I got to thinking about this one day while browsing some online stores. I realised that there are some things I will not buy online no matter how cheap I perceive them to be.
Here are some things I do not buy online and my reasons for not doing so:-
- Clothes, bags and shoes – I am a tactile shopper – I like to touch the material of clothes, bags and shoes before I buy them. Also experience has taught me that what looks good on the computer monitor may not look as good in real life and vice versa. So, I still do most of my fashion shopping in person. However, I am willing to buy bags online when I can do proper research on a particular item like my Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Mini bag :)
- Liquid eyeliner and Mascara – I do not even purchase mascara from warehouse sales due to a previous bad experience. I purchased a mascara during one such sale and when I got home, realised that it was all dried up = waste of money. You can’t tell if the mascara has been opened by others during a sale (I saw it happening once and I wanted to smack the lady!) or when sold online. Once opened, mascaras dry up faster due to the introduction of air. Since I cannot be sure, I don’t buy them online.
- Older lipstick and gloss – What I mean by older is lipsticks or lipgloss from older lines or discontinued colours. You can’t tell from an online stock photo whether it is starting to smell funky. So far I only buy lipglosses or lipsticks that are fairly recent or if discontinued, discontinued recently.
- Anything with Vitamin C – I am picky about any skincare that contains vitamin C. Vitamin C works best fresh and they do not keep well and oxidise easily. So, I prefer to suck it up and pay more at the counter than buy it online where I may not be sure how old it is.
- Some skincare – I’ve bought cleanser online but not creams. Some online stores are selling it cheaper but I’m worried about how the heat will affect the skincare in the course of transit to me or whether it has been opened. So for now I’m sticking to buying my skincare at the counters. I rather like the experience anyway.
- Sunscreen – the lifespan of sunscreen is only between 2-3 years from manufacture. If no manufacturing date is stated I will not purchase. If an expiry date is stated I will ensure that there is at least 1.5 years to the expiry which is never the case at cheap online stores.
Online shops or blogshops may not all be reputable
The other problem I have with shopping online when it comes to clothes or any of the above cosmetics items, are the sellers. I stick to reputable online stores for most of the time, preferring to pay a little bit more than to risk losing money or receiving something different from what I ordered. A long time ago, while shopping on StrawberryNET.com I did not receive my item and after lodging a report and waiting for about 6 weeks, I got my refund with no problems. Contrast that with the horrible experience Kahani received recently from a local blogshop owner who sent her a mismatched pair of shoes and then went AWOL, spoiling what was otherwise a seamless transaction.
These days, anyone can open an online store thanks to blogs and free blog platforms like Blogger or WordPress. Whilst I admire their entrepreneurial spirit such sellers should realize that online stores or blogshops are a business and as with running a business, sellers must be responsible and careful in their transactions. People are more aware of their consumer rights these days and if like in Kahani’s case, the seller made a mistake sending out the wrong item, they should be man or woman enough to take responsibility for it, apologize and rectify the error at the earliest opportunity.
Colour selections online may not be accurate
I know some people are also put off by colour selection for colour cosmetics because colours you see online may not look the same when you get the item. However, I’m more prepared to run a risk for eyeshadows and blush as hygiene is less of an issue with powder products. Hence when I shop online, its mostly for powder cosmetics, while I do my liquid based purchases in person.
Are you particular about what you buy online and what you do not? What items will you not buy online? Have a you got a horrible online shopping experience to share?