7 Things You Should Never Shop for Online

The internet is an amazing, world-changing invention. It has allowed us to connect with people we love across the world, share information about ourselves and news around the world, and of course, shop from the comfort of our own homes. Although online websites can be a great resource when shopping around for clothes, handbags, or other small items, there are certain things you should never buy online. These are things that have a bad website example that doesn’t allow you to fully grasp how the items work, look like, or their price range. Below are 7 things you should never shop for online, and instead, should take the time to look for in person.

1. Home Renovations

Renovating your home is a great way to add value, make your living space more comfortable, and add to your overall style. Unfortunately, it can also be costly to renovate the kitchen, bathroom, or exterior of your home. Home renovations and home maintenance are a necessary part of homeownership, and if you’re in a pinch for cash, you might be tempted to look at a bad website example of cheap renovation projects and purchase them online. Never give in to these sites!

Home renovations need to be done in person, and someone online promising you can pay upfront without a quote or a home inspection first is not an experienced contractor. Contractors will first look at your home, or at the very least look at a floorplan of your home before they can give you a pricing range and take payments from you. For instance, if you’re looking for silicone and spray foam insulation, it’s not enough to simply buy it online, as you first have to take measurements of your wall to determine how much you will need.

In addition, you should also opt-out of buying large appliances to renovate your home online. From water heaters, laundry machines, and refrigerators, these are all home appliances that are best seen in person. Online pictures are a bad website example of how these items truly look. Although there are measurements available online that you can use to determine whether or not you want to buy and install this appliance in your home, it’s still a good idea to see them in person, ask questions, and get answers from a sales representative.

Once you set up an appropriate date to receive services or accept your appliances in person, then you can go ahead and pay for your services or appliances online with the help of a customer service representative. Before that, however, it’s best to shop around for home renovation and appliances. This doesn’t have to be a chore, have fun with it! Look around and meet contractors you’re comfortable inviting into your home and making it look like new again.

2. Legal Help

We all find ourselves in a bit of legal trouble from time to time. Whether it’s receiving a parking ticket, getting a speeding red light ticket in the mail, or being pulled over or even arrested by the police. During these times, we can become desperate for help and try to find it online. An online lawyer is a bad website example for true legal help, and you should never do a full consultation online or pay for services online.

Attorneys and public defenders are available to you at no cost, and they will meet with you in person after you’ve been released from jail and during your court hearings. These attorneys are highly-accredited and are appointed to you by the court systems themselves, so you know they are fully licensed and ready to represent you. The same can be said of lawyers who work in other areas of law, such as personal injury attorneys. Although they might advertise their services online, you should seek the help of a lawyer who is willing to talk to you in person and listen to your concerns before accepting any type of payment. In fact, most lawyers work on contingency, meaning they won’t take any payments until the end of a case and will take a portion of your settlement money as payment.

Legal help can also come in the form of private investigators or a bail bond agency. It’s best to seek the help of a bail bonds man or private investigator in person. Advertisements for these individuals online are a bad website example for their services. You should always get help in person, and ask questions about the legal process, how long it will take for your case to move forward, how to file the appropriate paperwork, and more. Legal cases can be extremely complicated, so if your lawyer or bail bondsman is only looking for you to reach out to them online or via e-mail, start looking for legal help in person.

3. Vehicles

We all want that shiny new car that is being advertised online, but unfortunately, this is a bad website example for the true state of the vehicle. Whether you’re interested in buying a used boat, new boat, new or used car, it’s best to go into a car dealership yourself and view the vehicle in person. Some states might also not allow the sale of vehicles through private parties. If you live in one of these states, you should avoid online advertisements for vehicles sold by a person and not a car dealership.

Many issues can be wrong with your vehicle that you won’t be able to fully grasp or see online. Some common issues that can affect your future vehicle include problems with the engine, transmission, timing belt, even upholstery that is worn and torn down. These issues can be costly to replace, and you might spend more money on repairs than paying for a vehicle, at best. At worst, you can be scammed out of your hard-earned money through online ads that promise they will deliver the vehicle to you for an upfront deposit. Never put a deposit without the vehicle in front of you!

