Disgruntled shoppers are sharing photographs that show the pitfalls of online buying – like accidentally ordering mini-versions of certain household items instead of their normal-sized counterparts.
The snaps, shared this week with The Wall Street Journal, left their respective bargain hunters markedly unsatisfied, and show the massive gulf there can be between what is pictured online and what’s unboxed.
The minuscule household items from a pint-sized rice cooker that does not actually cook, to coat hangers that could easily fit in your pocket instead of a closet. In the case of the cooker, a hobbyist told the paper that they bought it intentionally.
In the case of the latter, a set mistakenly snapped up by a fashion designer who moonlights as a secondhand children’s clothes seller, the item was – perhaps too fittingly – labeled ‘small’ on a popular Chinese fashion site.
The purchases – as well as others like one woman’s procuring of deckchairs that could barely accommodate a finger much less a person – show the dangers of not reading the small print and buying blind.
Shoppers are sharing photographs that show the pitfalls of online buying – like accidentally ordering mini-versions of household items instead of their normal-sized counterparts
The minuscule household items ranged from purposely bought pint-sized rice cooker that does not cook (seen here), to coat hangers that could fit in your pocket instead of a closet
In comments to the Journal published Sunday, the not-so-eagle-eyed consumers each recounted how they were duped by vague descriptions terms offered on various retail sites.
UK-based graphic designer Emma Platt said of the less-than-six-inch long mini hangers that arrived at her home this past September: ‘I probably couldn’t fit anything but Barbie clothes on there.’
The listing – which can still be found on Chinese fashion site Shein – proudly bills the set of ten as ‘teddy dog cat puppet doll pet shop clothes holder,’ for an at first seemingly modest price of $6.32.
The post includes a picture with dimensions listed, but not before an array of photos that advertise the hangers without any other items to put them in perspective.
Such was the case with several other products advertised for and eventually purchased by other equally unimpressed buyers, including 54-year-old Rob Vlock, of Boston.
Now the owner of 10 marble-sized drawer pulls meant for a model rather than a wardrobe, the Boston-based audiobook author described how he and his wife found the set on AliExpress, owned by China’s Alibaba, for what he assumed was a steal.
‘I remember her showing me the listing and saying, “Oh, yeah, those look good,” he told the paper after paying $1.98 for the set.
Much like the case of Platt – who was also duped with a supposedly ‘small’ Christmas tree that was actually ‘literally the size of [her] thumb’ – Vlock said the signage used to shill the item was, at first glance, misleading.
The purchases – as well as others like one woman’s procuring of deckchairs that could barely accommodate a finger much less a person (pictured) – show the dangers of not reading the small print
Ten marble-sized drawer pulls meant for a model rather than a wardrobe, accidentally purchased by a Boston author earlier this year
One woman who ordered a ramp for her dog from now defunct website Penblast.com was also surprised to find the finished product that arrived at her doorstep smaller than anticipated
Another ordered a foam roller for her 10-year-old son to use after playing soccer, and was instead greeted with a cylinder ‘basically half the length of [her] arm’
‘I think it may not have been very clear what the size was’ said Vlock, who upon closer inspection said he realized the dimensions were listed on the site.
Speaking to the paper, he added how he was not only surprised by the size of the trinkets that arrived at his doorstep, but by the mass of positive reviews the product had garnered on the popular, all-purpose website.
‘There are people saying “These are great for my dollhouse,” he recalled, sharing a photo of the undersized knobs as proof.
Rather than complaining or seeking a refund, he said he and his wife Joanne decided to eat the cost, considering how – for lack of a better word – small it was in the grand scheme.
That was not the case with Platt, who said she was not only granted a refund when she tried to send the compact coat hangers back, but allowed to keep them as a sort of souvenir.
Still, citing the other mishap with the tree several years ago, she told the Journal that both experiences left her unammused.
‘I swear neither of those things existed when I bought them,’ she sniped.
‘Now I literally have 40 teeny tiny hangers in my wardrobe. It’s irritating because I’m no closer to having coat hangers.’
She quickly added: ‘But the [refund] gesture was kind, I guess.’
Speaking to The Journal, former Alibaba executive Ivy Yang said she instead gave the small exercise item in her other son – who is two – telling the paper: ‘He gets to mimic what his older brother is doing. It’s kind of perfectly his size’
Much like the case of Yang, Boston’s Rob Vlock said the signage used to shill the shrunken drawer pulls was, at first glance, misleading – telling the paper: ‘I think it may not have been very clear what the size was’
Not all of the parties who spoke to the newspaper got wrapped up in the miniature fiasco unwillingly – which Chicago-based student Tōru Katakami, telling the Journal they purposely bought their shrunken rice cooker as part of a increasingly popular, albeit peculiar pastime
Others to speak to the publication about the increasingly common phenomenon was woman who ordered a ramp for her dog from now defunct Penblast.com, but instead received a seemingly toy slide even smaller than the pup herself.
Another ordered a foam roller for her 10-year-old to soothe his muscles after playing soccer, but was instead greeted with a cylinder ‘basically half the length of [her] arm’.
Speaking to The Journal, former Alibaba executive Ivy Yang said she has since found a use for the small exercise item in her other son – who is two.
‘He gets to mimic what his older brother is doing,’ she explained, without revealing where she bought the roller. ‘It’s kind of perfectly his size.’
That said, not all of the parties who spoke to the newspaper got wrapped up in the miniature fiasco unwillingly – which Chicago-based student Tōru Katakami, who uses They/Them pronouns, telling the Journal they purposely bought their shrunken rice cooker as part of a increasingly popular, albeit peculiar pasttime.
While some buy by choice, prominent consumer analyst Brendan Witcher told the paper that there is definitely some trickery a foot by sellers such as Aliexpress and Shein, who he claimed are capitalizing on shoppers who have grown lazy when clicking ‘buy’.
In those instances, he said, the customer ‘may say, well, it’s only $1, $2, maybe $3—what’s the harm?’ before biting the bullet and chalking the purchase up as a mistake.
“When you aggregate that to these companies who are selling hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of these items over time, that adds up to a nice chunk of change,” Witcher explained of the relatively new occurrence.
‘It’s finding a loophole in how society works and making money off of it,’ he said.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk