Top Ten Thing Not to Order On-Line


This list is inspired by having some unpleasant experiences with items purchased without having the luxury of trying them out first. Although extreme this list is representative of some of the potential disappointments a buyer can experience in shopping on-line.

Top Ten Things Not to Buy On-Line

10 If you are shopping on-line, do not buy that cosmetic kit that promises an instant youthful appearance. If you do, at best you’ll learn that what seems too good to be true is too good. At worst, you will need an intervention by an expensive dermatologist just to remove the facial mask. (And don’t you look good with a Jim Carrey green mask?)

9 If you are shopping on-line, do not buy that cheap juicer that claims to be as good as the $700.00 version. If you do, at best you will still able to use a spoon to eat the pulp that is all you can produce. At worst, the overload on your electrical system as the juicer tries to extract carrot juice will kill your lights and the entire East Coast grid. (And you thought your last electric bill was high)

8 If you are shopping on-line, do not buy that used car advertised to run like new. If you do, at best you might get at least fifty miles before your first breakdown. At worst, the claim of running like new had small print where they were referring to a new Yugo. (Yes, that smoke you smell is coming from the engine compartment)

7 If you are shopping on-line, do not buy that bargain priced pacemaker. If you do, at best you may wonder why you are getting the Chicago Bears radio broadcast in your chest. At worst, you may figure out the thing does not keep pace according to the Western ecology. (Yes, it is noon, and you are sound asleep)

6 If you are shopping on-line, do not buy the do it yourself appendix removal kit. If you do, at best you will have a fool for a patient. At worst, it will be difficult to perform the work and read the instructions. (Yeah, the picture of the appendix looks fuzzy to me too.)

5 If you are shopping on-line, do not buy those pharmaceuticals that are half priced. If you do, at best you won’t be ingesting pharmaceutical grade cement. At worst, you will have to deal with why your symptoms won’t go away. (Cornstarch is a miracle product but not for the treatment of illness)

4 If you are shopping on-line, do not buy that half priced airplane engine part. If you do, at best you’ll have plenty of warning before it fails, and it is not critical. At worst, you will learn maybe too late Murphy’s law of airplane parts which states, “The criticality of a plane engine component is directly proportional to its original cost.” (So the half price was attractive up to the point where the ground and you meet un-expectantly)

3 If you are shopping on-line, do not buy that hotel room at 70% off. If you do, at best you will only suffer from no view other than the brick wall outside your window. At worst, you will return from your cheap trip only to discover you have brought home some rare and highly reproductive things that move fast when the lights go on. (That is an interesting rash you have there)

2 If you are shopping on-line, do not buy that robot kit that is priced way below what you have seen elsewhere. If you do, at best you may be able to assemble it even though there are several parts missing. At worst, once your new robot is ready you realize it now has control over your house and a Napoleonic complex. (Sure is fun saluting a robot isn’t it?)

1 If you are shopping on-line, do not buy that sale priced action Xbox games. If you do, at best you’ll find out on level three that your cheats no longer work, and you get killed every time. At worst, in the course of playing the game you suddenly realize that it is for real and now you are running for your life. (Okay, slight exaggeration. Hey, look out, that guy has an ax.)


  1. I bought a bargain priced flight from Hartford to Orlando to Des Moines and back to Hartford. Three different airlines. Once I bought upgrades to get out of the middle seat next to the restroom the bargain was long gone. Great one John.

    1. Thanks Dan. I think we all have done something like you describe. 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    John Howell has conjured up a list of items not to buy on line that include DIY appendix removal kits.. useful for operating on others but not yourself!! Great image…must upgrade my shopping clothes!!

    1. Thank you so much Sally.

  3. I know someone who buys cheap vitamins and supplements online. Doesn’t listen to anyone who says those things aren’t well-regulated. Keep waiting for them to mutate. #1 sounds like it would make a fun horror movie.

    1. Vitamins are especially risky. I would actually like to see a story about a game becoming real.

      1. I know it’s been done with kid shows. Forgot the name of it, but I think it involved some kids being made characters in a game that came into the real world. Don’t think it lasted long.

      2. I think it needs some adult upgrades.

      3. It’ll be nothing, but Silly Hats and Big Character Heads.

  4. Great list, John! I’m always leery of the “too good to be true sale,” but I’ve learned the hard way not to buy shoes or certain clothes online. The cost of return is at times more expensive than the item itself 😦

    1. Yes. I’m at a point where I don’t have to worry about clothes. Tools are a nother matter.

  5. “Do it yourself appendix removal kit.” Where do you come up with this stuff, John? Hilarious! I love the comic too.

    1. I just sit in my lonely room and think it up. I have one of those warped imaginations:-)

  6. These are hilarious, John! I needed a good laugh to start this week, lol. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Glad i could give you a good laugh.

  7. I’m guilty of several of the above..and then there were those iPads from China. Love the cartoon! 🙂

    1. Ah yes, the iPads from China

  8. These are great, John! And, with the high cost of shipping, online shopping can be far from a bargain. Another thing NOT to buy online are puppies. Much better to “try them on” first in person!

    1. Or buy a rescue pet.

  9. Every once in awhile I’ll purchase something through brick and mortar retail, and then remember why I do so much shopping on line. Shopping would be much more convenient if everyone else stayed home. 🙂

    1. Yes. That is a problem with ” out there.”

  10. This post was hysterical! I liked the cartoon. I actually just made a strange purchase online: shampoo and conditioner, via Amazon. I was at Marshalls the other day and saw Giovanni brand shampoo on sale, which I love, but it was orange, not tea tree. I have shampoo at home, but for the next day or two I just kept thinking about Giovanni tea tree shampoo. I looked at my local Ceevs but they didn’t have it either, so I ordered it online. Haven’t used it yet, but we’ll see. Keep up the fun posts.

    By the way, you’ve been chosen as one of today’s nine blogs in That’s So Jacob’s Ninth Month Blog Challenge (! I challenge you to find nine blogs you find interesting and give them a comment to brighten their day…well, eight other blogs and mine 🙂 Copy this message in your comment and enjoy your new blog friends!

  11. Haha, love that pic. And I want to meet the person who buys appendix removal kits online. 😀

  12. Glad to have caught your post before I put a downpayment on that aircraft engine. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten snookered on that one in particular. Some folks never learn, right?

    1. I know right? Right up there with discount “slightly used” o2 containers.

  13. I am careful about what I online but thanks for the tips! No more cosmetic kits for me at this…age!

    1. One nice thing about advancing. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  14. Don’t buy anything from ads in your Spam folder. For anyone wanting appendix removal tools, here’s a link.

    1. Ha ha ha. Thanks Frank

      1. … but the Spam folder is a great place for chuckles.

      2. So true. Send me your SS number to prove that it is you and I will open the vault to millions in American money left here in a secret will to you dear friend.

  15. The only things I regularly buy online are mp3 tracks. I’d never order anything physical from the internet, I’m somebody who likes to hold an object in my hand before I buy it.

    1. Me too. Especially robots.

  16. Haha. I enjoyed reading these.

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