Although major car makers such as Tesla are now moving toward online sales and financing of their vehicles, these types of companies are very few and far between, and are a bad website example of truly shady individuals online. If you’re interested in purchasing a car through these bigger car manufacturers, you should still take the time to see your future car in person. Other vehicles you should stay away from buying online and see in person include RV’s, golf carts, powersports, ATVs, kayaks, and recreational water vehicles.

4. Drugs

With the high price of pharmaceuticals, or even medicine at the grocery store becoming more and more expensive, it can be tempting to buy drugs, whether they are over the counter or illicit, online. Drugs sold online are a bad website example of what the drug truly is. Even if you buy medicine online from well-known pharmacies, there’s no telling whether or not that medicine will be tampered with by the time it gets to your home. Broken seals, missing tablets, and pre-opened boxes are all sure signs that your medicine has been tampered with, and are just one of the many reasons why should avoid buying drugs online.

It doesn’t just stop at over-the-counter drugs, either. The internet has a darker side to it, known as the ‘deepweb’ where many people might first look to buy illicit substances and get them delivered to their homes. Not only is this illegal, but it is also highly dangerous. Your computer is at risk of viruses, tracking, and your safety can be put in harm’s way if you decide to visit forums and buy illicit substances online. If you find yourself trying to look online for illicit substances, consider getting the help of a drug or opioid treatment program.

In any case, buying medicine or drugs online is a no-go. Medicines must be properly stored, sometimes in a temperature-controlled environment. If you’re buying an online substance that says that can be used for medicinal purposes, such as CBS, vitamins, or other ‘miracle cures,’ remember that these medicines are not approved by the FDA, and there is no way to ensure they are using ingredients that aren’t harmful to you. Even if they advertise themselves as natural and organic, this is a bad website example and shows no information on what the drug truly contains. Always visit your doctor, get a prescription, or buy your medicine at a local pharmacy to ensure it hasn’t been tampered with and is safe to take.

5. Live Animals

Pets can be some of the best friends anyone can have, and they can turn a home from sad and cold, to warm, cheery, and fun. Pets including cats, dogs, fish, turtles, all have one thing in common- they are living, breathing animals. Websites that advertise pets are a bad website example of how to sell these pets. It’s always a good idea to visit a pet store or better yet, your local animal shelter to meet your new furry friend. Pets, just like humans, have their personality, behaviors, preferences, and they can sometimes get alone with everyone or avoid children and other animals.

If you’re buying a pet for the first time, you’ll want to make sure to see them in person to see if their personality matches with you and is a good fit for your home. You might also need to bring children or other pets to get them acclimated before moving them into your home. In either case, buying a pet online is not only a bad idea, it can also be a complete scam! If you see an advertisement for a dog or cat online, it’s perfectly fine to call the owner or breeder, meet with them in person, and pay the person upfront. However, you should avoid websites that take payments upfront without you meeting your future pet, or worse yet, that offer to ship your pets to you!

6. Industrial Equipment

If you work on a farm, have your own metal fabrication business that uses heavy equipment, or are in the industrial industry, you should never invest big money in heavy equipment without first taking a look at it. Whether you’re buying a commercial log splitter, forklift, or new industrial belt, these tools can cost thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. It’s never a good idea to buy them online, even if you see pictures of them, as this is a bad website example of how the machine truly works.

In addition, you’ll want to make sure this industrial equipment is properly calibrated and working. Lives can be at stake if this is not the case, so it’s also a good idea to bring a mechanic or technician with you to inspect any industrial equipment before your purchase it.

7. Items from Suspicious Sites

At the end of the day, where you get your items matters! There are some very reputable online websites today that have hundreds of reviews for items, and these are always a good place to start if you want to buy smaller items such as an electric heater, clothes, or gifts online. However, you should make sure to avoid suspicious websites with little to no reviews, or that ask for your card information but don’t have any way to protect your information. Online stores with little merchandise and no reviews are a bad website example and should be avoided at all costs.

Stay Safe Online

From buying vehicles, to legal help, pets, and more, shopping doesn’t have to be boring when done in person! It’s much better to shop around for deals in person than go online and have your money, or even your identity, stolen. Practice common sense and follow your instincts. If it seems too good to be true online, it probably is.

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