Eight Things You Shouldn’t Buy On-Line

October 23, 2011  |  
1 of 9

No complaining customers, sassy salespeople and not wasting a drop of your gas are some of the conveniences that on-line shopping can offer. However, there are just some things that are better bought in person.  Sometimes a 300 X 225 photo and brief description that’s been tailored to sound its best is not enough.

Here are a few items that should never be purchased with a click of a button…

1.  Cars

Unless there’s an app that will allow you to virtually test drive your auto purchase and check for dry-rotted tires and properly working power windows, a car is one of those things you have to buy in person.  This is true especially with used cars when the seller is trying to place the vehicle in the best light as possible.  They’ll be disclosing only what they legally have to and not highlighting the passenger door scratches or faulty fog lights in the pictures.  Go and take a test drive before you start signing any pink slips and keep in mind that if the car is old enough, the sale is an “as is” sell in which the seller doesn’t even have to warranty the car’s condition.

2.  Clothes/shoes from retailers that you’ve never bought from

The numbers may be the same, but the cut and sizing of clothes and shoes can vary between stores and designers.  This tends to be extremely true when it comes to denim, so if you’re one of those gals who have made a science out of denim shopping, it’s a good idea to stick with a store or brand that you KNOW fits your frame perfectly.  Depending on which virtual outlet you shop at, you may be able to return your items without being charged for shipping and handling, but this isn’t always the case so try to stick with vendors you can actually visit in person just in case you want to get an idea of what fits you best in that particular store.

3.  Some beauty products

If you’re looking to try out the latest anti-wrinkle cream or that new scented body wash you keep seeing on the commercial, on-line is not the time to start experimenting.  Testers that are available in person at stores will allow you to try a little of the product on your skin to test for allergic reactions and breakouts, before you end up with two bottles of 8 oz. body cream that your skin can’t stand.

4.  Prescriptions

You should already know the deal about shopping for prescriptions on-line, but if not here are some things you need to know.  Your browser is capable of many things but it doesn’t have a Ph.D. When it comes to meds, your best bet is with the doctor who has the degree.

5.  Last Minute Needs

As the holiday season approaches you may find yourself shopping at the last-minute facing the dreaded Christmas crunch.  If you end up on-line shopping for the perfect present for you sister-in-law at midnight on Christmas Eve, chances are she may be gift-less the next morning.  It’s best to plan ahead when there’s something that you absolutely must have for the holidays.  Many online retailers offer overnight shipping and can guarantee delivery by a certain date, but who knows when a random blizzard or ice storm will come and leave all of your precious presents stranded. When it comes to the postal service and delivery companies, nothing is guaranteed.

6.  First-Time Fragrance

Until the Smell-O-Vision becomes a reality, the only way you’ll get a whiff of the latest fragrances are courtesy of the determined perfume lady at the department store
or those annoying magazine inserts. Until then, it’s probably not the best idea to try out the new Calvin Klein on blind faith.  Even if your best friend just bought it last week it doesn’t mean that it will compliment you just the same.  Make fragrance purchases in person so you truly have time to test out how different scents work with or against your body chemistry.

7.  Fragile Items

It’s best to trust one-of-a-kind irreplaceable and fragile items to your driving and judgment.  You’re more likely to handle things with care when you’re invested in them.  Think about it: The package delivery guy probably has three or four antique vases in the back of his truck that came courtesy of grandmothers that he’s not related to.

8.  Imitation Designer Items

The best counterfeiters can make an imitation Louis Vuitton look like the real thing in person, so imagine the tricks they can pull with Google images, a bit of Photo Shop and clever camera angles.  If you’re going to invest time and money into big brand labels make sure that leather hobo is legit.  You don’t have to second guess yourself when you’re shopping in major department stores like Nordstrom’s and Macy’s.

Toya Sharee is a community health educator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee.

More on Madame Noire!

Trending on MadameNoire

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN