Posted by Damon L. Chavez on Friday, January 6th, 2017 at 2:54pm.
So take a gander at our collection of must-avoid online items, so you do not cave in to the seductive lure of true shopping laziness. Because a click lasts a moment, but regrets can last a lifetime. Or at least the life of your home. You’ve been warned!
Found the perfect rug online? Not so fast.
“The color of carpets on monitors can be very deceiving,” notes Kerri Pilchik, co-founder of Ridgewood, NJ–based K+K Interior Design. “You need to see it in person and feel the fibers to determine if it will be comfortable underfoot.”
Another downside? “A rug can be a substantial investment and annoying or impossible to return.”
As one online shopper named “Notcolorblind” on Homedecorators.com points out, “If by ‘Charcoal’ they mean brown, and if by ‘jewel tones’ they mean tan, rust and olive, then the description of this rug is right on the money.”
If you must order one online, see if the manufacturer will mail you a small sample first.
Suffice it to say, a sofa is something you’ll want to see and sit on in the real physical world before you buy it.
“You should always see a sofa in person before purchasing it,” says Pilchik. “Comfort is key, and it is not possible to know how a sofa feels through a computer screen. Depth, height, fabric, and cushion fill are all difficult to discern from numbers and pictures alone.”
Overstock.com shopper Ayn C. reviewed a sofa bed purchased online, proving the decorator’s point: “Looks nice but so stiff, you can’t sit without a backache.”
“Never buy window treatments online that need to be mounted inside your window trim,” says Pilchik. The reason: “These measurements need to be precise to one-eighth of an inch.” And guess what? Even if you measure perfectly, the online manufacturers you purchase from may not.
A Countrycurtains.com customer learned this the hard way, according to her review: “My husband installed the brackets in my kitchen window and hung the shade. We stepped back to admire my purchase and saw that the right end of the shade was 1/2 inch lower than the left. I was sure my husband had not leveled the brackets, so he pulled out his level and square and proved to me it wasn’t his fault. The shade came from the factory with a 1/2-inch incline. If it weren’t for the fact I had guests arriving in three hours, I’d demand a refund. As it is, I pinned up one side and I’m sick I spent so much money on this product.”
What could possibly go wrong with mechanical gadgets like an oven or fridge? Specs may tell you a lot, but you should still give those doors, drawers, and rolling racks a good pull and push.
One Amazon.com reviewer had this to say about an SPT dishwasher: “It’s very cheep feeling inside and out… Opening the door is very hard. It feels like I’m going to break the plastic eventually.”
Plus, don’t forget about the not-so-convenient aspect of hauling away your old appliances. While most brick-and-mortar stores offer this service, if you order online you may be on your own.
The issue with buying a mattress is that everyone has their preferences: Some like it firm, others want soft. As such, you can’t fully trust the online reviews, unless they’re urging you to head to a physical store.
Check out this reviewer on Reevoo.com: “The concept of selling things over the internet is usually pretty sound,” he says. “However, for something as personal preference as a mattress, without the ability to try before you buy and with no option to return it, it’s a big risk. Perhaps if you know exactly what make and model you want, then by all means. But if not, paying the extra at a traditional bed showroom may just be worth it. For me, I gambled on saving a bit of money and it hasn’t paid off. I am now stuck with a mattress that I hate and there’s nothing I can do about it.” Cue the violin.
Poring over Pinterest boards, you find a paint color you love. Stop! Don’t order gallons just yet. As we mentioned earlier, colors don’t come through on the computer screen, and this is triply true for paint.
“It is amazing how different a color looks online versus on your wall—and that color can look different on every wall,” says Pilchik.
One customer found this out the hard way with Farrow-ball.com‘s “yellowcake” hue: “The color in strong natural light was perfect but in dim light looks a ghastly lime green, which throws off the color scheme of our en suite and bedding.”
So always paint a large swatch on your walls before committing to a big batch of paint. That goes for any paint you buy, especially those found online.