Be careful what you Wish for. Get it? Because Wish is an online store, but it’s totally a monkey’s paw kind of deal cuz you never know what you’ll end up getting. Fine, fine, that might’ve been an awful pun, but we're not sorry because it’s the perfect segue to talk about online shopping. Specifically, how it can go disastrously wrong because we’re either looking for a bargain that’s too good to be true or we fall prey to low-quality products and scammers.

Our hard-working team here at Bored Panda has collected a whole bunch of examples proving once and for all that just because something looks fabulous on your computer screen won’t mean that it’s exactly what you’ll get delivered to your home. Scroll down to see the effects of misinformation, scams, and bamboozles. Remember to upvote the most epic fails and if you’re up for it—share your own tales about online shopping disasters in the comment section. We promise we won’t judge. We’ve been there—trust us.

Bored Panda wanted to learn more about avoiding online shopping swindles, so we reached out to the r/Scams subreddit team for their expert guidance. One of the moderators was kind enough to walk us through how shopping scams differ from other scams and how we can stay safe when making purchases on the net. Have a read through all their tips below and be sure to follow the subreddit for other great info on staying safe.

In the mood for some more shopping fails? Check out our earlier lists when you’re done with this one here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

#1

I Ordered A Meditation Book From Amazon And Every Page Just Says "Inhale" And "Exhale"

I Ordered A Meditation Book From Amazon And Every Page Just Says "Inhale" And "Exhale"

artinfinitelove Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

It's not wrong

View More Replies...
View more comments
#2

My “Full Sized” Mjolnir Arrived. I’m Still Happy And I Refused To Let My Moment Be Ruined

My “Full Sized” Mjolnir Arrived. I’m Still Happy And I Refused To Let My Moment Be Ruined

JesseD320 Report

Friday
Community Member
3 months ago

You are worthy

View More Replies...
View more comments
#3

Found This Online Couldn't Resist

Found This Online Couldn't Resist

masadluffy Report

Friday
Community Member
3 months ago

Peepi 😂

View More Replies...
View more comments

If we said that the internet can sometimes seem like an evil den full of liars and con-artists, we’d probably surprise absolutely no one. It’s not all cat pics, wholesome stories, and heartwarming strangers online. Alas! The anonymous nature of the internet means that some people use it to gain others’ trust and scam them out of their money. And online marketplaces are no exception, even if they do have their own safeguards in place.

"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. 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," one of the moderators from the r/Scams subreddit, a community of nearly 256k people, explained to Bored Panda the difference between online shopping scams and other swindles.

#4

Dad Made The Classic Mistake Of Buying Something On Amazon Without Checking It's Size. We Now Have Two 10 Foot Lamps

Dad Made The Classic Mistake Of Buying Something On Amazon Without Checking It's Size. We Now Have Two 10 Foot Lamps

darthvaderislukesdad Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

Those look like outdoor gas heaters... I'd be stoked

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

I Bought Some “Accent” Lashes. They Look So Natural

I Bought Some “Accent” Lashes. They Look So Natural

emilyMartian Report

Something
Community Member
3 months ago

The Charlie Chaplin mustache of lashes.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#6

We Bought A Dog Pool. This Is What Arrived

We Bought A Dog Pool. This Is What Arrived

9CuteCucumber9 Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
3 months ago

Just shrink the dogs too.

View More Replies...
View more comments

"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). 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.

The moderator reiterated what we all know inside that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it really is. "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 told Bored Panda.

"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."

#7

Ordered Online And Was Sent Only One Right Shoe. They “Fixed” The Issue By Sending Me Two More Right Shoes

Ordered Online And Was Sent Only One Right Shoe. They “Fixed” The Issue By Sending Me Two More Right Shoes

BerninatinTheCountry Report

Birgit M
Community Member
3 months ago

All right then!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#8

Furniture For Hobbits

Furniture For Hobbits

Pinky Jones-Pugh Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

That's just sad

View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

I Bought A Cat Tower Online That Turned Out To Be Much Smaller Than Expected. Trevor Is Still Trying To Be Appreciative Tho

I Bought A Cat Tower Online That Turned Out To Be Much Smaller Than Expected. Trevor Is Still Trying To Be Appreciative Tho

SageKitty666 Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
3 months ago

Thanks Trevor.

View more comments

They added that it's the same sort of situation with online rentals. "It is very common for scammers to lift photos and descriptions of houses for sale, mark down the rent as ridiculously cheap, then insist on getting the deposit sent via Western Union or other untraceable means; when it comes time to pick up your keys, the money is gone and there was no rental for you to move into, to begin with."

However, there is a solution to avoiding getting scammed when it comes to online rentals. For one, you can type the address into Google and see if it populates a real estate listing for the actual property for sale. "You may find a real estate listing on MLS, Zillow, or other popular property rental/sale sites. I ran into this recently with a too-good-to-be-true rental, and I was able to report the listing and notify the listing agent that their listing was being used in a scam," the r/Scams mod warned us that they themselves recently countered a scammer.

