7 things you should never buy online without doing your research first

  • Shopping online presents risks that shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers don’t.
  • Certain purchases, like medications or cosmetics, could pose health risks to consumers who don’t properly vet the sources.
  • Other products purchased online, like artwork or jewelry, could be worthless counterfeits.
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The allure of online shopping is easy enough to understand. With a few minutes spent typing on a keyboard or tapping on a phone, you can order anything from a mattress to a mortgage without so much as leaving the house. 

But shopping in the digital space comes with hazards you wouldn’t encounter in a brick-and-mortar setting, such as counterfeit merchandise, clothes that don’t fit, issues with delivery, and even theft of your banking or credit card information.

Related: The 11 most sophisticated online scams right now that the average person falls for

Certain major purchases should always be made in-store, where you can inspect the product or discuss the service in the presence of an expert. Other large or important purchases are fine to make online, but not without thorough vetting and research first. 

And if you find you’re spending an inordinate amount of time reading up on that prospective purchase, it makes more sense to simply head out and make the buy in person, where you can lie on the mattress, talk through the loan, or try on the shirt and shoes.

Here are seven things you should never buy online without first making sure you know exactly what you’re getting.

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