What you see on your screen isn’t always what you’ll end up getting delivered to your door. Online shopping continues to grow bigger and bigger, with e-commerce sales reaching a whopping 870 billion dollars in the United States in 2021. That’s a 14.2 percent increase compared to 2020 and a jaw-dropping 50.5 percent increase over 2019. However, with retail sales moving in the digital direction, there’s also more potential for getting scammed.

It’s vital that you do your research and check who you buy from when you’re shopping online. Otherwise, you’ll end up having spent your money on something that’s completely useless. Low quality? Try no quality instead. Our team here at Bored Panda has collected the most egregious examples of people having ordered something online only to receive something truly awful. So awful, in fact, that they couldn’t help but share the photos online.

Scroll down for the best of the worst. And if you’re feeling up for sharing, we’d love to hear if you’ve ever gotten tricked when ordering something off the internet, dear Pandas. Oh, and if you haven’t had your fill of laughter and quiet gasps of “oh no!”, then you should definitely check out our earlier lists about the top online shopping fails here and here.

We got in touch with Alan Castel, Ph.D., a UCLA psychology professor who studied scams for his book, 'Better with Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging,’ and he shared with us how to tell if a deal looks fishy, how scams are always evolving but adhere to the same principles, and how scammers can target anyone. Read on to see what he told Bored Panda. And remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is!

#1

I Ordered The Wind Waker On eBay And The Description Said It Was Missing The Original Case. This Is What Arrived In The Mail

I Ordered The Wind Waker On eBay And The Description Said It Was Missing The Original Case. This Is What Arrived In The Mail

BionicleGarden Report

Judes
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As long as the game is playable, I wouldn't be at all disappointed with this.

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Dr. Castel was kind enough to tell us about some of the red flags to look out for when shopping online. "Look for anything that seems odd or unusual, such as repeated and rushed requests for personal information, spelling mistakes in the email or website address, the request to pay with gift cards, and the need to rush your decision and not ask questions," he explained to Bored Panda.

"When in doubt, wait to respond or make a purchase, and verify information whenever possible with others. Anytime you are contacted unexpectedly, by email, text or by phone, you can stop the communication, and take time to verify information or ask someone else about it," he said that it's vital to take the time to do some research.

Dr. Castel agreed with us that scams are always changing, however, he added that they often follow the same principles, such as "establishing trust, manipulating emotions, rushing you to make a decision, asking for immediate action, and pretending to be a business or government service that requires your personal information."

#2

We Ordered A Grill. Got 300 iPads

We Ordered A Grill. Got 300 iPads

usuzulose Report

#3

Garfield Without Lasagna

Garfield Without Lasagna

miragonz Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like Garfield got into the funky lasagna

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Scammers might pose as family members in need of help or can pretend to be interested in someone romantically to build their trust over a long period of time.

"Often we learn about scams by talking to others that have experienced them, or have fallen for similar scams. Thus, I think communication is key here, and there are help and support groups for fraud victims. However, often people are embarrassed about talking about their experiences," the UCLA professor implied that most people don't like feeling like a fools, especially in their social circles.

"We are all susceptible to scams, regardless of experience or level of education, as they target people’s basic emotional needs or target us when we are not paying attention, and then prey on our basic emotional responses to threat or opportunity. We do need to have our guard up but also know that to err is human, and talking about these experiences will hopefully make more people aware of how scams are everywhere and always evolving."

#4

Waited A Month For This. Doggo Was Not Impressed

Waited A Month For This. Doggo Was Not Impressed

offtherichter Report

#5

I Ordered Shoes To Wear At My Wedding Next Month And Was So Excited To Try Them On. Until I Opened The Box

I Ordered Shoes To Wear At My Wedding Next Month And Was So Excited To Try Them On. Until I Opened The Box

ad9344 Report

#6

I Bought A PS2 On eBay. Something Seems A Little Off

I Bought A PS2 On eBay. Something Seems A Little Off

grinsekatze Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When online shopping, do not make a purchase unless there is a banana in the pic for scale.

