Cyber Monday can be a great alternative to going out and shopping on Black Friday. You can stay in your pajamas and shop while sipping coffee rather than spending an hour looking for parking and dodging crowds. However, you need to remember a few things before logging in. Make sure that all of your transactions are secure and all of your gifts arrive on time with the following tips from Milena Joy, Personal Shopper and Owner of Milena Distinctive Image Consulting. You can also check out some of the following local boutiques that offer online shopping options.
Milena Distinctive Image Consulting
Milena Joy is a certified Image Consultant based in Denver. Co-author of the book “Inspired Style,” she knows a lot about how fashion can transform someone’s personal image. A regular on the Denver fashion circuit, Milena has been featured on several local TV shows and has clients all over the world. As a personal shopper, she is no stranger to the world of online shopping.
1. Keep your information secure
One of the most important things to remember about online shopping is to always make sure that your personal information is secure. It’s important to protect yourself against online fraud. Joy advises, “Only make purchases from reputable retailers you know and trust. Do your research to verify that it is a legitimate business. Read customer reviews for the business posted on third party sites.” She also points out that it’s important to shop on a secure internet connection and verify the site is encrypted before entering any personal information.
Two Sole Sisters
1703 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
For the shoe lover in your life, head over to the Two Sole Sisters website. With a stunning selection of shoes and accessories from hard-to-find designers, this shop has plenty of gift options for anyone in your family who appreciates spectacular footwear.
You can shop at the boutique or online at your convenience.
2. “Shop” ahead
Cyber Monday is a high traffic time. While you might not have to fight literal crowds in a store, you do have to deal with potential site crashes due to the volume of people shopping. Joy recommends perusing sites ahead of time to get a feel for what you want. “Be prepared. Pre-shop the website and take note of exactly everything you want including size, color, etc. prior to the big day. Many online retailers allow you to create an account and save a ‘wish list’ so on the big day you can simply log in and move your items into your checkout bag and click purchase.”
1411 Larimer St., Suite 102
Denver, CO 80202
This Larimer Square boutique carries clothing and accessories from lines like Tibi, Rebecca Taylor and ALC. Anyone in your life who appreciates high fashion that is well tailored and sophisticated will love a gift from this shop. It also has a great sale section, so stop by often if you’re on a budget.
3. Check return policies and other policies ahead of time
As with any gift, there is always a chance that the recipient won’t like it, it won’t fit or they received a duplicate. To make sure your gift recipient will be happy with their gift, check out the return policy of any site you’re shopping. Joy advises, “Review the shipping rates and schedule so you know when your item will arrive. While many retailers offer free ground shipping, you’ll want to be sure you understand who is responsible for the shipping fees in the event you need to return or exchange an item.”
Made in Colorado
4840 W. 29th Ave.
Denver, CO 80212
With various merchandise from artisans all over Colorado, this store is perfect for those who want to give a little taste of the Centennial State to someone in their life. From fine food to sports memorabilia, this shop has it all. Its extensive collection ranges widely, and there are gifts available at many price points. The website is very easy to navigate and peruse, so finding gifts isn’t frustrating.
Related: Top Gifts for Pets in Denver
4. Make a list
Much like items in a Black Friday sale, Cyber Monday merchandise can go pretty quickly. Put some thought into your gifts as though you are picking them out in person. However, keep in mind that things can look very different on a website than they do in person. For each person that you’re buying for, have more than one gift in mind. Joy also mentions to read the fine print before clicking “checkout.” “Keep in mind that many sale items are often ‘final sale.’”
The Tree Farm
11868 Mineral Road
Longmont, CO 80504
For those who like gifts that enhance curb appeal, The Tree Farm is a great option. With plenty of plants, shrubs, trees and accents available, everything you need to take a yard from drab to fab is a click away. Check out the online store for anyone who may appreciate some new flora in their yard or get them some new garden tools or accessories.
5. Reputation Matters
“Only buy gifts from reputable retailers who have a free return policy,” advises Joy. You want to make sure to do your homework before making any purchases to increase the chances of a safe transaction. Always make sure that there is a customer service number clearly printed somewhere on the website, and do some investigating. While not receiving a gift in time for the holidays is an annoyance, having your personal information stolen or becoming the victim of fraud is a headache that can typically be avoided with some pre-shopping investigation.
3109 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80206
Plastic Chapel is not a typical toy store. Selling one-of-a-kind toys, this store is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to give their child something “normal.” There is a great selection of toys, games, figurines and more that will keep children entertained for hours. Peruse the online shop at see what speaks to you.
Related: Top Toy Stores in Denver
Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.