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Online shopping, what not to buy.

Updated on June 28, 2011

Skip it, or Ship it?

Each and everyone of us has wants and needs. Once you have set aside money in your budget, where is the best market to acquire the item that you have been dreaming of night and day? Should you go to the store, flea market, begin to frequent yard sales, classified ads, or order it online?


Probably not going to fly 10,000 miles to marry you. Sorry.
Probably not going to fly 10,000 miles to marry you. Sorry. | Source

Carefully consider what your doing.

If you have decided that you are going to shop online first, you may want to avoid ordering some of these products.

Bed bugs. No good, and hard to get rid of!
Bed bugs. No good, and hard to get rid of!
Russian aircraft carrier Kuznetsov. Definitely do not purchase any vehicles online. Especially military surplus. (Carrier pictured is not believed to be for sale, used only as an example.)
Russian aircraft carrier Kuznetsov. Definitely do not purchase any vehicles online. Especially military surplus. (Carrier pictured is not believed to be for sale, used only as an example.)

Buyer Beware!

  • Certain types of Clothing: This will depend on what your ordering, and common sense must prevail. Shoes: Unless you already own a pair of the particular make and model of shoe that you will be ordering, I caution against buying shoes online. Shoes are something that you should try on, and take them for a "spin" around the store. Although the size and width may be the same, there may be variations between different manufacturers. Nothing is worse then a poorly fitted pair of shoes. This also applies to many other types of clothing, don't buy it if your not 100% positive of how it will fit. Used clothes: Their is no way I would ever consider buying used clothing, especially online. You can contract lice, fleas, scabies, and bedbugs. The money that you save is not worth the risk to you and your home.

  • Food: With the exception of M.R.E. (meals ready to eat), vitamins/supplements and perhaps a pizza to be delivered (locally of course), I would not order food online.

  • Most Vehicles: I am just not brave enough to purchase a vehicle without test driving it first. There is entirely to much to go wrong with any online scenario involving a vehicle. Not to mention shipping..

  • Used Furniture/Bedding: This is just gross. Imagine, the photo looks great, the emails that you have received from the seller are quick, concise and polite. You place your order, and it is shipped. Upon arrival, the first thing that you notice is this stench that is all encompassing and penetrating. Your new couch, mattress, chair etc. is all stained up from various pets, has copious amounts of hair on it (that will not even come off with duct tape) and reeks of urine, cigarette smoke and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Within minutes the telephone rings, it's the neighbor calling, "is your septic tank backed up again?" This transaction has certain doom painted all over it, and should be avoided at all costs!

  • Large Taxidermy: What's the point of hanging it on your wall, or standing it in the corner if you didn't bag it yourself?

  • Organs: Do you remember years ago when a kidney showed up on ebay? That' just creepy. Moving along..

  • Large Appliances: Purchasing large appliances online may net some good savings, but there are a few downsides. The shipping on something that size would likely negate the money that you would save by ordering online. Also, you would have to bring it inside, take it out of the box, and then install it yourself. Most appliance stores offer these services in conjunction to purchasing the item from them, and may even haul off your old appliance.

  • "Mail" Order Bride/Groom: There are not only numerous moral implications to this approach to marriage, but there can be significant financial, physical and emotional risk. Why would you search the internet with the intent of "purchasing" your soul mate? Although there are success stories of these types of "matches," disaster is far more likely. Sending "Anastasia" $5,000 so that she can push her paperwork through and fly to the States to "be with you forever" sounds great. No dating and you avoid meeting the parents. The language barrier, that can be a plus, right? It's more realistic that "Boris" is on the other end of your online romance just waiting for you to be taken in by the picture of your beautiful blonde "Anastasia." Then guess what? You show up at the airport, and "Anastasia" isn't on her scheduled flight, or any flight for that matter. An even more disturbing scenario. When Anastasia arrives, it's not the woman in the photo! She's actually the "anti-Anastasia!" The polar opposite of what you were expecting. DO NOT order people online! Dating sites are fine, at least you can return them if they are not what you expect.