#10

What I Ordered (Left) vs. What I Got (Right)

What I Ordered (Left) vs. What I Got (Right)

Regiciding Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
3 months ago

Mugception

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

Etsy Shop Sent The Wrong Apron - Now I Have An Apron With This Random Guy's Face

Etsy Shop Sent The Wrong Apron - Now I Have An Apron With This Random Guy's Face

hxcchic22 Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
3 months ago

He looks fun

View more comments
#12

A Mate Of Mine Ordered An Infinity Gauntlet From A Dodgy Website That Only Asked For Postage

A Mate Of Mine Ordered An Infinity Gauntlet From A Dodgy Website That Only Asked For Postage

Got his card cloned, had various credit accounts opened in his name and received this in the post weeks later.

beejaamz Report

Friday
Community Member
3 months ago

He can undo the fraud with one snap

View More Replies...
View more comments

Finally, consider upgrading to a credit card and using it instead of a debit one. "Credit card protections for most cards are much more forgiving than debit cards. You can generally get your money back faster if you were scammed or mislead by a business, versus initiating an investigation through your bank. It is always smarter to pay by credit card (and pay off your balance monthly!)."

#13

Mom Ordered Steps For The Dog. What She Thought She Ordered vs. What She Got

Mom Ordered Steps For The Dog. What She Thought She Ordered vs. What She Got

Brandonfitzy5 Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
3 months ago

Even doggo is disappointed.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#14

This Guy Accidentally Bought An iPhone Shaped Coffee Table Instead Of An iPhone

This Guy Accidentally Bought An iPhone Shaped Coffee Table Instead Of An iPhone

Thomboyepic Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
3 months ago

Can you cut apples on it though?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#15

I Ordered A 6ft Tall Rainbow Tree From A Facebook Ad And This Is What Showed Up. I'm Crying From Laughing So Hard, I've Never Had This Happen In Real Life

I Ordered A 6ft Tall Rainbow Tree From A Facebook Ad And This Is What Showed Up. I'm Crying From Laughing So Hard, I've Never Had This Happen In Real Life

soomanytomatoes Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

It's a rainbow tree

View more comments

At the end of the day, it’s a caveat emptor (“buyer, beware”) kind of world out there and it’s up to the customer to make sure that what they’re buying is legit. The risk is ours to take, unfortunately.

There are some ways to avoid potential shopping scams, however. It takes a bit of time and a bit of research, but it’s better than ordering a smartphone and receiving a brick. The first two rules for any situation, ever, are: if it looks too good to be true it probably is and trust your gut.

#16

So Today I Received My AirPods From Amazon. God These Are Huge

So Today I Received My AirPods From Amazon. God These Are Huge

Al333zay Report

Lorraine Geater
Community Member
3 months ago

Ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!! What/how/where/why??

View More Replies...
View more comments
#17

The One On The Left Is What My Mom Ordered For Our Cats, The Right One Is What Arrived In The Mail

The One On The Left Is What My Mom Ordered For Our Cats, The Right One Is What Arrived In The Mail

jph_awesome Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

I'd return it and complain that it is the wrong colour

View More Replies...
View more comments
#18

What I Ordered vs. What I Got

What I Ordered vs. What I Got

juicyknark Report

Birgit M
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

I can‘t stop laughing!

View More Replies...
View more comments

If you have any suspicions about a product ever—verify, verify, verify. Even if you don’t have any, do a small background check about the company and the seller. One thing to definitely be on the lookout for is weird payment methods like money orders, wire transfers, or pre-loaded money cards. Odds are that if you send your money to an iffy site using these, you’ll end up fleeced.

#19

What We Ordered vs. What We Got (Feat. My Dog)

What We Ordered vs. What We Got (Feat. My Dog)

autistic-screams Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
3 months ago

Hey, a win in my book. You got your dog warm.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#20

Online vs. When It Arrived

Online vs. When It Arrived

Dressie Report

Clearly sunny
Community Member
3 months ago

Her face😂 poor things super unhappy.

View more comments
#21

His XL Crate Arrived From eBay Today

His XL Crate Arrived From eBay Today

so_can_a_calculator Report

Indra Servo
Community Member
3 months ago

for a cat that was XL size

View More Replies...
View more comments

That’s another point, though: avoid dodgy websites that promise luxury products. Do a bit of research about the company. See if things check out or if it’s simply one huge hustle. When in doubt, use verified online marketplaces, like Amazon, eBay, and others. Though, of course, there are some hustlers on there, as well.

#22

My Friend's GF's Dad Sent Them A 4xl Cutting Board For Their Housewarming By Mistake

My Friend's GF's Dad Sent Them A 4xl Cutting Board For Their Housewarming By Mistake

gwackr Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

Why does this exist?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#23

Shopping Online For Coffee Tables And Came Across This Review

Shopping Online For Coffee Tables And Came Across This Review

throwaway----------- Report

Cip IESAN
Community Member
3 months ago

Great! So, it can be easily transported and washed!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#24

Next Level

Next Level

RebeccaKwanga Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
3 months ago

This is borderline scamming. They didn't add the sheet and matress and the colors are wrong.

