The auction site we’ve all come to know and love (or hate) is actually a Mecca of clothing. Whether you’re looking for vintage pieces or designer dresses, eBay can cater to your needs. The auctions allow you to control your price range, too. Prices usually tend to be on the cheaper side of things, as eBay isn’t retail and some sellers want to cut you a break. If you’re willing to deal with auctions and use PayPal, you’ll have a closet full of wonders in no time.
CafePress is an essential place to have gifts made. You can easily log in, upload a photo or design, and have it available to everyone via an easy-to-use storefront. If you want to get your grandmother a shirt featuring a picture of your child, here’s your chance to get it done professionally—without a trip to those booths at the mall. CafePress not only offers a decent selection of clothing, they offer things such as mouse pads, coffee mugs, and backpacks, all with your design or photo. Men’s and women’s merchandise is available here, so no worries about finding the right size. Prices range, depending on what the seller has chosen for a markup.
When some folks can’t even pick out a pair of sneakers in a mega mall full of 17 different shoestores, buying a pair online without even trying them on sounds quite precarious. But not with Zappos’ legendary return policy. Besides offering free shipping on every pair of shoes they sell, you can send any pair back within 365 days completely for free. Just log on and print out a free shipping label; Zappos foots (pardon the pun) the bill. A selection of thousands of different shoes and sizes doesn’t hurt business, either, and every pair gets photographed from every angle, so you can truly inspect it up close before buying.
You have to wonder why someone didn’t figure out this concept earlier. Rather than forcing ladies to sift through pages and pages of different clothes in the hopes they might find something they like, MyShape lets them check boxes about their own style and size, then view a selection of clothing catered especially to their tastes. And when you go to order, there’s no agonizing over sizes: MyShape sends items that fit based on the dimensions you’ve already shared.
TOMS Shoes (www.tomsshoes.com)
Buy one get one free takes on an entirely different meaning at this feel-good online retailer, which gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you buy. The high-concept site offers decidedly low-key shoes, with prices to match (most go for around $50). TOMS’ almost identically shaped shoes don’t offer much in the way of variety, but you can get them made in everything from corduroy to canvas, and everything in between.
Don’t bother leafing through racks and racks of practically identical dress shirts looking for just the one you wanted (in just the size that fits) when you can literally build your own online from this tailor of customized dress shirts. ShirtsMyWay lets you choose everything from pattern and material to the stitching around the buttonholes. When you’ve completed your design, you can order in the standard shirt sizes used in retail stores if you’re in a hurry, or enter 10 different measurements for a truly personalized fit. Prices start at $75 depending on base material, but that includes every single customization, and shipping is free.
Consider Overstock the Marshall’s of the Web. It’s stocked with dozens of different name brands with items slashed to closeout prices. The selection may not be what you can find at down at the local boutique, but with $90 shorts marked down to $10 (and half off on seemingly everything) you should be able to find something you like at a price you like even more. And regardless of how much you order, shipping is always $2.95.