Do you shop online?

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Still have the credit card out?

When shopping online, you need to keep one thing in mind. If it is too good to be true, it probably is. With the cost of shipping, the urgency of need (IE: toilet paper), and the fact that somethings you need to look at before buying, online shopping may not always be the best option. Use common sense, and always be cautious. Online transactions can be much more difficult to "fix" then at a brick and mortar store front.


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    • biblicaliving profile image

      biblicaliving 6 years ago from U.S.A.

      Greg: You know, that's pretty hardcore! I've never known of any one that has had that kind of motivation in order to do that much research on the composition of a mattress. Obviously you take your comfort very seriously.

      Research/information/occasional entertainment is where the internet excels. Personal communication, purchasing products unseen and flying below the radar is not the web's strong points. Although I enjoy the internet, and have appreciated the ease of finding something about ANYTHING, I am seriously wondering if it is not one, if not the primary, facilitator for the rapid deterioration of the World as we know it.

      I guess my blogging/hub pages endeavor makes me a bit of a hypocrite though.. Later, and thanks for another great comment!

    • Greg Sage profile image

      Greg Sage 6 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      Yeah... I guess I didn't specify. I meant the furniture part of the bed.

      One of the BEST purchases I've ever made was researching for a month or so about all the different types of materials that are used in mattresses, and trying out dozens of things until I arrived at the ultimate combination.

      Not even any of the $5000+ mattress options commercially available had all the elements in the highest possible quality and combination I designed, so I found the closest distributors of the materials, and created a mattress from the individual king size components which I then used a bit of spray adhesive in between layers to keep them from moving, and zipped the whole thing into a hypo-allergenic breathable cover.

      My bed is MUCH more comfortable than ANYthing that can be purchased, and contains only the absolute best and highest-quality available elements from various types of mattresses. Total cost: around $1k.

      Drives home the point, I guess. The internet is the best thing ever invented for research, but not so great when shipping large untested items is involved.

    • biblicaliving profile image

      biblicaliving 6 years ago from U.S.A.

      Wow, that's serious online shopping their! I would have never thought to buy a bed online. I'm one of those mattress shoppers that plop down on the mattress in the store and spend a while laying in all the uncomfortable contorted positions that I could possibly end up sleeping in. THEN, and only then, if it passes muster, I might consider making a purchase. The question I pose to you is, how was the steak? Thanks for the comment!

    • Greg Sage profile image

      Greg Sage 6 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      Still can't say it's worse than the guy who comes around every month selling steaks out of the trunk of his car.

      Worst mistake: Buying a bed online. The shipping damage blame game is a nearly never-ending hassle when dealing with various trucking companies.

      Bottom line, don't sign the shipping invoice that you've received it until you've got it, assembled it, moved it into position, and slept on it for a month. One second earlier, and they'll make you regret it.

    • biblicaliving profile image

      biblicaliving 6 years ago from U.S.A.

      Pudding, I definitely would not by fish (raw,cooked or still swimming) online. It's just one of those things. Thanks for the comment!

    • puddingicecream profile image

      puddingicecream 6 years ago from United States

      I once saw an advertisement for raw fish online. I definitely would not buy food online, let alone raw fish. Thanks for sharing this. I also prefer to buy clothing at the stores instead of online.

    • biblicaliving profile image

      biblicaliving 6 years ago from U.S.A.

      Hyphen, thanks for the comment. I'll check out the other Hub about organs. Although I use the internet a lot, I'm skeptical at times how safe it is. I love going to yard sales and flea markets to look for books, I tend to over spend sometimes when it comes to cheap books. Thanks..

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      As people become more internet savvy, they are ordering more online. As a minimalist, I buy very little and as one dedicated to conserving resources I buy many things from thrift stores. Anything upholstered sits outside until it can be disinfected. About the only thing I order online is books.

      This is great advice. About the organ thing? Go to What Is Q? and read his Hub about Organs For Sale. Hilarious indeed.