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During an earlier interview, Dr. Castel explained to Bored Panda that nobody is immune to scams and that scammers target the vulnerable.

"Everyone and anyone is susceptible to scams, especially when we are placed in vulnerable positions, are being rushed, worried, or in an emotional state. While there is a stereotype that older adults are most likely to be scammed, people of all ages, and levels of education, can be a victim of fraud and scam," he explained.

"Scammers know that people respond to social influences, especially to authority, and will use fear and friendliness to create a powerful situation that induces compliance," Dr. Castel told us.

"In terms of trying to call out a scammer, you need to be careful how, when or why you would interact with scammers, as they often have access to your basic information, and talking to them more can make you a victim, especially if you share additional information about yourself," the psychology professor warned.

#7

I’m Highly Disappointed With The Cake I Got. It Was Supposed To Be This And This Is What We Got

I’m Highly Disappointed With The Cake I Got. It Was Supposed To Be This And This Is What We Got

Now she won’t respond to me or check her messages. Thanks for screwing up my son's 16th birthday party!

chasity.tilman Report

Gul Dukat
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This looks like the thing Jeff Goldblum turned into at the the end of "The Fly"

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#8

The Shirt I Ordered vs. The Shirt I Received

The Shirt I Ordered vs. The Shirt I Received

PollySmall89 Report

#9

Man Wanted To Know If Cake "Contains Eggs"

Man Wanted To Know If Cake "Contains Eggs"

kapildwasnik Report

"Scammers work with large volumes and databases, so often it is just a matter of time that someone is going to be caught in a scam. Some advice: Don’t answer the phone, don’t be rushed, don’t provide information, and don’t be afraid to hang up,” he said that we should do our best to protect our private information.

#10

Wife Ordered A Fake Predator Lawn Deterrent For Our Geese Problem Without Checking The Dimensions

Wife Ordered A Fake Predator Lawn Deterrent For Our Geese Problem Without Checking The Dimensions

Kaltastic84 Report

#11

The Rolling Stoner - Thanks, Amazon

The Rolling Stoner - Thanks, Amazon

Soakd Report

#12

Ordered Eight Extra Large Shirts. Received Eight 8XL Shirts

Ordered Eight Extra Large Shirts. Received Eight 8XL Shirts

ch0ch32 Report

Robert T
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And then got the smallest bloke in the office to model it.

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It might feel like you have to ‘act now’ when you spot a good deal while surfing the net, but it’s healthy to take a step back, calm down, and think about things rationally. Don’t fall prey to impulsive spending. What’s more, take the time to actually do a bit of research about the product and—more importantly—about the seller. It takes a bit of patience, but even a simple background check can help you spot someone who’s suspicious and might be trying to take advantage of you.

#13

Ordered A New Chlorinator For The Pool, The Instructions Came On VHS

Ordered A New Chlorinator For The Pool, The Instructions Came On VHS

Yashkamr Report

Fintch
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Everybody is like, "Oh-those-80s-90s!"... They are living in them.

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#14

I Still Got Compliments On It Tho But Mostly Gave People The Creeps

I Still Got Compliments On It Tho But Mostly Gave People The Creeps

wolverinesbabygirl Report

"I think online shopping scams are different because you lose that layer of dealing with a real-life person. When you have a real person in front of you, a typical person will feel shame or guilt at the thought of taking advantage of a person,” one of the moderators from the r/Scams subreddit told Bored Panda that the people trying to pull the wool over others’ eyes have an easier time when they’re not doing it face to face.

#16

A Hat Would Have Pulled It All Together

A Hat Would Have Pulled It All Together

K1nsey6 Report

#17

I Ordered A Ben 10 Action Figure And I Got A Used Baby Sock Instead

I Ordered A Ben 10 Action Figure And I Got A Used Baby Sock Instead

Beautiful_Fishing569 Report

#18

My 1200 Page Loose-Leaf Book Arrived A Little More Loose Than I Was Expecting

My 1200 Page Loose-Leaf Book Arrived A Little More Loose Than I Was Expecting

ShadowsWandering Report

“With the internet, you aren't dealing with a person, but a username and avatar. It is much easier to act maliciously when you don't have a real victim directly in front of you," they explained that the distance makes it easier for the scammers not to view their marks as actual people.

