Online Shopping: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

 Being at home during the pandemic, my eye was frequently (too frequently) drawn to items that I could purchase, even if I didn't need them.  (Honestly, how much DO we need?)  Now that the pandemic is winding down, I'm STILL drawn to sites that pop up in my social media.  Items that look so good, but are they?  I'm old enough to be of the "as seen on tv" and SHOULD know that just because it looks good on website (or on tv) doesn't mean it really IS that good or works as the advertiser touts.  So I present my opinion (my truth) on items that I have purchased.  

Let's start with the good:

  • Thrive Causemetics:  I got pulled in by their brilliant eye brightener, which (per their advertising) is a cream-to-powder highlighter stick illuminates and awakens the eyes, providing an instant lift and a soft wash of shimmering color.  While I don't use as much make up as I did pre-pandemic, I am still lured in by cosmetics. (During the pandemic I did purchase foundation from Il Makiage, which is an okay product [not as wonderful as advertised, but..] and lipstick from Color the World which was also okay [although their packaging is not very durable; a price you pay for using recycled materials].  Both of these I have barely used, just because I don't go out as much.)  I purchased two and really liked how they went on and lasted.  When they released a blue (yes, I'm partial to blue and still wear blue shadow), I jumped on it and purchased two additional colors.  I've been pleased with the product, although it IS more costly than the powder shadow that I would usually buy at the drug store.  (In truth so are the Color the World lipsticks.  Both companies supposedly give back to charities.  I have not done any in depth research to confirm this.)  I would definitely purchase more if they offered more colors (green, purple) and am tempted by their mascara that comes in a blue shade (yes, I'm back to blue).  

  • Luca + Danni:  I'm a sucker for bangle bracelets and this company makes seasonal ones that caught my eye this fall.  I purchased FIVE this fall for autumn and Halloween.  The quality was good, even if the actual design is a lot smaller than it appears in the advertising. (or at least how it seems to me).  The price is reasonable (for jewelry) and I've gone for more seasonal items:  Christmas, St. Patrick's Day and am currently waiting on Easter bangles.  Either I really like these or I am a total fool (take your pick) because I've purchased about a dozen thus far and there are so many others I would like.  (Again, I'm a seasonal person; I like to have jewelry that goes with the season/holiday).  I've also gotten some nice compliments from people on the bracelets, so... I have NOT purchased anything, but the bangle bracelets so I can't speak to any other items that they sell (necklaces, earrings).  Will I get drawn in there too?  

  • Snag:  I am not a pantyhose person (they tear too easily), but I am a tights person.  My favorites used to be E.G. Smith tights which amazingly one size DID fit all.  I got my first pair back in the last century and still have a few pairs from that era.  (Pretty amazing.)  The company was sold and it was no longer one size fits all and their sizing didn't fit me.  So Snag did indeed snag my eye.  The models on their website are all sizes and they offer a lot sizes.  Amazingly their size guide is very comprehensive.  I cautiously ordered a pair and while it took a LONG TIME to get to me. (They do come from Scotland.)  When I tried them, they were very comfortable and amazingly fit very well.  So, I bought more pairs when they were on sale. However, the standard opaque tights are very reasonably priced and if they last they are more than worth it. Of course now we are going into warmer months, so those tights probably (hopefully) won't get much use until the fall.
Now for the bad; although I've got to be honest it's not so much bad as it's just not that good:
  Mincice: They sell seasonal/religious decorations and their wooden Easter scene caught my eye.  When I went to purchase I saw that the lower price was for the unpainted version of the display, so went for the higher priced painted.  Maybe this should have been a warning for me.  (If so I ignored it.)  I also FULLY ADMIT that I did NOT do my research.  (I should have learned this lesson before, but...) Then when the charge came through on my account it was not to this company name.  (Please note the price was correct on my credit card.) When I did a "Chat" with them, there was no reply for 18 hours.  The reply did NOT answer my question as to why the charge was not to Mincice. I tried again and got a sort of acceptable reply, but...This is a big DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE HITTING THE BUY BUTTON.  The product was manufactured in China and shipped from there.  I ordered it on the 22nd of February and received it on the 19th of March.  There were no directions how to set it up (because it came in pieces) and while I figured it out (it wasn't that hard), one of the pieces did not fit properly.  The slot was too narrow for the insert.  With a little ingenuity I did make it work and I will say that it looks nice as a display if you don't look too closely. (I have to say it looks pretty good in the photo below...but you have no idea how hard I had to work to jam that cross in a slot that was too narrow)  I hope I have learned my lesson from this.  (Have I?)

Finally, the UGLY: 

Shine Bathroom:  I saw this and desparately wanted it.  What IS it?  According to their Facebook page (because their website no longer exists...you can guess how ugly this is going to get...don't believe me go to:  https://shop.shinebathroom.com/) "The Shine Bathroom Assistant automatically cleans your toilet after each flush with a powerful yet eco-friendly cleaning solution - electrolyzed water.  I mean, I HATE cleaning the toilet and this held the promise of a clean toilet without me getting in there with a brush and doing the dirty work.  Hubby went all in and bought the device, the mounting kit (which never worked) and signed up for a year's supply of cleaning pods.  He spent a good chunk of change.  It wasn't a "feel good" Christmas present, but it would make me feel GREAT if I didn't have to clean a toilet again.  I could go into great detail here and even post photos, but I'm not going to do that.  Let me just say that the device DID work, but it didn't do what it said it was going to do.  And now...well the company went bankrupt (so I hear), the website is down and there no longer is any customer service (there was for a while) and I'm back to cleaning the toilet.  Although I do have this "nice" bathroom decoration: 


  The potential for greatness was there; instead my husband lost a chunk of change trying to give me a great gift.  

So there you have it.  When it comes to online shopping, do your research and beware.  While I've come up with more good than bad and ugly, no one ever wants the bad or ugly, even if it is (sadly) a fact of life.


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