View More Replies...
View more comments

That’s why it’s a good idea to look at the seller’s history on the site. Take a look at any customer reviews there might be and at the seller’s previous behavior if possible. If something feels off, consider being prudent and finding someone else to purchase the product that you want from.

#25

Misunderstood My Last Amazon Purchase

Misunderstood My Last Amazon Purchase

Jaget23 Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

Now buy a bigger one and you and your toddler will have matching chairs

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#26

We Ordered The Cake On The Left And Received The Cake On The Right. Elmo Has Seen Better Days

We Ordered The Cake On The Left And Received The Cake On The Right. Elmo Has Seen Better Days

jlust24 Report

Cecilia Herrera
Community Member
3 months ago

I doubt that even the Cookie Monster would be tempted to eat that cake on the right.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#27

Friend Bought $600 Apple Watch Off eBay. This Is What Came

Friend Bought $600 Apple Watch Off eBay. This Is What Came

elit3k1ll3r21 Report

Friday
Community Member
3 months ago

Rotten apple

View More Replies...
View more comments

Some other warning signs to keep an eye out for include really low product prices and the use of flowery and over-the-top language meant to highlight just how amazing something is. And, above all else, listen to your gut. Otherwise, you’ll end up sharing your online shopping fails with all the others on the internet.

#28

Pearls Of Wisdom: Be Cautious When Ordering Online

Pearls Of Wisdom: Be Cautious When Ordering Online

cynman Report

Friday
Community Member
3 months ago

Both are awful

View More Replies...
View more comments
#29

What I Ordered vs. What I Got

What I Ordered vs. What I Got

dylanciaga Report

Flowers
Community Member
3 months ago

Whoa! That is one scary Santa!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#30

Ordered A Body Pillow Got A Wrist Rest Instead. I'm About 7.5 Bananas Tall

Ordered A Body Pillow Got A Wrist Rest Instead. I'm About 7.5 Bananas Tall

Frankensteinbatch Report

Aisha La Gatta Pelirroja
Community Member
3 months ago

At least it's still cute.

View more comments
#31

Bought This Beauty During Quarantine For $60. I Was Stoked To Get My Hands On One Since They Were Sold Out Everywhere

Bought This Beauty During Quarantine For $60. I Was Stoked To Get My Hands On One Since They Were Sold Out Everywhere

After a claim several disputes, we got the refund. We had to eat the cost of return shipping.

icy_trees Report

WolfGirl23
Community Member
3 months ago

The first red flag is the pool in the picture is inside

View More Replies...
View more comments
#32

Ordered Some Reclining Camping Chairs Online

Ordered Some Reclining Camping Chairs Online

reddit.com Report

Cip IESAN
Community Member
3 months ago

Definitely the same!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#33

Mother-In-Law Bought My Wife A Cozy Blanket From China. Dog For Scale

Mother-In-Law Bought My Wife A Cozy Blanket From China. Dog For Scale

BuscuitBackstyling Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
3 months ago

Same as the other post, I see?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#34

This Guy Bought A Smartphone Online But Received A Stone

This Guy Bought A Smartphone Online But Received A Stone

samfisher457 Report

Cecilia Herrera
Community Member
3 months ago

I could almost understand if he had received two tin cans and some string, but a rock???!! If only he could use it on that seller / scammer.

View more comments
#35

What Was Ordered vs. What Was Received. Pretty Disappointing

What Was Ordered vs. What Was Received. Pretty Disappointing

SavageJoyMarie1 Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
3 months ago

The second version is still pretty cute tho

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#36

My Dad Bought A Drilling Machine On Wish. This Just Arrived

My Dad Bought A Drilling Machine On Wish. This Just Arrived

flamejonesy Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

Stop buying things from wish... the only thing they are good at is sponsoring the lakers

View More Replies...
View more comments
#37

Turns Out I’m Not Very Good At Online Shopping

Turns Out I’m Not Very Good At Online Shopping

garbagecannot8 Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

This is something that's usually listed in litres or height... they buyer didn't read

View More Replies...
View more comments
#38

After 2 Months Of Waiting, I Finally Got My Mystery Tent Box

After 2 Months Of Waiting, I Finally Got My Mystery Tent Box

nedflandersz Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
3 months ago

It did say mysterious so what did you expect?

View more comments
#39

I Ordered A Rug For The Fireplace

I Ordered A Rug For The Fireplace

Sanniebotje Report

Lorraine Geater
Community Member
3 months ago

Ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! more like some sort of slipper you wear to keep the floor clean!

View more comments
#40

I Ordered Gummy Vitamins On Amazon And Live In Arizona

I Ordered Gummy Vitamins On Amazon And Live In Arizona

DJharris1 Report

engineer_nope.avi
Community Member
3 months ago

Ewwwwwww, how the hell that it melted so fast, even in Arizona heat?

View More Replies...
View more comments

Note: this post originally had 128 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.