133 Times People Ordered Things Online But Received Something So Awful, They Just Had To Share (New Pics)

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 Found This Online Couldn't Resist

Image credits: masadluffy

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

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#3 We Bought A Dog Pool. This Is What Arrived

Image credits: 9CuteCucumber9

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 Ordered The Robe You Wear When The Police Comes To Tell You Your Millionaire Husband Died In Suspicious Circumstances

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#5 How Does This Happen

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

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

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

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

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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 Furniture For Hobbits

Image credits: Pinky Jones-Pugh

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

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#12 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

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

Image credits: darthvaderislukesdad

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

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#15 Online vs. When It Arrived

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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 This Guy Bought A Smartphone Online But Received A Stone

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#17 Another Wish Gem. Friend Posted What She’s Got. She’s Super Pissed But I Would Be Dying Laughing

Image credits: Brodins_biceps

#18 I Ordered A Karambit Online And This Is What I Got

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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 I Ordered Gummy Vitamins On Amazon And Live In Arizona

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

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#21 His XL Crate Arrived From eBay Today

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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 Turns Out I’m Not Very Good At Online Shopping

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

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#24 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.

Image credits: beejaamz

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 Ordered A Pickle Rick Pipe Off Wish.com

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#26 Misunderstood My Last Amazon Purchase

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#27 Next Level

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

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#29 What I Ordered vs. What I Got

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

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#31 I Was Sent 75 Pounds Of Lube Today Instead Of The Meal Kit I Ordered

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

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#33 What I Ordered vs. What I Received

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#34 Ordered Size 8 Men's Shoes And Got This

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

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#36 My Dad's Experience Buying "Litter Pickers In Bulk" On The "World Wide Web"

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#37 Disco Pants From Amazon

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#38 Pearls Of Wisdom: Be Cautious When Ordering Online

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#39 Ordered Some Reclining Camping Chairs Online

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#40 What I Bought From Aliexpres vs. What I Got

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#41 Never Trust Facebook Ads. What We Ordered vs. What Arrived

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#42 I Bought This From The Official Website Too

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

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

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#45 Thought I Ordered A Decent Sized Rug Off eBay And This Bloody Turns Up

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#46 Ordered A PS5 Controller Off eBay, Wtf Is This

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

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

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#49 What I Ordered vs. What I Got

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#50 Buddy From Work Got A Great Deal On A Vise Online The Other Day, It Came In Today

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#51 Aliexpress Is Awesome

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#52 Pretty Mild, But Still Frustrating

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

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#54 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.

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#55 Self-Explanatory. I Mean Wtf

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#56 Always Double-Check The Dimensions When You Order Something Online

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#57 Finally Caved And Bought The Kids A Box Of 60 Oreo Packs Through Amazon. Today It Arrived And This Is What We Got

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#58 The Ice Cream Cake I Ordered For Valentine’s Day Said “I Love You” But Some Of The Letters Fell Off During Transit

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#59 Pre-Ordered The Game 2 Years Ago

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

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#61 Expectation vs. Reality. Ordered Off Of Facebook For My Friend

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#62 These Shorts My Friend Ordered From An Instagram Ad. Just A Little Bit Different From The Advertisement

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#63 Never Order Off A Facebook Ad. Seems Sus

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#64 Boo Ordered An Inflatable Fishing Boat

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#65 Wish.com vs. Reality

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#66 The Amount Of Carrots Included In My Subscription Meal Kit

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#67 This $40 Doll That My Mother Got Online

Expectation vs. Reality. Do not purchase from phoebetoy.com. Buyer beware!

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#68 Can't Quite Believe My Eyes

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#69 Maybe I Just Need To Water It And It'll Grow?

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#70 So I Went And Bought This

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#71 Scored A Sweet Pair Of Jeans Off eBay At A Steal Of A Price. Just Found Out Why

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#72 Bought A Dog Pool Online. Dimensions Didn’t Quite Check Out. Petey For Scale

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#73 But The Vibes Are Still Good, Right?

