Online Shopping: the DOS and DON’TS

While online shopping is becoming more and more popular I find myself spending a large part of my day browsing online goods.  There are some obvious pros like not having to leave your house during Montreal’s horrendous winter, it’s delivered to your door and you can often find more obscure and original pieces of clothing or decorations.  On the contrary there are also some obvious cons like not being able to try things on, not being able to judge the quality first hand, those annoying custom fees we never consider when purchasing the goods and of course the anxiety fuelled possibility that our precious purchase will never reach our doorstep.


I took the liberty of evaluating and sharing my personal experience with three of my favourite trending online shopping sites.

Beyond the rack 

Well this site does offer some pretty stellar discounts on some big names; I’m never really blown away when it comes to clothes and accessories.  The great discount options are often in obscure sizes or in the ugly colours no one wants.

I do think the website is great for décor though, I ordered a 6 piece duvet cover set originally valued at over $300 for less than $150 and some amazing micro-gel pillows on sale from $100/each to $20/each, and it might be the most satisfying comfort investment I ever made.

Beyond the rack also frequently has sales on Kitchen-Aid products which are absolutely worth every penny and the sales they have on the website are truly unbeatable.  Lastly their shipping; it’s a bit of a double edge sword, while the shipping is free, it takes at least 6 weeks to receive your products; ain’t nobody got time for that.

Pros: décor, free shipping

Cons: a long time before receiving products, fashion wise- nothing too great


Tobi was my first online shopping experience, the clothes are all from San Francisco, trendy and the entire island of Montreal does not already own them.

Overall I’ve been satisfied with my Tobi experience, but I was careful with what I ordered.  Certain things; like dresses that might show your nipples, just simply need to be tried on before purchasing. Most of the clothing I got off the website were sweaters and loose tunic tops, which have all become comfy staples in my winter wardrobe.

I did however have a negative experience with a pair of leggings.  The leggings have mesh cut outs and pleather inserts up the leg, which are quite fabulous.  Unfortunately I can only wear them with a shirt the covers my ass because the leggings are literally see-through in the butt region. I was pretty disappointed with this, I went back and looked at the product on the website and when I zoomed in, I could see they were also see-through on the model.  So I guess keep this in mind: zoom in on the ass before purchasing leggings on Tobi or own lots of oversized shirts to compensate.

Their shipping is pretty straight forward, 1-2 weeks- $30, 3-4 weeks- $10.

They also have annoying custom fees; sometimes you get charged, sometimes you don’t.  When I told this to the deliveryman who charged me $35 on the shipping I’d already paid for her actually replied “well you know the US government, they want money”.  So I guess take your chances, whenever I don’t pay customs now I feel like won the lottery….

Pros: from San Francisco (so obviously it’s cool), not everyone from Mtl owns it, potential to win the customs-free lottery

Cons: lots of their clothes require you to try them on, their leggings are sometimes sheer (to better display your thong)


Nasty Gal

Just the best, obvi…  They have all the brand names you relentlessly search for at Off the Hook, Influence U and Urban Outfitters.

I have ordered clothing off their website and have been thrilled to open their packages, not to mention throughout the holiday season they had some extraordinary sales which totes blew me away.

I use the website most frequently for their divine collection of Jeffrey Campbell shoes that simply cannot be found anywhere else in Montreal.  Having small feet and being extremely particular and meticulous has some big set backs when it comes to shoes.  Luckily Jeffery Campbell and Nasty srsly saved my life….

Their shipping also offers way more options and can arrive as early as 1-3 business days.

Pros: the best, Jeffrey Campbell, obscure and original pieces, the most convenient shipping

Cons: it sometimes gets hard being this fabulous


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