Some Things Not to Buy On-Line?

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February 11, 2020 by phicks2012

I shop locally whenever I can, as long as the products I want and need are available and reasonably priced. I have a favorite hardware store, and a favorite computer store. I buy groceries locally (except for items that have been discontinued and never re-stocked). I buy office supplies locally (except for printer ink) and I buy horse feed and (for the most part) plants for my garden locally, too. If possible I try to support local businesses, especially those that are locally owned.

But if I can’t find something locally, I love on-line shopping! I really do, as long as shipping is free, the price is right, and the products are as advertised. I love the convenience of finding products I want without having to drive all over the state to brick-and-mortar locations that “just possibly might have them” — but generally “don’t”.

It saddens me that good old fashioned Book Stores are harder to find than hen’s teeth, because I love wandering through the aisles looking for good reads — and I hate it that it’s so difficult to find attractive fabric locally, because I too often find myself walking pointlessly through virtual forests of butt-ugly synthetic prints. It’s way easier to find books and nice natural fiber fabrics via the internet, but on the other hand, we lose the ability to “browse” and to “feel” — and I’ve learned the hard way not to buy certain things on-line.

Clothing from China:

While this is not universally true, the photos and descriptions in the ads are almost never accurate, the fabric is rarely as advertised, the sizing tends to be wrong, the workmanship tends to be shoddy, and what’s delivered rarely looks much (or sometimes at ALL) like what was pictured. What’s shown as a beautiful garment that’s advertised as cotton, linen or silk arrives as flimsy nylon, with threads dangling everywhere, looking like an ultra-cheap knockoff. It frequently isn’t even the same style you ordered, and definitely isn’t the right size (even assuming you’d ever want to wear it after seeing and touching it). Furthermore, returning the item nearly always costs more than the garment itself did to begin with, and, to be honest, I haven’t even been able to justify donating such garments to Good Will or to the Salvation Army. Also, they make terrible (as well as ineffective) dust rags. 😉 As a result, even if the company advertising on Facebook or Amazon.com has an English-sounding name I always double-check to see where it’s actually located, and cross it hastily off my list if the answer is “China”.

A Mattress:

Why would anyone order a mattress on-line sight unseen and body untested? How do they know it’s comfortable? I don’t care if the company advertises their product as the most restful ever created and with a “money back guarantee”. Different people have different ideas of comfort. Some could sleep on concrete, and others like me want ultra-soft. I can sleep far better in a Lazyboy than on a firm mattress, and if I try to sleep on a hard mattress I toss and turn all night, get almost no sleep, and wind up in the morning with a tortuous and abiding backache. Pay a bundle for something that dependent upon personal taste without testing it, and risk making a HUGE and really expensive mistake (even if the company honors their money back guarantee promise)? Nah! I think I’ll troll the mattress shops and roll around until I say “AHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

Health and Enhancement Products:

Obviously, no one would choose to purchase ANY products making grandiose but totally false claims, whether on-line or elsewhere, and some things are safe to order online from reputable sources, but I cannot BEGIN to count the number of commercials I’ve seen on late night TV advertising capsules that promise rejuvenation, male enhancement, weight loss, exaggerated health benefits, and the resurgence of sex drive. Probably 95% of these products — if you’re a skilled speed-reader who can read the small print that flashes briefly across the bottom of the screen — are not actually tested in any reliable way, nor guaranteed to cure or to treat ANYthing. Despite what the smiling and enthusiastic promoters say, the products are rarely if ever guaranteed to work as promised, and they always expect purchasers to sign up for automatic repeat deliveries in order simply to TRY the product and to get the introductory rate on their first bottle. Just as well I don’t need to boost my testosterone anyway, huh?

A Soul-Mate:

Computer dating services all promise to deliver true love by matching you with your perfect mate — and this may even happen very occasionally, but in my experience nothing could be generally further from the truth. In the first place, the testing is bogus and ineffective. In the second place, they ignore the results of that testing as well as your stated preferences. In the third place, you’re essentially buying a pig in a poke, because you have no idea whether or not the person is even REAL, or the desired gender, let alone a compatible match. Does anyone other than me occasionally watch Catfish? Well, these days anyone can go on line via social media or a dating app and pretend to be anyone at all. That hot-looking 6’3″ 28-year old blond male model, or that smooth, buff, up-and-coming rap star, or that sleek, gorgeous fitness blogger you’ve been texting could very well turn out to be a 600-pound Hispanic lesbian, a 16-year old prankster with time on his or her hands, a 49-year old twice-convicted pedophile, a lonely 68 year old housewife, or even a 5’2″ Philippino tap-dancer. You just never know for sure, and unless you’re looking for one of the above (which you probably would NOT wind up paired with if you actually asked for them) you have to be very careful because you could easily wind up getting up close and personal with Nev and Max. 😉

So, while there are a lot of things I can and do safely and enthusiastically seek out and purchase on-line, bitter experience has taught me to be very, very careful.

Oh, and, by the way, I won’t buy a car, prescription drugs, cheap “designer” goods, or a pet on-line either, but your mileage may vary. 😉

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phicks2012

phicks2012

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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