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10 Things You Should Never Buy Online

Updated on April 3, 2012


Go outside, where worms naturally occur. Millions of worms busily tunnel beneath your feet. Get a shovel and get to work. Ordering worms online takes much too long when a few hours of industrious digging yields fresh wrigglers at virtually no charge. Dig a hole in your back yard or venture into the landscaping outside the mall: worms wait for you. They are too slow to escape once you have unearthed them.

Whatever your plan for your worms, expend a little effort rather than racking up charges on your credit card. The supply is unlimited and your mailman won't be grossed out.


Your life contains sufficient fear without waiting for the UPS driver to drop more on your front porch. The price of everything skyrockets even as the dollar plummets against other currencies. Your job is going to India. Your house might have termites or it could be invaded by robbers at this very moment because your alarm system is substandard. You don't own enough gold. Your family doesn't get enough fiber.

There are plenty of real and imagined fears with with which to deal without having to order more fear from online fear vendors. Obtain your fear locally rather than purchasing outsourced angst from faceless web sites.

Canopy Chair

You need a chair with a roof? That's why umbrella's were invented. Chairs are for sitting, umbrellas provide shelter from the storm. The functionality should not be combined into one component. Imagine your frustration when you need to walk somewhere and it's raining: do you plan to hold the canopy chair over your head as you stroll from your limo to the mall?

What will you do when you need to sit in a chair while wearing a top hat? If you were sufficiently unfortunate to order a canopy chair, you're plans will be foiled. We all make mistakes, but consider yourself properly warned.


Supplies of stupidity will probably never wane. As long as The View can be viewed every weekday on a major broadcast TV network, our stockpiles of inanity appear to be sufficient. You have no reason to order supplemental supplies of silliness.

T-Shirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads, and tattoos deserve a better fate than to be emblazoned with pithy and stupid phrases. Think twice before specifying gift items proudly displaying trite aphorisms that you might regret by next Christmas. Your friends and relatives deserve a better fate that being obligated to put this stuff out whenever you visit unexpectedly.

Robotic Vacuum

A robotic vacuum trundles automagically through your home and sucks up every loose item left on the floor. It's self-powered and self-guided. It operates unattended. In ancient days, we humans actually performed this task ourselves.

If you can't be bothered to reach down and pick up a dust bunny, perhaps your credit and debit cards should be revoked. We all suffer from unwanted accumulations of dirty detritus across horizontal walking surfaces: you're not special. Exert a little manual labor rather than assembling an electronic gizmo that endlessly wanders your carpet and picks up important things like contact lenses and Broadway tickets along with the omnipresent filth. Eventually, you'll be sorry when the family gerbil vanishes without a trace every week during vacuum time.

Hair Mayonnaise

Go to the supermarket and load up on regular mayonnaise. This stuff tastes horrible and it's probably loaded with some genus of evil cholesterol. Make a sandwich, but plan to use mustard and ketchup instead of a product as poorly named as 'hair Mayonnaise.'

Don't even think about whipping up a batch of holiday potato salad with this ingredient. Your family will end up at Cracker Barrel and you will be left with a batch of half-eaten yucky potato salad that will be spoiled before the presents are opened.

Boom Box

No one else cares what you're listening to. Order up a fresh new iPod or download some songs onto your phone: leave the boom box alone. Stick your ear-buds into your personal ears and omit the public declaration of your love for Hip Hop. Broadcasting your choices in tuneage will make Christmas and every other day miserable for your friends and family and everyone else riding the bus with you. Sure, you can play with the 5-band equalizer or dub songs from the 'radio' onto 'cassette tape', but even that becomes boring after about 15 seconds. The 1970's called: they want their technology back.

Mega-piece toolkit

You don't need this many tools in one place. No one actually knows what this stuff is. The robotic vacuum will eventually consume all the little parts. You need a hammer and a saw and some Sponge Bob band-aids: that's about it.