#19

Ordered One Brussel Sprout Instead Of 1 Kg. Need To Cut It Into Four To Go Round

Ordered One Brussel Sprout Instead Of 1 Kg. Need To Cut It Into Four To Go Round

a1acrity Report

Charlie does cartwheels
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love thinking of the person filling that order. “One brussel sprout… 🤷🏻‍♀️“

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#20

Friend Of Mine Ordered A Bamboo Online, Today It Arrived In All Its Glory

Friend Of Mine Ordered A Bamboo Online, Today It Arrived In All Its Glory

One_TAIM Report

#21

Bought Some Toilet Paper On eBay Didn’t Notice The Size

Bought Some Toilet Paper On eBay Didn’t Notice The Size

toastytoat Report

guineapiglover12
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

pro: If this was during the toilet paper shortage, then I say it's a win con: it looks like the school toilet paper and itchy.

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"Online scams also use a lot of tricks to pressure buyers; low prices, pushes to buy now!, taking advantage of someone's kindness or naivete (re: advance check fraud, money mules, etc), or advertising one product and sending another (or nothing at all, by using a fake tracking number),” they shared.

#22

The Mask I Ordered (Left) vs. The Mask I Got (Right)

The Mask I Ordered (Left) vs. The Mask I Got (Right)

the_nerd_dad Report

Robert T
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Must've mixed you up with Gerard Depardieu

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#23

My Mom Thought She'd Ordered A Carton Of Cigarettes Online

My Mom Thought She'd Ordered A Carton Of Cigarettes Online

throwawaystranger69 Report

Ember
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

lol....this is actually quite funny

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#24

What I Bought vs. What I Got. Yeah, These Are Not The Same

What I Bought vs. What I Got. Yeah, These Are Not The Same

whitneyaliceaud Report

Monic Krugell
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

With enough modelling and if you stand completely still the whole time we can almost get it there

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“Getting a person to make a decision via high-pressure tactics and preventing them from reflecting and making a sound decision is key," the mod said that scammers pressure online shoppers to get them to act impulsively.

#25

Ordered A Box Of Baby Wipes And Got 14 Cartons Of Cigs As Packing Material

Ordered A Box Of Baby Wipes And Got 14 Cartons Of Cigs As Packing Material

profanityridden_01 Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
7 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Bloody hell. If that was Australian cigarettes you would be looking at a minimum of $1800-$2000 worth of packaging material there.

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#26

I Ordered A Box Of Tampons From CVS And They Sent Me These

I Ordered A Box Of Tampons From CVS And They Sent Me These

AndyFeelfine Report

Littlemiss
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm waiting on the mansplaining excuse as to why these are am acceptable replacement.

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#27

Mum Got Duped Online Shopping And Bought This Tiny Chair. Guess It's Mine Now

Mum Got Duped Online Shopping And Bought This Tiny Chair. Guess It's Mine Now

reimaginestudio Report

"If a deal is too good to be true, it is. If you see a pair of brand new Apple AirPods advertised for $50, you are not getting an authentic product. There are many counterfeit items out there on the market, and you need to verify authenticity before hitting buy," they said.

#28

Brand New TV From Amazon Delivered By FedEx. The FedEx Driver Came Twice And Rang The Doorbell And Basically Ran To His Truck And Left

Brand New TV From Amazon Delivered By FedEx. The FedEx Driver Came Twice And Rang The Doorbell And Basically Ran To His Truck And Left

On the second day, I had to run after him to get the tv. I unpack the tv and plug it in and this is what I get.

1deator Report

#29

$49 Electronics Mystery Box

$49 Electronics Mystery Box

PoofBam Report

Rain(bow)
Community Member
7 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why would you spend $49 if you don't even know what you're going to get?

