Buyer Beware?

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February 28, 2017 by phicks2012

secret-clipart-canstock4373062Shopping On-line is a great modern convenience! I LOVE being able to order stuff on-line — especially when they offer things like discount coupons, sale items, and free shipping! Love. Love, LOVE!

On the other hand, if you haven’t figured this out already as the result of past ordering fiascos, items pictured on-line are not always exactly what you think they are. 😉

It is VERY difficult, for example, with clothing, to tell just what materials items are made of — even if they offer a description. I VASTLY prefer natural fabrics (probably as the result of childhood nylon trauma), and if the description says “100% Cotton” or 100% Linen” then I’m fairly safe fantasizing about what the fabric will feel like.

I don’t mind items with a “limited” percentage of synthetic fibre. That’s okay, as long as the item looks and feels like a natural fabric, and the fabric has some weight to it (such that it will hang properly and hold up for a while without getting stretched out and “pickmarked” the first time you brush up against a rough surface, or a cat wants your attention).

On the other hand, you can be WILDLY misled with synthetic blends, because they never talk about fabric “weight”. Also — and I don’t know about you — I tend to overlook the word “knit” in descriptions and wind up with something that’s both too thin and too inclined to stretch out of shape within minutes of removing it from the shipping package (even if you buy it 10 sizes too large and your body shape consequently cannot in ANY WAY be blamed for the subsequent distortion).

Occasionally, when the item arrives it’s just exactly what you want, but more often it’s not. I found some great pintuck-front, trapeze-style tunics with pockets — perfect fabric, but they were short-sleeved and (except for being available in black) I didn’t like (meaning “really hated”) the particular pastel colors they came in. I ordered them anyway, then dyed them to get colors “close” to what I actually wanted, but I was still looking for long-sleeves for winter. As a result, when I saw long-sleeved tunics in the exact “same style” and in the colors I wanted offered for sale by the “same company” I was delighted. Expecting them also to be in the “same fabric”, I ordered several. Silly me!! When they arrived they were NOT in the same fabric. At ALL. Go figure!!

Tell me, why would you sell Winter tops in a flimsier fabric than summer tops? Isn’t the whole idea to stay warm? In any case, while the short-sleeved tops I bought were 100% cotton, hung well, wore well, and held their shape, the long-sleeved tops in the samew style and from the same company) were a synthetic blend (knit — remember that “oversight” thing?). They were too thin, too stretchy, rode up constantly, and lost their shape almost instantly. The neckline stretched out with NO incentive to do so, the sleeves bagged and would not stay rolled up (as occasionally I needed them to) because the fabric was too slick, and the sleeves were pick-marked within minutes of coming into contact with my cat. I can wear them as a bottom layer, but not alone. Result: HUGE disappointment!

Later I tried again with another on-line company. The price, most definitely, was right. The tops were on sale, the photos looked good, they had long sleeves, and while they lacked pockets they came in the right colors. I ordered three. BAD CHOICE. BAD!!

The on-line photos (as stated above) looked great, but there was really no way at ALL in this case to determine the fabric, which turned out to be a really thin, cheap, almost see-through, sticky synthetic — some of you will know what I mean by “sticky”– and the “crochet” details around the necklines were not sewn down properly. There were loose threads hanging out all over the place, and these things had “made in some out-sourced sweat-shop out of the cheapest materials available” written all OVER them! Trust me!

Yes, I know they were on sale, and (after the fact) when I looked back at the items on the web page I probably should have guessed that the fabric wasn’t what I wanted, but looking at the “real thing” — well, I’ve seen better quality in a dollar store, and when I looked into returning the items I discovered that I would (of course) be required to pay the return postage. I decided instead to make a 3-tunic donation to Goodwill. Somebody, after all, might just be desperate enough to claim them from that source.

So, here are some of the things I’ve decided to do when it comes to on-line clothing shopping in the future:

1) Search first for 100% cotton or linen — bearing in mind that search engines are rarely reliable, and that items made of vinyl, wood-pulp or fiberglass could very well pop up despite the search criteria. Then Double-Check to make SURE the item is actually cotton or linen!!

2) Always look at customer reviews — bearing in mind that my tastes are all too rarely shared by other shoppers, but that these folks can probably be trusted if they say the sizes run too small or too large or that the item fell apart the first time it was washed or worn.

3) Try to find out where the items are actually made — having discovered the hard way that items made in places like China for sale in the U.S. are about 95% less likely to be the right size, or to be made using quality materials.

and finally

4) If the item does not say what it’s made of, get a clue and DON’T ORDER IT!!!!

Those are my new rules. Your mileage may vary. 😉

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I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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