The world wide web has revolutionised the way we live, get our news, connect with family and friends, the way we work, and the way we shop. While shopping online used to be for a brave few, it has become much more common, and easier as well. With that being said, there are still items that you’re better off purchasing in real life.
Bulk food
I’ve made the mistake of ordering bulk sushi rice from what I thought was a reputable buyer. After it was delivered, I transferred the rice into a glass jar for storage. A few weeks later I turned the jar and noticed about 25 dead flies.
I went through the rice and found all of their larval sacs. They were so hard to tell apart from the rice! If I wasn’t paying attention, I would have cooked them and served them to my family. Lesson learned!

Editor’s note – It is different if you buy via reputable souces locally via Redmart, NTUC and other online superstores.

‘Designer’ goods
It’s very tempting to buy that $30 Prada bag, but it is typically illegal to sell counterfeit products – so any website willing to cross this line should be considered shady in the least. You have no idea what they will do with your personal information and credit card number after you make your purchase, and good luck getting any kind of customer service if your product shows up not as described, or not at all.
If you absolutely have to have one, inspect it in person in a public place, and pay with cash.
Make up
Well, this isn’t much of a risk if you are replacing products that you already know and love. But if you’re trying new shades or brands, don’t forget that what you see online is not what you may get. Computer monitors vary significantly in color representation and are often not true-to-life.
What looks amazing on the model might look very, very different on you! A quick trip to the beauty counter is much more convenient than throwing away $60 on a Chanel lipstick that was much more persimmon than rose. (Or try at the counter, then order online … but you didn’t hear that from me.)
Cut and style can vary greatly by brand, so even if you’ve been properly fitted by a professional, you really can’t know if a bra is your size without trying it on. Return policies on underwear can be very strict, so returning an ill-fitting bra that you’ve purchased can prove quite difficult.
Stick to visiting your nearest lingerie store when your current faves are up for replacement.
Contact lenses
While buying eyeglasses online might seem like a great idea, one thing you should never get online is a pair of contact lenses. You need a proper eye exam before you should even think about putting a pair of lenses on your delicate eyeballs, plus adequate follow up care to make sure you’re not at risk of going blind because you decided to wear your daily disposables for an entire month straight.
You only have one pair of eyes, don’t sacrifice them just to save a few pennies shopping online. 
Anything from a suspicious website
If it seems like a website you’re about to make purchase from is suspicious, you’re better to close the window and search elsewhere. Some signs to look for are; outdated or cheap looking sites, items descriptions written with poor grammar and choppy sentences, little to no contact information, and an abundance of fonts and colors.
However, some sketchy sites look totally normal, but you’ll know you’re at risk is by looking at the site address. If the site address starts with ‘https’, your transaction is secure. A regular HTTP address offers no secure connection and your personal and credit card information is at risk!
Use sites that offer ample customer service, contact information, and secure shopping.
Online shopping is awesome, fun, and for the most part, safe. Trust your intuition to guide you online, remember to look for a secure connection, and don’t trust your monitor to represent colours the same way your eyes do, and you’ll be fine! offers the cheapest and easiest way to shop online. Shop directly from Taobao and other global online sites from China, Taiwan and the USA. Access millions of products worldwide and pay the least in item prices.

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