’s complaining when shipping is free with no minimum order?

Express Shipping

If you just can’t wait to get your items (we’ve all been there, no?), try using the code EXPRESSSING for free express shipping (2 – 3 days). It usually applies to orders above 250 SGD, but this amount might vary.

Free Returns

ASOS offers free returns for orders from Singapore, and it’s pretty easy to process. Just fill out your Return Form, print a shipping label and drop it off at your local SingPost outlet. The return process takes about a week longer than if you were to return it yourself, but so far we’ve not had any problems with the service.

Codes

ASOS offers 20% discount codes from time to time, but it’s well worth noting that codes cannot be stacked. Hence, you can’t use the express shipping code if you want to use on of their discount codes.

Currency

Most shopaholics might already know this, but it’s significantly cheaper to shop on ASOS in Pounds rather than Singapore Dollars. Just click the dropdown menu on the top right of the screen and switch the currency to UK Pounds. Of course, you might want to check what your credit card’s foreign currency transaction fee is too.

(Source: ASOS Facebook)

Sephora

Ever since Sephora launched their online store for Singapore, we’ve been hooked – especially since you get the same membership perks as shopping in store. Plus, local shipping is free for orders above $40 SGD.

Sephora Virtual Artist

Dying to try that new lippie shade, but can’t get to a Sephora store anytime soon? Download the Sephora Virtual Artist app, so you can view how various makeup products look on you. The web version is available here.

Free Samples

The best part about shopping with Sephora online? Free samples, of course! You can also redeem your Sephora Beauty Pass points for gifts – this can also be done in store, but the selection of gifts seems to be better online.

Sephora Mailing List

If you want to get the first scoop on discounts, sales and more, sign up for Sephora’s Mailing List here (scroll down for the sign up box). They will also send you reminders about birthday discounts or membership perks.

(Source: Sephora Singapore Facebook)

ZARA

Oh ZARA, how do we love thee? If you thought your favourite high street brand couldn’t get any better, it just did. Besides launching a local online store for Singapore, the retailer has also made the shopping experience much easier with a personalised sizing chart and stock availability tool.

The sizing chart (which can be accessed by clicking on the “What’s my size?” link on any item listing) allows you to enter your height and weight, as well as sizing preference (loose, tight or perfect fit). From there, it will recommend the size you should get.

The stock availability tool allows you to check if an item is available in any local store, as well as details on what sizes are available or if there are only a few pieces left.

You can also download the ZARA app to do all of the above on the go – perfect if you can’t find an item in your size while shopping in store. Items bought through the ZARA online store or app can be returned in store (woohoo!).

(Source: ZARA Facebook)

MANGO

While MANGO already has multiple stores in Singapore, the online store is a good place to check out if the item you want is out of stock (or stained with makeup). The site offers free international shipping on orders above $79 and delivery takes about 2 to 5 working days. The prices on MANGO.com are the same as the stores in Singapore, and they usually offer the same promotions. The best part about MANGO.com? You can return items to any MANGO store in Singapore, so it saves you the hassle of heading down to the post office.

(Source: MANGO Facebook)

Grana

Need to get some good quality basics? Grana is your go-to for reasonably-priced wardrobe staples. Grana offers free shipping to Singapore for orders above $110 SGD, but note that there is a refund fee for return orders (boo). Also, some items (such as those on sale or purchased with discount codes) may not be eligible for returns – but it will be stated clearly at check out.

Also, if you refer a friend, they will get 10% off their first order and you’ll get $29 once they make a successful purchase. How’s that for a little sharing and caring?

(Source: GRANA Facebook)

The Birdcage Boutique

The Birdcage Boutique stocks some pretty cool Australian brands, as well as the usual suspects like C/MEO, Keepsake The Label and Finders Keepers. Subscribe to their mailing list to get $30 off your first purchase, and international shipping is free on orders above $200 AUD.

The site has discount codes from time to time, but note that items bought with these codes may not qualify for a refund if they need to be returned. Their customer service team is pretty helpful though, so email them if you have questions.

(Source: The Birdcage Boutique Facebook)

Princess Polly

Need to make vacation plans, but can’t escape your desk job? Fake that Sydney street style look with Princess Polly. The Australian online retailer is somewhat similar to Revolve, but they stock more Aussie designers like MINKPINK and Quay. You can also find cult beauty brands like Bite Beauty or Jeffree Star Cosmetics on the site.

Score 10% off your first order by signing up for their newsletter (click here and scroll down for the sign up box).

(Source: Princess Polly Facebook)

The Editor’s Market

The Editor’s Market is a great place to find affordable and modern streetwear, but the stores tend to sell out of popular items quickly. If you’re eyeing a particular item, you can check the item availability and even reserve it in-store via the online site.

Sign up for their membership programme to score discounts and coupons on future purchases.

(Source: The Editor’s Market Facebook)

NET-A-PORTER

NET-A-PORTER is one of those sites that you peruse often, but only end up buying something like, twice a year or something (during the sale period). If you’re placing an order that is more than $400 SGD, try not to return it unless you really need to. Orders above $400 SGD get charged taxes, which NET-A-PORTER collects on your behalf. However, when you return the item, NET-A-PORTER will only refund you the item amount, but not the taxes you paid for it (which can go up to a few hundred dollars, if you ordered a big item like a bag).

In order to get a refund on your taxes paid previously, you’ll probably have to go through the delivery service (which in their case, is DHL) to make a claim. The entire process takes about 6 months to a year. Yes, a YEAR…just to get your tax refunded. So yes, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

NET-A-PORTER offers free shipping to Singapore for orders above US$300, otherwise it’s US$15.

(Source: NET-A-PORTER Facebook)

MyTheresa

MyTheresa is similar to NET-A-PORTER, except they seem to have a wider selection of items and brands. Shipping is more expensive though – $25 to Singapore – but they have free shipping promotions quite regularly (and they give you the cutest folder with your invoice). Also, if you sign up for their mailing list (and don’t unsubscribe), they might send you a discount code or two to use on your next order.

(Source: MyTheresa Facebook)

ShopStyle

ShopStyle is not quite an online store, but more of a directory for all your favourite online stores. The site allows you to search for items across thousands of different retailers – including Neiman Marcus, Net-a-Porter, MyTheresa.com, ShopBop and many more – so you can easily see what sizes, colours and styles are in stock, as well as compare prices from the different retailers. If you can’t resist a good bargain, sign up for sale alerts for your favourite items. You know what they say about the early bird and the worm…

(Source: ShopStyle Facebook)

Shoptagr

If you just want to get sale alerts so you can snap up the good stuff once the prices are marked down, sign up for Shoptagr. The service allows you to install an extension to your browser, so you can save items to your list while browsing. Shoptagr will notify you via email or text (you can opt for either) when any of your saved items go on sale.

(Source: Shoptagr Facebook)

Still want more? Check out these other articles:

Supermarket Hacks All Aunty Wannabes Should Know

Guide To Buying Secondhand Items Online

The Ultimate Guide To Re-Gifting

Best Budget Stores In Singapore

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