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Things You Should Never Buy Online

Things You Should Never Buy Online

Usually, smaller online retailers make up for low base prices by charging exorbitant shipping fees. This, and many other tricks of the trade, are revealed in this Techspirited write-up...
Meghna Wani
Never Shop for Pets Online!
Your browser can buy pets, but what if the cross-bred Labradoodle you ordered turns outs to be a mongrel that barks endlessly, and prefers human limbs as a major munch?

'Have money, will spend', is the mantra of today's consumers. They have become savvier. They believe that money can buy happiness, and turn to retail therapy very often. Bummer, I know! But this is the truth, and with the boom of eCommerce, shopping has become very easy. No more trying out clothes or those nosy salespeople. Just pure indulgence without burning a drop of fuel.

But there are some things which cannot be bought through the virtual window, and you will have to visit a brick and mortar store for such items. You may ask 'Why'? Well, it is because, at these stores, you physically get to see, touch, and feel the products, and even can haggle a little. But with online shopping, you miss out on this experience.

I agree that 'most' of the products that you get online most probably have a better price. True! But most, not all! Therefore, to save you from the pitfall, Techspirited has made a list of things you should never buy online.

Shopping online for clothing can really be a bad experience. You don't get to see the actual colors, you don't get to feel the material, you cannot try out the outfit, nor can you bargain. I don't see any point in giving up all these experiences, just to wrestle with an online-ordered pair of jeans that won't ride up past the knees. Apart from the humiliating feeling that the ill-fitting clothes leave us with, there comes another 'easier-said-than-done' task of returning the clothes and getting the money back.

I won't say that you will run into bad or badly-fitting clothing every time. Some websites are authentic, and provide ample information so that you can make correct choices. But picture this! You walk into a clothing store, and just walk out with the first pair of jeans you see. Does this happen? Absolutely not! You go through a strenuous process of choosing the perfect length, width, and fit, by trying them out. I'm left with no choice but to wonder, how this process can be bypassed with a click of a button.

The above-mentioned scenario is applicable for all types of clothing. But I would like to make a special mention for intimate clothing. They are meant to fit snugly, and can be quite a nuisance if they don't. Therefore, when it comes to clothes, as far as possible, try to stay from online shopping.

Footwear is something that can make or break your entire look, and is really tricky. You need to have precise judgment of the correct size. While choosing the correct size of footwear is important, comfort level is also equally essential. These are the two determining factors for choosing the right footwear.

When surfing through shopping websites, you may have come across conversion charts for sizes, as they are used in different countries. You know that your shoe size is 8. But what you may not know is that, shoe size 8 with one brand can be 8½ or 7½ with another brand. And you would only come to know about the ½-inch difference, when you receive the big box in your mail. The ½-inch difference would be nothing less than torture, when you stand or walk in your brand new shoes.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that footwear should be tried out properly before purchasing. Through the virtual shopping screen, you can only 'see' the size and 'guess' the comfort level, right?

While most websites promote clothing and footwear as their primary selling points, makeup comes in as a close third. Makeup should always be tested for the correct shade or the right color, before finalizing the deal. And this is especially true for the cosmetics that are required to be applied on the face. If you select a shade of foundation that is either too light or too dark, you may end up looking like a painted stork. The idea is to look natural and not made-up.

Secondly, if you see a new product and order it, chances are, the product may not suit you. Your skin may break out into a reaction or allergy. This is the main reason a patch test is always recommended. While there are policies where you can return the product and get your money back, the discomfort caused to the skin cannot be compensated.

The only case where you can safely grab a deal is, when you know a particular brand and a particular shade suits you properly, and you have used it before.

Big Brands
Flaunting a 'Givenchy' clutch or a 'Dolce & Gabbana' tote gives a boost to the ego, and you feel as if you are on top of the world. But these brands are ridiculously expensive, and owning them is a pain. But what if you get a 'non-Saint Laurent' bag in less than $200, which would pass off as an original? You would quiver with joy and order it impromptu.

The same rule applies for luxury brands in perfumes and sunglasses. You can never make out the difference between an original and a knock-off. The reason I'm saying this is, if it was an original, how would something that costs $1,600 be sold at just $160?

But as I said earlier, not all websites are misleading. Many of them are authentic. If you are planning to buy a luxury brand, make sure you visit their official website and order from there. Do not opt for third-party websites. But the best bet would be visiting a store in person, and buying it directly.

Electrical Appliances
Large and fragile, that is what they are! Electrical appliances usually cost a fortune, and imagine spending on something that you haven't seen or even touched. One more thing that needs to be kept in mind is, if you would be using the appliance everyday, it should be tested before it reaches your doorstep.

You also need to be aware of the fact that, if the website is cutting down the price on a product, it may make up for it by including an exorbitant shipping and delivery charge. If you must buy online, select trusted websites, and check the reviews of the product. Also make sure that you inquire about the 'damage during transition' expenses, and the 'return back' policy, as some websites do not cover these.

Heavy Items
When I say heavy items, I want to include all those products which you plan to spend the big bucks on. Furniture, cars, and all other heavyweight items that are difficult and expensive to deliver, should never be purchased online. Furniture needs to be checked in person, and a car should be test-driven before purchasing.

There is another drawback with heavyweight items. If after getting it delivered, you find that the product is damaged or faulty, you can return it and get your money back. But what you will not get back is the shipping charges. Therefore, if an item is expensive to get delivered, and equally expensive to return, you will incur a loss and have nothing left in hand to show for.

Even if you go wrong with the above-mentioned items, the mistake wouldn't be as major as the one that would occur if you go wrong with medicines. Buying medicines online is a complete no-no. You are going to risk your life if you do so.

There is just no way to ensure their safety, the seals could be broken, they could be tampered with, contaminated, or even fake. Worse still, the website selling these medicines could be unlicensed. You never know what you may be consuming, and from where they are coming.

Your browser can buy medicines, but it doesn't have the degree. So, let the doctor and the local medical store be the best option. Bottom line-never purchase medicines online, even if they are over-the-counter drugs, and you are very familiar with them.

Online shopping need not be stayed away from completely. This write-up is only to encourage you to think twice before finalizing a purchase, and be very certain of what you are buying online.