Buying The Wrong Thing

Husband and I try to limit our shopping these days, especially at  bigger stores like Walmart. We always go masked and try to shop quickly. The other day I was rushing through the store, grabbed what I thoughtvwas a double box of the toothpaste I like, proceeded to the checkout, and headed home.

There are many different types of Crest toothpaste. The boxes kind of look the same. Well, I realized after I got home that I bought the wrong kind. This is a kind I would never have purchased under normal circumstances.  It must have hydrogen peroxide or something similar in it, because it is touted as foaming when you use it.  I can’t say I am looking forward to having two tubes of it.  I don’t like to return things to stores at the best of times, and certainly not now. I guess I will spend the next months foaming at the mouth whenever I brush.

Got any good return stories? When have you bought the wrong thing?

48 thoughts on “Buying The Wrong Thing”

  1. Interesting timing, Renee – I recently ordered a replacement part for the juicer we’ve been using to juice apples, found one on ebay that looked like the right part. When it arrived, we found that it was 1/4 inch too wide, and the chute an inch too short, making it totally unusable. Yesterday, after spending an computer hour in and around ebay, I managed to find the process for returns AND WAS SUCCESSFUL getting a full refund.

    I will now have enough confidence to use ebay more often!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Since I don’t drive, shopping is a challenge. Some things my daughter buys for me. Everything else I buy from the internet, which ends up meaning “from Amazon” for almost anything. I buy clothing online. Shoes. Books. Little kitchen accessories.

    That leads to that nervous moment when I open a package and actually see what I just bought, what I think of as the “Ah hell!” moment. As in, “Ah hell, I didn’t know this thing came in right or left hand models!” Or, “Ah hell, this is the wrong damn size!” Or, “Ah hell, this thing is sure greener than I expected!”

    There I am with the packaging all torn up and I have this thing I never would have bought if I’d seen it before ordering it. Amazon has reasonable policies for taking stuff back, but I have a sort of code. If they shipped me something I should have known was wrong, I figure the mistake is part of being old. And I “eat” the bad purchase. If I buy something that differs from what a reasonable person would expect, based on the photo and online ad copy, I go for a refund on anything over twenty bucks.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Oh, this is me. Don’t read box, just look at box. Every product has multiple flavors or forms. And I never Learn. Never. Finding the original version is often hard. A couple products, I don’t remember which now, took the original off the market. And this brings me back to my Sandra problem. Most of the other flavors contain things she dare not eat. But since I took her off of almost all prepared foods, this problem has mostly gone away. Recently bought her Suave shampoo. No I didn’t. I bought her Suave conditioner.
    I could say I am racing through the store because of pandemic, but I shop at 6 right when it opens. Never seen more than about 10 in store by the time I leave. Most of the early staff know me by name.
    Clyde

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clyde, I have started using Instacart for some grocery shopping and Target pick-up for some things. I make a list of things to order from Cub Foods on Instacart, then place an order when the list is long enough. Delivery is around $4. I don’t like Target drive-up as well but it works to keep me out of the store. I find I actually save money this way because I’m not in the store being tempted by ice cream or other treats I don’t need. The Co-op in Northfield has a drive-up system too, which helps, but I am a lifelong Co-op shopper and part of the Co-op experience is the smell of all those wonderful bulk coffees, teas, and spices. I need to go in the Co-op. It’s just part of the experience.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Ordered 11 times back in the summer. They only got three orders right. They refunded my money but into my account not to me. They have $17 of mine. Second to last order they refunded $10. So I made that last order to collect that $10 and ended up with that $17 on account. A friend of mine who shopped for them at Cub told me that they let three people go because they were constantly failing to deliver things but did not return them. Del;ivery fee would be more than half of $17. It is theres now

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Daughter saves money that way, too. No impulse buys. Of course, when she goes to Met Market, Tacoma’s preeminent fancy food store, the sky is the limit. She blames us for her love of artisan cheeses and fancy provisions.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. But a delight in very warm coat sitting on patio drinking coffee with light rain falling around me while I absorbed the colors it gave everything. Almost made the two ghastly banks now in my view, but not those leggo black apartment buildings spreading like fungus.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The mental image I have of this, Clyde, is of a Guindon cartoon man, wearing a plaid hunting jacket and a felt hat with ear flaps, holding a steaming cup of coffee in his mittens covered hands. 🙂

          Liked by 4 people

      2. We had some thunder and lightning and a dark, eery sky here earlier too. It was almost as dark as dusk here. Then it turned orange, then yellow. Now it’s just icky.

