Have you ever bought something and then thought it was the dumbest purchase you ever made? Boy, I sure have! If you have too, Coastal Breeze News would love to hear about it! We might even share it with our readers. It might make some of us feel better if nothing else, to know we aren’t alone. So, tell us all about it, just no product names, supplier or manufacturers’ names.
I’ve had a few ‘impulse buys.’ Items that by the time the commercial was over, I had no idea how I lived so long without it!
It is the day and age of buying online, if it wasn’t pre-COVID-19, it certainly is post-COVID-19. Hundreds of commercials all specifically tailored to appeal to ME! Then with a swipe of a card, a press of a finger or scan of your face and boom, like magic, your purchase is complete. The purchase process is so quick it doesn’t even hurt to buy something stupid because it’s cashless.
Not only am I inundated with the latest items for sale, the newest technology or innovative inventions, the latest fashions or holiday–specific gems, oh no, that isn’t enough… Now there are entire groups of individuals that have some random item for sale. I am sitting at my computer completely ignoring all those sale items along the side and bam! I no longer have to leave my house to go to a garage sale! Here it is in the middle of my feed, some table or a chair or something I might have interest in. Look, it’s discounted! I certainly don’t want to miss a deal.
Unfortunately, I belong to several of these groups.
No matter what you do, there is a commercial to take your attention and ‘sell’ you something. The more you fight it, the better the commercials get at targeting you! Even though I try hard to ignore these things, keeping my eyes fixed to my feed, now the five minutes to ‘check my email’ or post a photo turns into three and a half hours and checking out other things. Whenever I pick up my cellphone or my laptop, there is a barrage of interesting and appealing products paraded before my eyes in ingenious, engaging and humorous ways. Always the biggest or the best, the newest and greatest ‘must-haves.’
Oh, and there are causes too! I know every wildlife or animal organization in the world must have access to my Facebook page. They know instinctively to show me the cutest baby and I will start pressing that donation button like crazy.
I’ve even been through the troubling thoughts of ‘Do they hear me somehow?’ Am I nuts? Let me explain. I can have a casual conversation anywhere and within 24 hours the ‘thing’ that I was talking about is suddenly being advertised to me in every form imaginable online! My kids told me, “Yes, you’re nuts” when I mention it. One friend even said she was going to start talking about a Harley motorcycle and see if it came up in her feed. Interestingly, a publisher friend in Orlando posted about his experience with this on Facebook and dozens of comments came in from others experiencing the same thing. Yes, turn your microphones off and put your phones down. Thankfully I am NOT too nuts.
I digress, however. We’re talking about products here! Hundreds of millions are spent each year trying to get rid of wrinkles, making skin tone better, fixing those bags or lines around your eyes or mouth. I give my fair share to those millions. A new product boasted it simply worked miracles on wrinkles. Put the cream on and sleep with this form–fitting product over the wrinkles and wake up in the morning and they’re all smoothed out. Well, not so much. The supposedly light pliable product, easy–to–use material was a thick hunk of plastic which was not so form-fitting or pliable, and the cream was nothing special. I would look like I was in one of those Jason Movies if it had been white plastic instead of clear. And LUCKY ME, it came as two sets for the price of one! So, I had big pieces of plastic to lay on my face. Talk about nuts!
Health and beauty products are the worst when it comes to the claims for unattainable results. I am so stupid. I have something I just found in the deepest darkest crevices of my bathroom cabinet. Oh yes, I remember this purchase too. It is an electric wand thingy you put little pads over the top and it zaps you with shocks to areas of your face and eyes evidently in some futile attempt to shock the muscles into firmness. Come on, it was a famous model, actress/writer that had her name on it, she sold it. I want to look like her, tall, blond and beautiful! Besides, I read all sorts of testimonials to say it was the greatest invention ever!
Have you ever heard of micro-needling? Yep, I have one of those too! My daughter says I need to go to a salon to have it done, but I could do it at home with this item! Hundreds of tiny needles on a roller that you’re supposed to roll over your face to deliver cream or lotion directly into your epidermis. OUCH! All of these things sound so logical, it could work, right? Oh, the horrible things we do for ‘beauty’!
At this point, I know there’s a woman out there reading this saying, “Yep, I had one of those.”
I’ve tried to return some of the dumbest products I bought. Others, I’m stuck with. Not really sure if I am embarrassed enough to send them back! Recently, I tried to return a stupid item. This product was NOT as described, let me explain. My sister has grandkids under 5 years old. The product was an enormous inflatable ball that you fill with water and it was strong enough that any kid that age could roll around on it outside in the grass. It was huge! Pictures showed something four or five feet in diameter. Jump on it, lay on it, and roll on it. It was nearly indestructible! It would be a blast in the heat of the summer. Her grandkids would LOVE it! I’d be the hero for having sent something so fun to break up the summer doldrums. Sure, it took about three and a half months to arrive from China. I’d forgotten about it. Then my sister called—it arrived. It fit in the palm of her hand. Instructions said it would increase to five times its size when filled with water. Only one problem, there wasn’t any place to fill it and no straw or other means to get water into it.
This is it! I want my money back! I wrote to PayPal, opening a case with their resolution center which suggested I write the seller. I did so. They immediately wrote back asking for the tracking number and other information. I sent them a photo of the label. The next day, I received a reply, IN CHINESE. I wrote again and again the reply was they want the tracking number. I GIVE UP!
I’d like to say it is all for the kids which pull on our heartstrings, we succumb and pay for something stupid.
My sister bought something for her granddaughter, it was supposed to fill every little girl’s dream. A sweet little baby doll so soft, so lifelike. Well, it might be a little TOO lifelike.
It looked malnourished and unhappy. It was supposed to be the doll of all dolls. Dreams dashed. She certainly couldn’t give it to her granddaughter it would have scared the bejesus out of her! My sister tried to get a refund. After some back and forth with the manufacturer, they finally agreed to refund her if she sent it back to them. The only problem was they wanted more to ship it back to Malaysia, than the doll cost in the first place!
The moral of the story is if it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t true! Wish I had thought about that before I threw a hundred dollars at a completely bogus product that was going to save me HUNDREDS of dollars in return on my electricity bill every month. My husband would be so proud of me when I showed him the savings we were going to reap. This wonderful little box was to take the fluctuations out of our electric usage. No more spikes! Just plug this sleek little devil in an outlet and VIOLA! Spikes are controlled and lower bills follow. TWO-FER-ONE! You got it?!
It arrived, has a cool little green light when I plugged it in. Have to try it for two months to see the savings. Okay, two months later and no difference in electric bills. I’ve thrown away the illegible instructions inside the box along with the information to return it. Looking it up, I now find the company—out of Tennessee or Kentucky—has been absconded. Hundreds of BBB complaints later, my husband looks at me and wonders where that bright intelligent woman went that he married. How could I EVER for one moment think plugging in an empty box with a light was going to lower my bill?!
Maybe I should hold onto that little shock thingy, it could work right, think I should I try it again?
Before I do, tell us what crazy things YOU have purchased that didn’t live up to expectation.