Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Review: QVC

I wanted to write a quick review of home shopping television network QVC because I'm guessing that for people who've never bought or received anything from QVC, there's a stigma attached to it. My guess is based on my personal experience, since I had looked down on QVC until I met my lovely mother-in-law, E.

It turns out E has been shopping at QVC for a long time, since way before I met her. Over the years, I've been the lucky recipient of many of her QVC purchases. I was surprised to discover that QVC sells name-brand items at a discount, that their in-house lines are usually of high quality, and their prices (including shipping and handling) are competitive. I've even made a few purchases myself in the last couple of years.

I highly recommend checking QVC out, especially if you're having a hard time finding something. Here are a few tips for shopping at QVC:

  1. Take your measurements. Take them accurately and honestly. If you're not sure what you're doing, take a look at QVC's directions. Write your measurements down on a piece of paper and keep it near your computer when you're ordering. Unless you are sure of your size in the brand that you're ordering, you should always check the sizing chart before adding something to your cart.
  2. Buy one item at a time from each brand and get to know each brand. For example, I like the slinkiness of the Citiknits brand, but I find it tends to run large and the bottoms don't look that great on me. (Although I did buy this set to wear to that bridal shower I mentioned over at CFO.) I find that the more QVC items I own, the more partial I am to specific brands. So I urge you to take things slow and get to know the various brands before you place a large order. (QVC has a 30-day return policy but you'll have to pay for shipping.)
  3. Get to know your body and what style suits you. This is kind of an obvious tip that doesn't apply just to QVC, but I find that some people (including me, sometimes!) don't really have a true understanding of what styles look good on them. Since you'll have to pay for shipping both ways if you don't like a purchase, you want to minimize the number of times you change your mind. Make an appointment with a stylist or read a book like The Science of Sexy. (Read a review of the book at Wisebread.)
  4. Don't impulse shop. Again, this is an obvious tip, but it's easy to click that mouse a few extra times and end up spending lots of money without thinking too much about it. Before you log onto QVC, make sure you have a very specific idea of what you are looking for, and log off as soon as you find it or realize it isn't there.
  5. Compare prices. QVC doesn't always have the best prices, and sometimes when you add in the price of shipping, you'll find that you can acquire the item elsewhere for less. Examples that quickly come to mind for me in this area are sets of gift bags and greeting cards. QVC's deals might be good if you go through a lot of gifts and greeting cards, but otherwise you're probably better off going to the Dollar Store. However, I've turned to QVC with great success when I've had a hard time finding something (like a top to wear to that bridal shower).
Full disclosure: I am not a QVC affiliate. I simply thought this post might be useful!

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