There are roughly 7.8 billion people in the world – and according to website Statista, in 2019 nearly 2 billion of them bought something online. Chances are, you’re one of those digital shoppers, and you love the convenience of having a coveted item land on your doorstep after a few clicks. But not all online shopping trips end in success. Take these 40 fails as a warning: sometimes, what you get will be terribly different from what you expected, and all you can do is laugh…
40. Itty bitty backpack
According to the Twitter user who purchased this backpack from Amazon, it came with a special treat – a lollipop. It ended up being a handy tool in showing the scale of the bag online. Clearly, if intended as a schoolbag it would only be good for, say, sneaking sweets into class – not a single book would fit inside.
39. XXL fail
Twitter user Joel Rheinberger shared his online shopping fail in September 2018. He explained, “I bought an XXL – one size larger than my usual shirts.” But what he got wasn’t a roomier fit than what he wore most days. Instead, he wrote, “What arrived was made for an extra-large smurf.”
38. “I don’t”
Every bride wants a gown that subtly highlights her best assets. The original photos of this dress made it out to be the best of both worlds: ethereal, yet flattering. And yet, what arrived didn’t quite come with that same nuance. The garment’s sledgehammer approach to maintaining modesty ensured this bride would definitely be blushing, because the styling made it very clear where onlookers should – or rather, shouldn’t – be focusing their gazes.
It’s not uncommon for an online seller to share a photo of their artwork hanging on a wall, just to give an idea of the size and scale of the piece. Perhaps that’s why Twitter user Cat Selzner didn’t think twice about buying this photo for her office. Turns out, though, what was on offer was a picture of a picture – a photo of the artwork hanging somewhere else. Yikes.
36. A-dress-ing the problem
Amazon sells everything, right down to the basics you wear daily. Perhaps that’s why this guy decided to buy a new undershirt from the retail giant. And yet, the online store managed to misrepresent the item he purchased: the tank top fit him more like a going-out dress.
35. Tipping the scales
Everyone has their own approach when it comes to keeping an eye on their health. If you’re the type of person to weigh yourself on bathroom scales, then consider this image a warning. Be sure to check the dimensions of the product you buy, or else you might end up with a very miniature – not to mention unusable – version of the implement you need.
34. Baby steps
Sometimes, online shopping fails occur because the seller misrepresents the item they have on offer. And then, there are the times that the customer fails to look closely enough at what they’re throwing into their virtual cart. The latter happened to Twitter user Kaela Pennington, who wrote, “I got baby feet, but I think I ordered the wrong size 2.” She, of course, ended up with an infant-sized pair of Converse.
33. Vow to return these
In her song “Single Ladies” Beyoncé famously suggests, “If you liked it then you should’ve put a ring on it.” She should add another caveat to that piece of advice – be sure to check the ring’s size before you order anything online. Otherwise, you might end up with a speck of a wedding band, like this digital shopper.
32. Tweeze check the dimensions again
There are some products that have universal sizing. And you’d think that tweezers would fall into that category – but this photo should make you think twice about throwing any old pair into your online cart. This perplexed purchaser advised via Twitter, “Tried to buy new tweezers on Amazon. I should’ve checked the size. I think I accidentally ordered medical equipment.”
31. Floored by a purchase
Sometimes, you don’t even have to open an online order to know that it’s the wrong size. That’s what happened to Twitter user Ed James, who purchased a rug online. When the giant roll arrived, he instantly knew that the mat was “far too big for the flat.”
30. Online hopping fail
On first glance, this pair of sneakers seems to be fine – a high-quality brand and in good condition, too. But the buyer would only be able to wear 50 percent of their order at a time. That’s because both of the shoes are for left feet, thus presumably leaving this online purchaser hopping mad.
29. Not much on the surface
Need a small desk? You might not want to order it online. Elle magazine shared the photo of an employee’s #onlineshoppingfail to their Twitter in 2014, laughing about how she was “starting the new year with a new desk.” We imagine she had to try again with something a little taller. And, for that matter, wider too.
28. Puffy and petite
The woman who ordered this bright pink sweater online expected something a bit more subtle than what she got. Sure, the color matched up, she wrote. But the wildly puffy sleeves? Those weren’t in the picture. To us, the knitwear on the left looks way smaller than the grown-up version on the right, too. The buyer concluded her Twitter post by writing, “Needless to say, I’ve already packed it up to return.”
