With Black Friday almost upon us, there’s no better time for a crash course in online shopping. We check in with Singapore fashion blogger and social media influencer Melissa Koh, who shares her strategies on making the most of online shopping. 

Held on the last Friday of November, Black Friday marks the start of the holiday sale season in the US. Check out the online bargains starting at 1pm or 4pm (Singapore time) on Nov 28 (Saturday) or at midnight on Nov 27 EST/PST. 

How do we make the most of major sale seasons like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day? 
Make sure to subscribe to the newsletters of the sites that you love to shop at, as it means you will be the first to know when a sale is coming up. The newsletters are also packed with promo codes and additional information about flash sales during sale periods. 

Any tips to avoid making dud purchases?
Use trusted sites and pay using trusted platforms. Having added services, such as PayPal’s Buyer Protection and Refunded Returns that let you return the product at no extra cost, is always a bonus as it helps you shop in confidence and ensure you always get what you want. 

How can I tell which shopping sites are trustworthy or reliable?
Shop at sites that are well-established and have a long-standing history as an e-commerce website and check out their payment options. For example, if PayPal is among their payment options, that is usually a sign that the site is reliable.

Can I trust the accuracy of photos and product descriptions?
Start by reading customer reviews. Most stores do their best to describe their products and show photos as close to the actual ones as possible, so it is mostly quite accurate. And knowing the model’s stats is always a good way to gauge the fit of clothes. Typically, your first purchase from a store is a bit of trial and error; subsequent purchases from that store will be easier since you will be familiar with how accurate the images are to the actual product. 

How can I ensure that clothes will fit properly? 
Always check the size charts if it is your first time buying from that online store. Otherwise, get it in two sizes so you can return the size that doesn’t fit. 

Do I need to keep records of my purchases? 
Just make sure you keep the invoice that is emailed to you. If you don’t get one, follow up with the store to ensure they send it to you.