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#30

I Am Not Groot

I Am Not Groot

allihaveismyword Report

"Not only to avoid contributing to the counterfeit market, but because these knockoff products do not always go through the same safety standards of the real item; they may not be UL certified, they may use chemicals or ingredients that are not FDA approved and are unsafe for use on or in the human body, or could cause major harm to human life or property,” they warned that it might not just be your money at stake, but also your life.

#31

Ordered An Apple Watch For My Sister For Christmas

Ordered An Apple Watch For My Sister For Christmas

Somewhere between being shipped and being delivered to her someone opened the package, took the watch and strap, then sealed the whole thing back up.

ravens_revenge Report

#32

How My New Computer Just Got Delivered

How My New Computer Just Got Delivered

this_is_a_username78 Report

CAMAW
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's gonna be a pain to deal with

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#33

The Pizza Shop Promised Light And Airy Crust. It Was So Light And Airy That It Was Invisible

The Pizza Shop Promised Light And Airy Crust. It Was So Light And Airy That It Was Invisible

Iocaine_powder Report

Dawson James
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

OMG that's so cool. I've never seen a pizza that light

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#34

Ordered (Boneless) Wings For The Big Game. Only Three Were Not Completely Raw. It Was $76 And DoorDash Refuses To Give Us A Refund

Ordered (Boneless) Wings For The Big Game. Only Three Were Not Completely Raw. It Was $76 And DoorDash Refuses To Give Us A Refund

CeeceeLarouex Report

#35

Ordered Alexander McQueen Shoes, Got Already MoQdshn Shoes

Ordered Alexander McQueen Shoes, Got Already MoQdshn Shoes

Princemudi_ Report

#36

Neighbor Got A New Candle

Neighbor Got A New Candle

GamerZWorld_YT Report

#37

Ordered Myself Some New Boots, Size 4 And These Came

Ordered Myself Some New Boots, Size 4 And These Came

mel_ev82 Report

#38

Ordered A New VR Headset From Amazon And Instead Got £5 Of Office Supplies

Ordered A New VR Headset From Amazon And Instead Got £5 Of Office Supplies

Penquuu Report

#39

My Sister Ordered And Requested A Mirror With A Custom Name On It And Requested That The Name On The Bag Would Be “Same Like On The Mirror”

My Sister Ordered And Requested A Mirror With A Custom Name On It And Requested That The Name On The Bag Would Be “Same Like On The Mirror”

TomerHorowitz Report

YourSecretSanta
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Her fault here, you put in the exact text you want, not a description. Usually you put it in a field that goes straight to the computer for printing

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#40

Received These Size 12 Badminton Shoes From Amazon. They Look Like A 7 And Fit In My Palm

Received These Size 12 Badminton Shoes From Amazon. They Look Like A 7 And Fit In My Palm

StoneCold_SA Report

#41

Ordered 16 Gb Of Ram And Got Sent 160 Gb

Ordered 16 Gb Of Ram And Got Sent 160 Gb

TheSplizz Report

#42

I Ordered An Eyeshadow Palette Online And This Is What Arrived. Completely Unusable

I Ordered An Eyeshadow Palette Online And This Is What Arrived. Completely Unusable

Imanerrrd Report

#43

My Mother Ordered A Fall Wreath From A Facebook Ad. Weeks Later, A Tiny Package From China Showed Up

My Mother Ordered A Fall Wreath From A Facebook Ad. Weeks Later, A Tiny Package From China Showed Up

eriwhi Report

#44

Bro, I Ordered The Jordan 1 Heritage But Nike Sent Me An Empty Box They Refunded Me But I’m Still Mad Cause I Can’t Get Them Anymore

Bro, I Ordered The Jordan 1 Heritage But Nike Sent Me An Empty Box They Refunded Me But I’m Still Mad Cause I Can’t Get Them Anymore

SUNNYMCMONEY Report

Nemo
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So much pain wrapped in an empty box

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#45

Thanks, Amazon UK, For Sending Me The Indian Flag When I Ordered The Irish Tricolor For St. Patrick’s Day