27. Something to wine about
When it comes to bottles of wine, an old adage comes to mind: the bigger, the better. The merchant who sold this tiny treat must not have got that memo. Obviously, the buyer took to Twitter to laugh about the hand-sized libation they received in the mail. They said it was “a little smaller than expected.” No kidding!
26. Printed without care
If you want to make a statement with a throw blanket, then you’ll choose something brightly colored or boldly patterned – or both. Obviously, the buyer here didn’t want to do that, considering they chose a textile in muted colors and a fine, subtly styled print. And yet…
25. Platform pitfall
Even if you know your shoe size, it can be tough to order shoes online. Perhaps the pair you buy runs narrow or wide, making them uncomfortable on your feet. Or maybe they arrive with ridiculously small child-sized soles glued on to the uppers, rendering it impossible for you to, you know, walk in your shoes. Hopefully these came with a return shipping label.
24. An understated print
Koalas munching on a zombie? That’s a T-shirt design that demands to be seen by the world. And the advertised garment did, indeed, have it magnified widely enough for everyone to see every last detail. So, the guy who ordered this top had to be disappointed when it came in the mail and, well, he could barely see the design at all.
23. Not at all worth the wait
In most cases, there’s a silver lining to online shopping fails – at least the faulty product arrives quickly, and the disappointment fades just as fast as you pop the return into the mail. Now, imagine waiting six months for an out-of-stock product to appear on your doorstep and, when it does, it looks like this. Ouch.
22. Dinosaur point
Another day, another confusing product photo on Amazon. This time, we have what appears to be a plush dinosaur with a child cuddling for it for scale. Nope – the product is actually a pillowcase with a picture of that little boy and his prehistoric pillow pal. We’ll pass on that.
21. Mug shrug
Based on the image on the left, the buyer of this mug had to be expecting that it would light up when filled with a hot beverage – and that’s a cute concept. What isn’t as adorable is a cup with a picture of another pair of mugs on the front of it, neither of which change colors when filled with something steaming.
20. Boho no-no
Who wouldn’t want a chain of realistic-looking roses trailing through their room? The person who bought them certainly did – and was disappointed with the very fake-looking flowers they got instead. As they put it on Reddit, “Thanks Amazon. I was going for ‘boho chic,’ but you gave me ‘tacky brothel.’”
19. An ad that needs tailoring
Ordering jeans online should be pretty straightforward if you know your waist size and leg length. And yet, when Twitter user George Riggall did everything right, he still got a comically long pair of pants. He tweeted, “Pretty sure these aren’t 32-inch length,” complete with a perplexed thinking-face emoji at the end of his sentence. It’s how we all feel looking at this photo!
18. Can’t mask this one
The image provided of this face mask made it look like the perfect extension of a woman’s face, even if she had to cover it up mid-pandemic. Of course, what arrived didn’t come close to suiting the wearer. Instead, it gave her extremely exaggerated features and pretty much negated the point of wearing a skin-colored mask altogether.
17. Bearing your legs
A giant teddy bear sounds like a sweet, cuddly addition to any child’s room. But if that stuffed animal has the proportions of a human being, well, a lot of the cuteness disappears. Just take this creepy, long-legged plush pet as an example. It looks like a person’s sitting in a bear costume – and, might we add, it looks nothing like the toy advertised initially.
16. Big Yeezy sale
A collaboration between rapper Kanye West and Adidas resulted in shoes known as Yeezys – and fans clamoring to get their hands on a pair. Now, if you find a big Yeezy sale, you might think you’ve beaten the rush and got your hands on a bargain pair of the high-cost footwear. But keep this guy in mind, who thought he had the same deal and instead ended up with what appears to be a Yeezy costume and not a wearable shoe. Thanks, eBay.
15. Big rug reductions!
Let’s say you’re in search of a new rug for your bedroom, and you find something that’s both beautiful and cheap. You could be very lucky – but you might also be looking at a product with a catch. In the case of this online shopping fail, the seller forgot to mention the dimensions of the carpet on offer. Needless to say, it did not fit well into his bedroom.
