Buyer Beware: 10 Things Never to Buy on the Internet
Who doesn’t love a bargain? It has never been easier to bag one and we can’t thank the internet enough for delivering all those goods right to our door step. We can shop day or night from the comfort of our couches with the only effort involved being the strenuous workout of our digits – and our credit cards.
Who hasn’t always been happy with what they have purchased? Come on be honest – there have been times when that goldfish walker promised so much and just didn’t deliver, the vibrating fat-reducing belt only made you feel squeamish and turn to food for comfort, and the DVD re-winder wouldn’t work. It’s so easy to get sucked in and advertisers are extremely skilled at what they do.
Small purchasing indiscretions are OK, maybe even middle-sized ones, but there are some things that just simply should never ever ever be bought on the internet:
PLASTIC SURGERY: Overseas at cut rates. They’ve even made strangely addictive television shows about what went wrong. Why have one procedure when for just a little bit extra, the boob job can also include a face lift and liposuction? Not a good one to save money on. Google it and you will see some real horror stories.
MEDICINES: Including dietary supplements and herbal remedies. Sure they will be much cheaper, but the Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration website says they can be fake, too strong, too weak, may contain undisclosed and dangerous ingredients, could be too old and possibly contaminated. They make a good point – not to mention you may actually be breaking the law. Pardon the pun, but cough up and go local.
WEDDING DRESSES: Great idea at the time. Just choose a design, send off the measurements, wait a couple of weeks and there it is, delivered right to your home. Sure the thousands of dollars you might have paid become a few hundred – until you take it out and try it on. One bride found her dress was completely transparent when it arrived and had to pay to have it lined. Other reports have dresses that don’t fit, or even come close to the style and fabric ordered. Brides are notoriously cranky and this will well and truly push them over the edge. Take cover all who are involved.
LASIK EYE SURGERY: You would have to be kidding. They’re your eyes and the only set you have. Some online group buying companies offer up Lasik eye surgery at discount prices as if it was the same as a day at the spa. Beware – a $500 discount is not the basis for choosing a reputable surgeon. That cost cutting has to be made somewhere. Make sure it is not at the expense of your vison. Do your homework and go for the best there is.
MAKE UP: Cut price foundation springs to mind. In case you haven’t figured it out, the colours you see on the internet are not always the ones you end up with. Anyone who has bought clothing online will get this. Your worst nightmare is buying make up, wearing it out and having it change colour the longer it is on you. Your skin reacts with some ingredients and this can happen if you are buying on spec. The look of a 30’s stage actor is probably not what you are going for.
MASCARA: In the same category – but beware, again these are your eyes you’re messing around with. Often online cheap products make it to the discount basket because they are past their use by date and can be bought by distribution companies for next to nothing. These products can do damage and the ingredients will break down over time. Your eyes deserve better than that.
CONTACT LENSES: The same as above. Cut price contact lenses from overseas for both vision and aesthetics can cause big problems. Again Google it and read horror stories of tinted ones which adhered to the eye permanently then leached a toxic dye into the machinations of the eye itself. Result – dangerous surgery to remove them and impaired sight as a result.
LEFT HANDED TOOLS: Really? The kit included a left handed screw driver and hammer. Think about it!
REALLY HEAVY STUFF: What would be the point of bagging a bargain if the cost of shipping boosts the price up to more than the cost of buying it in a shop? An anvil springs to mind.
ANTIQUES: One blogger reports his mother bought an antique rug. It was a bargain online but when it arrived it was full of moth holes. The seller’s response was that they weren’t actually holes as such, but just a very special weave and no further correspondence would be entered in to regarding the purchase. Not a great outcome.