Everything needing repair or construction or renovation can be affected properly through judicious use of a pounding tool and a cutting tool. Measure twice, cut once, unless you didn't get a ruler for Christmas.


Just because you can, doesn't mean you should... if you need one button, purchase one button. Ordering a plethora of buttons only results in heartache: you'll end up spending all your time looking for places to sew them. The holidays will be ruined. When all you have is buttons, everything looks like it's unbuttoned.

Buying buttons in bulk only leaves you with more buttons than should be permitted by The Constitution. Massive button shortages may result. Our founding fathers never intended for button hoarders to prosper.

Home Computer

You can't order a computer online: by the time you receive it, the thing will be obsolete. As it's packed into a shipping carton, the hardware and software are being downgraded by forward-thinking engineers with many letters behind their names. Your computer will arrive on your doorstep with software unsupported by tech support. It will have little connectors that no longer connect to anything available in the modern world. It will be a high-tech antique.

Go to a real store and talk to a real person about your new computer. At least you have a fighting chance to get it home and enjoy it on Christmas Day before it drifts into obscurity.


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    • natures47friend profile image

      natures47friend 6 years ago from Sunny Art Deco Napier, New Zealand.

      You are funny...I loved this...canopy bizarre!

    • gabgirl12 profile image

      gabgirl12 6 years ago

      This was very entertaining. 10 things you should never buy online but you still put the Amazon capsules anyway. haha, I wonder how many people clicked them? ;)

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Derdriu : Thank you for your kind words about my words.

      To answer your query: buttons are not end-times appropriate. Velcro has many applications and should be hoarded.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 6 years ago

      nicomp: Thank you for taking the time to steer your readers away from the pitfalls of foolish online purchases. It is most helpful the way in which you explain how each of the 10 items should not be purchased through the internet. It is also most thoughtful the way in which you pinpoint what the viable options in the few cases when the alternative is not nothing (as in canopy chairs) but something (as in cutting and pounding tools).

      Thank you for being so conscientious about what you order online and for caring about the foolish choices which we your readers would be making without such considerate, kind guidelines.

      Voted up, etc.,


      P.S. What is the survivalist alternative to popped buttons at the end of days?

    • profile image

      Observer 6 years ago

      No one voted Beautiful.

    • leroy64 profile image

      Brian L. Powell 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

      People are still buying Hair Mayo? You would think by now that people would have figured out that mayo does not grow hair. I love his hub; but, I have bought computers on line.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 6 years ago

      Fun hub! I hate to say that my school buys crickets online. Evidently they are MUCH cheaper than local crickets. And the bearded dragons (think big lizards) don't seem to care. I just hate the noise, and of course a few always escape in the teachers' lounge.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      The best part about this one is how you are selling the exact things you are telling us not to buy. I had to laugh at the robotic vac. The people I know who have one use it mostly to entertain the dog.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      nicomp - you read my mind. All these incomparable gift suggestions (except for #2 and 4) are already on my Christmas list. You must be physic. I mean, psychic.

    • Ole Number One profile image

      Tim Hyde 6 years ago from Louisiana

      I have purchased 2 computers online, one from Dell and one from Ebay. Had no problems with either and paid a fair price. All the other crap I can agree with.

    • hrymel profile image

      Haley 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      @Nicomp Pshh, like I would ever buy a 99 cent item and then be suckered into paying twenty bucks for shipping....more than a few times.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @hrymel : I bet the shipping was more than 99 cents. You're among friends.

    • hrymel profile image

      Haley 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Nicomp, you do not know how right you are. I spent all of my Thanksgiving break trying to find places to sew my 10,000 buttons that I bought on ebay for $.99. It tore my family apart. Thank you for warning others of the hazards of buying buttons in bulk.

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Lol I'm pretty sure hair mayo is for your... hair. =]

      Do people really buy buttons in bulk? Hmm...

      Funny hub! Voted up & funny!