14. When you see it…
At first glance, the product on the right looks as promised on the left. But the sleuthing shopper who received this sweatshirt soon realized that they had been duped. They explained via Reddit, “Ordered a Champion sweatshirt on eBay. Received a Hanes sweatshirt with a Champion logo glued on.” Now that’s not a winning combination.
13. How dusty is your house?
Perhaps someone out there needs a dustpan this large to aid them in cleaning their house. In most abodes, though, the standard-sized receptacle would be more than enough to gather household debris. Still, this extra-large piece of equipment begs the question – is there a broom big enough to go with it?
12. Felt a bit creepy
Having crafted toys delivered to your doorstep? Sounds fabulous. Unfortunately, though, such projects can result in a shopping fail if the final project doesn’t look as promised online. Take this felt fox as a particularly creepy example, then think twice about where you buy your pretend animals from now on.
The pair of boots pictured on the left are built for Motocross, off-roading and quad-riding – and they come with a hefty price tag to match their durability. Now, imagine expecting footwear like that in the mail and receiving… an embellished pair of galoshes. That’s what happened here, yet another example of an online shopping fail.
10. Tying up loose ends
Gathering under a blanket for a cozy night in? That’s what winter is all about. Imagine how excited you’d be, then, to have a chunky knit throw to get you through the coldest season. And then, think about how it’d feel to get a pile of yarn sent to you instead. At least the Redditor who experienced this had a good sense of humor about it. They wrote, “I couldn’t stop laughing when my blanket finally arrived!”
9. Dog tired of shopping fails
It’s one thing for an online retailer to mess up a purchase for you, but for your dog? That’s a step too far. This so-called extra-large dog pool is a particularly upsetting error on the part of the seller. Maybe a single puppy could fit inside for a dip – maybe. Talk about being sold a pup.
8. Let’s face it – this is terrifying
Personalized gifts tend to be even more special for the recipient – that is, unless they fall into the “online shopping fail” category. One Redditor tried to be sweet in purchasing this pillow of himself for his girlfriend before she went off to college. But, as he put it, the plan “didn’t work out as I’d hoped.”
7. Good in-tent-ions
The guy who bought this comically small tent thought that it was big enough for two. Turns out, it was – but for a pair of children only. Still, he shared via Imgur, he brought the tent to a festival with him anyway and even squeezed himself in. No word on whether he slept in there, though.
6. Feline uncomfortable
The person who purchased this crocheted crop top wrote that it was too small for their 16-year-old daughter to wear. So, they slipped it onto the cat to show just how tiny the garment was in real life. And, as it turns out, the feline had no desire to wear the top, either. In conclusion, the reviewer wrote, “In summary, do not buy this, even for your cat.”
5. A single sprout
Even online grocery shopping orders are subject to fails, you know. The person behind this mistake took to Instagram to explain how she ended up with a single sprout, rather than a bundle of them. She wrote, “Thought I’d ordered one bag of brussel sprouts. Nope. Just the one. All by itself with its very own sticker.”
4. Superhero? More like super-terrifying
Sometimes, you can craft a Halloween costume on your own. In other cases, though, it’s more convenient – and more accurate – to purchase a ready-made one. Beware if you choose the latter course and buy online, though. You might get something hilariously weird, like this Redditor’s friend did.
3. Can’t patch this one up
Believe in aliens? That’s great – just don’t shop online for a patch to commemorate your E.T. fandom. Just look what happened to this digital buyer, who purchased a piece that said, “I want to believe.” When they received the sew-on accessory, well… it expressed an entirely different sentiment about our planet, saying, “I want to leave.” No matter how relatable that may feel these days, it’s not quite what the customer ordered.
2. Half off your next spa day
Sheet masks are all the rage for at-home pamperers – and you probably wouldn’t think twice about sizing if you picked one up yourself. Just be sure you know what you’re buying if you purchase one online, though. You might end up with one that covers only a portion of your face, as this woman did.
1. Clearly not comfy
Ordering furniture online may require you to take a few measurements. However, something like a dining chair typically comes with standard sizing. Perhaps that’s why this Twitter user didn’t think twice about ordering a clear seat for her bedroom. But, when it arrived, she realized it was not the right size for any adult – or human being, for that matter. It’d be much better suited for a very chic dollhouse.