9 Household Items You Probably Shouldn’t Buy Online – Daily Bulletin

I messed up during the pandemic. Yes, I know, we all had a lot to complain about — cabin fever, anxiety surrounding every cough and hot flash — but whatever the annoyances, online shopping was epic.

For someone who grew up when the only thing delivered to your door was the occasional pizza, being able to order everything from groceries to graduation gadgets online and have them show up at your door, sometimes within hours, was a positive life changer.

Although the pandemic has been about shopping forever, consumers have also learned that just because you can order anything online doesn’t mean you should.

When you buy something for your home, where feel, color, smell, or comfort is important, you’d be better off taking your duffel off the couch to the store unless you’re already familiar with the product. For example, if you like a friend’s toaster and want to order the same online, go for it. But if an item falls into any of the following categories or cannot be returned, think carefully before purchasing it online.

mattresses: You really need to try something personal and expensive like a mattress before you buy it. I bought my mattress after having a particularly great night’s sleep in a nice hotel. I pulled out the sheets, took a picture of the poster and went to look.

pillows: Bed pillow preferences are personal, too, and you can’t rely on descriptions. Soft and fluffy one seller may be strong and voluminous for another. The feeling is believable.

dishes: Considering that most people only buy cutlery once or twice in their lives, this is not an option to make on the go. You need to handle it, feel its weight and balance.

Large devices: Before spending big money on a large appliance – a refrigerator, washing machine, dryer or dishwasher – try it out for yourself. Open and close the door. Find out how moving parts work, and whether the finished surface shows fingerprints.

upholstered furniture: When comfort is king, as with a sofa, don’t decide on an image alone. Upon ordering my clip, I sat on a sample couch in a store and felt and sat on different types of filler. I ordered fabric samples for testing and, using duct tape, determined how the clip would sit on the floor. Then I ordered it online.

Expand the area: Since you have to think about size, element, material, color, quality and how it matches everything else in the room, area rugs are the toughest home accessory you can buy. If you get any of these factors wrong, the rug is flopped. Bring several local stores home to try. If you see a rug online that you like, order a size doormat to see what the colors look like in your room and to judge the quality. The small rug is easy to return.

fee: You can’t choose a paint color online more than you can choose a perfect companion from the picture. You simply don’t know how it will turn out until you get them both home. Paint colors look different on screens than they do in real life. In addition, the color will change in the light of your home. To choose the paint correctly, bring the swatches home, then get some paint samples and paint them on the boards. Watch them at different times of the day on different walls, and then buy paint at the paint store.

flooring: Likewise, seeing an online photo of a tile, wood, or laminate floor in a staged setting does not mean being able to stand on it and see its luster and feel for its texture.

Candles or scented soaps: These items must pass a sniff test, which wasn’t an online option the last time I checked. If you like a floral scented soap or candle from a particular company, buy it online in bulk. But if you’re not familiar with the brand, you may be disappointed to find that what the company says smells like a garden bouquet, it smells like rotting grass clippings.

Marnie Jameson is the author of six books on home and lifestyle, including Downsizing a Family Home – What to Save, What to Leave and Downsizing for a Compact Home When Two Families Become One. Contact her at www.marnijameson.com.

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