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  4. In response to Renee’s toothpaste, how about donating it to a shelter or a food shelf rather than brushing your teeth for months with a toothpaste you don’t like? Life is too short for that kind of aggravation. Whenever I go to the dentist, I always accept the free toothbrush and toothpaste although I use an electronic brush and prefer a different types of toothpaste. On my way home I stop by the local food shelf and drop them off.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I think I have now twice hijacked Renee’s topic. Last time I promise. Local senior center has me on a list for caregivers. Not sure how. I did not put me there. Just got an message from them saying 20% of Americans are doing some degree on unpaid care giving. Does that seem possible?
    Meanwhile, back at Walmart.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. My friend and I went kayaking last summer. I really enjoyed it. It was so much fun that I decided to buy my own kayak. I ordered an inflatable one from Amazon because I wasn’t sure how I would transport a normal one. I finally received it and took it out for a spin on the lake where I grew up – Cannon Lake in Rice County. It wasn’t the right thing. It doesn’t steer well at all. You kind of sit on top of it and paddle. It moves slowly and feels very tippy. The paddle made my hands sore because the connectors are right where my hands need to be. So I brought it home and put it on the floor in the garage to allow it to dry. I don’t think I can return it now because it was in a southern Minnesota lake in midsummer, then on the garage floor for several weeks. I have since put it back in the box to store it for the winter. I wish it was an 8-foot Pelican kayak though. Live and learn.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Live and learn” means you accept some responsibility for mistakes, and that seems ethical to me. I knew someone who routinely ordered six coats or dresses from mail order catalogues, knowing in advance she would return most or all of them. Not good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sandy had a long time friend who was banned from shopping in their stores because she would do that. Target and Daytons among the stores. And not onlne.

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      2. My mom is like that. I once bought her an adorable blue dress for her birthday. She is slender and tall and always dressed fashionably and looked great. She loves blue and looks good in it. The dress I bought was about $100 and was made of tencel fabric. I thought she would love it. She didn’t. She asked me if I would return it and give her a gift receipt instead. She was always buying things then returning them, or asking me to return them for her. Pain in the ***! Not one of my best memories… sorry.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I think a certain share of people operate that way. I don’t enjoy judging others, but that way of purchasing things seems exploitative to me. Stores with generous return practices–Daytons was an example–should not be penalized for giving good service.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Krista, when I retired 11 years ago the first big item I bought was a rigid frame inflatable kayak from Advanced Elements (ordered it through REI). It is probably as close to a hard shell kayak as possible. It it easy to inflate (using a foot pump that both inflates and deflates), steers pretty good (has a built in skeg which helps with tracking), does not feel any more tippy than a hard shell, weighs about 30 lbs. and once folded up fits into a bag for storage. The downside is that it is kind of slow but I only paddle on calm lakes or rivers at a leisurely pace so no problem for me. You might want to check them out. I ordered the paddle separately – it is 2 piece for easy transport and also smaller in diameter to fit my small hands.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. My inflatable one has a foot pump. It was very easy to inflate but not easy to use on the lake. My paddle is in three sections with large connectors which were right where I wanted my hands to be. It was pretty uncomfortable and I had to keep changing hand positions, which didn’t help with steering. It would be great for someone who just wanted to paddle out into the lake and then float to wherever the current takes her…

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      1. I’ll check it out. Part of my problem is I don’t have a lot of expendable income so I need to keep the price low. Thanks!

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  7. Just read through the last of yesterday‘s posts and I have an announcement that I should’ve made a while ago but never got around to. We are very close to having used up all of our graphic space on word press. So unless we want to spend more than we already spend each year for our site, we need to cull photos. And that’s what I have been doing little bits at a time the last six months. I started at the very beginning; I’ve left up most of Dale‘s iconic photo shops, I’ve left up all of Edith’s work, I’ve left up all of Clyde‘s artwork And I’ve left up most of Steve’s photos. But you will find lots of older posts now that there’s no photo. Sorry I should have mentioned it sooner but never thought about it at the right time.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. We’re not in danger of all of our artwork going dark. I’m trying to keep us at the 90% threshold and we’re OK for a while. I like seeing your artwork!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I guess my most memorable was not actually a bad shopping experience just a bad check out experience. I was with the husband of my best friend – he had volunteered to put in a new drop ceiling in my basement and new linoleum on the steps so we were at Home Depot. We had purchased all of these acoustic tiles and all of them were in packages of 10 except for the last five. So when the gal rang them up she rang them all at the single price including those that were packaged. I was surprised because the amount didn’t seem as high as I had been calculating in my head. About $120 off. So I looked at the receipt and realized what she had done charging me the single price for the packages. She didn’t want to touch this mistake with a 10 foot pole and surprisingly neither did her supervisor. If it had been five dollars or $10 I probably would’ve just let it go at that but I felt like I was stealing at $120. So I said to the supervisor well maybe we should call the store manager cause I’m sure here she doesn’t want to be losing $120 on the sale. That worked and they fixed it right away.But I was stunned that on an error of that magnitude they would rather just let me walk away with all the product rather than fix the problem.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. No clue. But I had witnesses so I’m guessing that even if they did eventually come after me for the $120, they wouldn’t of had a leg to stand on since I had tried to pay them the correct amount.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Having been in retail for many years, including in a main office in charge of customer relations, I can tell you that most companies really want you to be happy, no matter what. Last week I bought some a kit to make some Halloween necklaces online and when it came I realized that it didn’t have jump rings (these are needed to add the charms onto the necklace). All I had were silver jump rings and necklaces were brass antique finish. So very quickly I sent off an email to the company talking about how disappointed I was.