Thanks, Amazon UK, For Sending Me The Indian Flag When I Ordered The Irish Tricolor For St. Patrick’s Day

sta_lijo Report

Jing Yi Xu
Community Member
7 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Just cut off the right 2/3 of the flag. Hey presto, its suddenly an Irish flag! But I'm not sure if that would be rude to do

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#46

We Ordered 1 Tesla Model 3 Steering Wheel. They Sent 2 And Packed Them With 144 Children's Toothbrushes. 12 Packs Of 12

We Ordered 1 Tesla Model 3 Steering Wheel. They Sent 2 And Packed Them With 144 Children's Toothbrushes. 12 Packs Of 12

Glittering-Clock-332 Report

R De Backer
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm sure there's a charity nearby that the toothbrushes could be donated to and they would happily provide them to families with limited means

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#47

Eclipse Absolute Zero 100% Blackout Window Curtains vs. What You Actually Get

Eclipse Absolute Zero 100% Blackout Window Curtains vs. What You Actually Get

mattjp03 Report

Argle Bargle
Community Member
7 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Absolutely zero blackout, 100%.

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#48

Someone At USPS Tried To Fold My Package With A Rare Record Inside It, $100 Gone And Now One Less Of Them In The World

Someone At USPS Tried To Fold My Package With A Rare Record Inside It, $100 Gone And Now One Less Of Them In The World

ComaKino Report

#49

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

cosyinbookland Report

Argle Bargle
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Zzzz. Huh? Sorry fell asleep. Only good one I found was Gyleen: Cork little fork.

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#50

What I Ordered From Amazon vs. What I Received

What I Ordered From Amazon vs. What I Received

S1eepy266 Report

Rain(bow)
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

At least you won't get cavities from eating that chocolate!

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#51

Customer Returned This Because She Thought She Ordered A Full-Size Stool

Customer Returned This Because She Thought She Ordered A Full-Size Stool

poetris Report

#52

Ordered A Glass 250 ml Beaker Off Amazon. It Came In An Envelope

Ordered A Glass 250 ml Beaker Off Amazon. It Came In An Envelope

Jimothy_Riggins Report

#53

Ordered A Pair Of New Headphones From Amazon. Got A Returned Pair With Some Stranger's Ear Gunk

Ordered A Pair Of New Headphones From Amazon. Got A Returned Pair With Some Stranger's Ear Gunk

DetectiveFelino Report

Jing Yi Xu
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You deserve a full or partial refund, depending on if you want to keep them or not (And swap out the rubber thingies). You paid for new and deserve new, or a reduced price

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#54

My Husband Ordered This For Our Daughter Who Loves The Labyrinth

My Husband Ordered This For Our Daughter Who Loves The Labyrinth

The picture on the left is the website description, the picture on right is what we just received in the mail.

jassydee Report

KJ
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Great movie, saw it advertised on a streaming service recently and couldn't resist a re-watch.

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#55

What I Ordered vs. What I Got

What I Ordered vs. What I Got

Pluggemmy Report

Fintch
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's awful, but honestly the original one is not for the right pic's woman shape.

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#56

I Ordered A New Watch Band And This Is What Amazon Sent Me

I Ordered A New Watch Band And This Is What Amazon Sent Me

SpyralHam Report

Jing Yi Xu
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

But what is the value of not farting in front of your crush? Priceless.

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#57

For Mother’s Day, I Ordered Flowers For My Mom. Got A Box Of Tree Branches

For Mother’s Day, I Ordered Flowers For My Mom. Got A Box Of Tree Branches

Confident_Sun_6364 Report

Ashley Parker
Community Member
7 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

More often than you'd believe, places sell bonsai plants and just ship cuttings shoved into soil with tiny gravel glazed over the top. Many cuttings will live quiet a while like this, so people think they're getting a healthy bonsai, and when the cuttings die off, they just think they did something wrong and killed it. If there was a pot and soil/gravel in this box, I would 100% guarantee that's exactly what this seller did.

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#58

So, This Is What I Ordered From Aliexpress. What Was I Thinking

So, This Is What I Ordered From Aliexpress. What Was I Thinking