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Before You Shop Online for Children's Clothing and Accessories

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For a busy parent, buying children's clothing online is a welcome alternative to trudging through a crowded mall with children in tow. Before you start your cyber-shopping adventure, there are a few simple steps you should take to ensure that your experience is enjoyable and worry free.

Measure and Weigh Your Child

Sizes often differ from store to store, so it is best to measure your child before placing an order.
    Clothing: Measure your child's height, waist and inseam, and know his approximate weight.
    Hats: Measure the circumference of the head, 1/4 inch above the ears.
    Shoes: Measure the length of the foot from the tip of the longest toe to the heel. However, it's best to have your child’s foot professionally measured beforehand.

Choose the Appropriate Size

Most online stores have a size chart you can follow to ensure that you choose the proper size for your child. If your child is on the boarder-line between sizes, use your judgment on which to order. If you're placing an order for a single, up-coming event, get the smaller size. If it’s something that you hope he will wear for an entire season or longer, order the larger size.

Read the Return Policy

Most large chain-stores have relaxed return policies allowing the customer to return items to their store or mail it back. This is not always the case, however, so it is wise to read the return policy before making your purchase.

Items purchased on online auctions are often non-returnable.

Choose Shipping Method Wisely

Carefully read the shipping information for each item; certain items may take longer to leave a retailer's outlet than others.

Some online retailers offer free shipping with purchases over a specified amount. Therefore, it can often be cheaper to order an extra small item rather than pay for shipping. When taking advantage of such offers, be aware that if you choose a faster shipment, you most likely will not qualify for free shipping.

Check the Website for Promotions

Retailers often run promotions on their websites such as percentages off online orders, free shipping, electronic coupons and other incentives. Check your favorite online stores often to catch these deals.

Sign-up for the Newsletter or Join the Club

Many online stores offer free newsletters or memberships to savings clubs. If you are a big fan of certain stores, sign up! Retailers frequently offer special discounts to members in the form of electronic coupon codes sent in newsletters. You may also get advance notice on sales, new lines and up-coming events.
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