    She wrote back to tell me that there was a caveat online that said the project didn’t include jump rings (for a very good reason it turns out) but even after I wrote back and apologized that I hadn’t noticed the small print, they are sending me antique brass jump rings (which they have for their photographs but they don’t sell), a free bottle of glue and free shipping on my next order.

    The upshot of this story is that I encourage everybody to let companies know if they are not happy or disappointed because they may work harder than you would expect to make you happy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I ordered a side table from Wayfair several years ago. I really liked the size of it and the Arts and Crafts style. I was so disappointed when it arrived. It had clearly been dropped, hard, in shipping. It was badly broken and it was obvious that it was made 100% of particle board, which had cracked and splintered. When I pulled it out of the box, the sides fell apart in splinters of icky particle board. So I called the customer service number. They apologized profusely and immediately (no waiting) issued a 100% refund. They told me to keep the table or throw it away. I got handy with glue and clamps and some well-placed screws and was able to get it put back together with the badly broken sides hidden from view. I used it for a year or two, then offered it free to a good home on Freecycle. Someone came and said it was fine the way it was and took it off my hands. So, yes, call the customer service departments. If the company is good, they will want you to be happy.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. A couple of years ago I purchased a rather expensive pair of shoes on line. When they arrived they turned out to be about a half size too small. I called their customer service and they instructed me to return the shoes, and they would send me another pair in the larger size. The second pair of shoes arrived the following day before I had returned the first pair. That’s what I call good service.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I remember this from college days – not a return, but a lay-away… (Remember Lay-away?) Friend and I had shopped, perhaps at spring break, at a Des Moines mall 30 miles from ISU (Ames IA) campus. I fell in love with a cobalt blue knit dress that I put on layaway in some boutique, never bothering to look at the layaway details on the receipt. I did not remember to retrieve said dress until end of school year, when I went back to the store to pay the balance and pick it up. THEY HAD SOLD IT to someone else, since I hadn’t bothered to contact them within the appropriate amount of time. I was so disappointed, but I was also really angry, and ended up writing a scathing letter to the manager, Eventually got my deposit back, which they could technically have kept.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Completely OT. I have one of those little refrigerators that college students use, the little cube sized ones. She only used it for one year when she was away at school so it works fine but we don’t have a use for it and it’s been sitting in the basement for four years. Anybody want it? I can bring it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One word – Freecycle. If no one here want it, I know someone will be happy to come pick it up. If you don’t want to start a Freecycle account, I’ll be happy to list it for you.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Barb’s lay away story reminded me of this. At Goldfine’s by the Bridge discount store, a wonderful long gone Duluth institution with its seedy charm owned by a pair of brothers who were Duluth icons of that time, we bought a dining table, two chairs, and a long bench. We did not buy on lay away, but bought them outright off the floor, the way you bought all furniture there. We paid full price, they took them off the floor for us to pick up in a week when I could borrow a friend’s pick up to pick them up. When I got there, the table and chairs were there, but not the bench. They looked everywhere. I was displeased. They refunded me the $65 price for the bench. The woman who sold them to me, also from Two Harbors, was not working that day. When she came back from vacation 4-5 days later they told her about it. She walked back into the warehouse and pointed at it right where it should be. So I bought it again. But they did arrange for someone to bring it up the shore to us.
    It is a colonial style with spun legs and spindles holding together the back and the arms of the chair. Seemingly not the sturdiest of things. Our two children shared that bench through all their childhoods until they went off to college. It had some wear spots on the seat, but was otherwise unmarked and sturdy as they day we bought it. We gave it to our daughter. Her two children have used it/shared it for 15 years. It has more wear on the seat but remains undented and as sturdy as ever. We are giving them our current dining set, so the bench will go out of full service or maybe be given on to another family.
    That was a $65 buy.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. I sometimes buy some sort of beverage that looks like a good buy and discover when I get it home that it’s artificially sweetened. I dislike the taste of sucralose, but you often have to read the ingredient list carefully to discover that it’s in there, and I usually don’t have reading glasses with me at the store.

    If something has an artificial sweetener in it, they are still allowed to put the words “natural flavors” on the label in big letters, with the artificial sweetener listed on the back in the teeny tiny print.

    Liked by 1 person

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