Shopping online as a petite woman can be a nightmare sometimes.
Since moving to the Seattle-area from Central Florida last fall, I’ve had to build up my cold-weather arsenal significantly. I tend to shop online a bunch because it’s hard for me to stay focused surrounded by so many options in person. A lot of times, none of those options are even something I’d remotely like, so it’s nice that stores on the web display everything they have, not just a select portion they’ll showcase in a physical location. Online shopping also has the benefit of additional sales and coupon codes that you can often find just by simply googling the store’s name and the word “coupons” following it.
One day I was simply window shopping online as I tend to do, and as soon as I spotted this coat, I fell in love:
But oh no! The store was out of my size! What to do? Let’s look at resellers!
So off to eBay I went…
And of course I found it! At a reasonable price, as well! Cheaper than the store had it for, actually! (It was on the store’s clearance section by the time I found it since it was already off-season.) The “Buy It Now” button? Pressed.
A week later, I got it in the mail, and as soon as I took it out of the package, it was everything I wanted it to be…or so I thought. The quality was all there, the color was absolutely stunning, and the warmth-level was exactly what I was looking for. But as soon as I put it on, I looked like I was swimming in it. My love-struck brain didn’t take into account that the oversized look on an almost 6 ft. model would not look the same on my 4 ft. 11 in. frame. At all.
Normally I wear an XXS in the brand (which is what this coat supposedly is), but this time it seemed like this jacket was sized a couple sizes over – probably to accentuate the oversized look that’s really popular lately. I tried taking it to a tailor specializing in suit jackets thinking they could work some magic on this thing. Unfortunately for me, the amount needed to be taken off under the arm area would take off too much and ruin the coat’s structure as there wouldn’t be enough fabric to sew it back together thanks to the armhole positioning. Tough luck for me.
For about 8 months, this coat silently mocked me from within my closet. The reseller didn’t allow for returns, and with all of the disappointment, I just didn’t want to deal with it again for a while. And right before fall hit, I figured that I should attempt reselling it myself. Off to Poshmark it went! But I seemed to have no takers, just a bunch of likes. Why? Probably because I didn’t put in the work to share and reshare the closets of others. Ah, the social impact among sellers online. What to do, what to do…
RIGHT. I’M A REDDITOR! Off to r/femalefashionadvice where they have a monthly thread where you can post about and sell your new/lightly used items! Lucky for me, this subreddit really loves the brand this coat happens to be. I immediately got some questions and eventually someone was brave enough to purchase from me! And I was brave enough to sell it to them. All I did was send the buyer a Paypal invoice requesting the money after asking for her email address via private message on Reddit and then send it off to her once I received her payment. It was actually pretty simple.
As easy as it was, when selling on forum sites like Reddit, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s basically all trust-based. If you have a bad experience whether it be you never received your item you paid for as a buyer or as the seller, having the payment unfairly be revoked thanks to Paypal typically siding with the buyer, the subreddit moderators can do absolutely nothing for you. But in order to have the coat removed from my sight, it was a risk I was willing to take.
And it was worth it! The buyer ended up being legit, and I got this ill-fitting coat taken off my hands with a few extra dollars out of it! She even shot me a message notifying me that she received the package and that she’s loving the coat the way I never got to. I was lucky this time, but readers, please be aware that this positive situation may not always be the case. How could this entire risky situation have been avoided? I probably should have tried the same coat in whatever size/color they had in-store to see if I’d even like the thing before I committed to a reseller who doesn’t accept returns.
Moral(s) of the story:
- Even though it’s a quickly dying industry, shopping at physical stores can sometimes be beneficial to your overall sanity.
- When you have bad luck, you can almost always count on like-minded online communities to have your back.
- Now I have no wool coat for this winter, but I do have extra money to spend on a different one!
Where’s your favorite place to purchase wool coats that happens to have petite-friendly options? Let me know in the comments!