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#74 Buying Clothing Online From China

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#75 Ordered A Halloween Mask And This Is What I Received

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#76 My Friend Ordered A Baby Yoda (Grogu) This Is What They Got

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#77 BF Didn't Read The Clamp Size Carefully Before Ordering Online

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#78 Seller Pictures vs. Reviewer Pictures On Wish

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#79 What I Ordered And What I Got

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#80 What My Mom Ordered My Wife For Christmas vs. What Arrived

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#81 Nephew's Mom Ordered A Baby Grinch Off Amazon And Well

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#82 Mom Bought A Frying Pan On Amazon. I Wasn't Disappointed

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#83 What I Thought I Was Ordering vs. What I Received

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#84 These Sunglasses I Ordered

#85 My Girlfriend Ordered Me A Back Scratcher, What Came Was Comical

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#86 My “Bounty” Paper Towels Finally Showed Up That I Ordered At The Beginning Of Quarantine In March For 45 Bucks Before Shipping

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#87 What I Ordered vs. What I Got From Wish Yesterday - Apparently The Store May Have Encountered A Fulfillment Issue

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#88 The USB Cable I Ordered Arrived Today

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#89 Amazon Shoe Order. Different Colors, Different Texture And Two Left Feet

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#90 What Is Advertised vs. What I Got

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#91 I Ordered A 40$ USD Rgb Gaming Mouse Pad And Got This

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#92 Don’t Buy Mayo Online

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#93 I Bought A Game-Worn Muggsy Bogues Jersey

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#94 My Dad Made The Classic Mistake Of Buying Something On Amazon Without Checking The Dimensions

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#95 We’ve Warned Mom About Buying Items From Facebook Ads And This Is By Far The Worst Outcome. Not Even Big Enough For My Cats To Enjoy (Hand For Scale)

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#96 I Ordered A Rug For The Fireplace

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#97 Ordering Paper Towels From Some Random Website

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#98 A 2020 Version Of The Candle I Ordered

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#99 My Mom Ordered My Sister A “Realistic” Baby Grinch For Xmas

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#100 What Was Ordered vs. What Was Received. Pretty Disappointing

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#101 "Big Tongue Sleeping Pad" Gengar. My Boyfriend's Favorite Pokemon Is Gengar So I Ordered This, Because It Was The Biggest Gengar I Could Find. When It Arrived It Was... Well, Not As Advertised

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#102 The Two Images On The Left Are What I Ordered. Cup Holder, Phone Holder And Other Cool Features. What I Got Is On The Right. Last Time I Order From An Instagram Ad

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#103 When Ordering Flowers For A Special Occasion Make Sure To Go With A Local Florist. Not To Name Any Names, But Avoid Things Like 1-800-Flowers. This Cost Over $100

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#104 My Mom Ordered A 6 Ft Pre-Lit, Flocked Christmas Tree. What She Got

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#105 What I Ordered vs. What I Got, I Can't Stop Laughing

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#106 This Was An Expensive Cake, Ordered By A Friend Of My Sister-In-Law

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#107 What I Ordered vs. What I Received

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#108 What Was Expected vs. What They Got. Wish For The Win!

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#109 Ordered A Cute Suncatcher. Received This Instead

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#110 Ordered Four “Online Exclusive” Ceramic Tiles From Lowe’s (They Were Not Available In Stores). They Arrived Today. All Four Were Smashed To Pieces

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#111 When You Order A Ppe Kit Online But They Send You A Bee Keeper's Suit

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#112 Hot Sauce I Ordered Showed Up Today

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#113 Ordered A Sink Rack For $30. Delayed 3 Months For Covid Delay. Came In Today. Fits A Whole Bar Of Soap If You Can Believe It

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#114 This Iron Man Blow Up Toy

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#115 Saw This On Aliexpress (Fixed)

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#116 Ordered An Ornament That Was Described As Ceramic In The Description (Top Pic) What I Got Was The Other 2 Pics

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#117 The Cloud Lamp I Ordered vs. What I Received

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#118 Ordered A Blanket With Photos Of Our Deceased Dog For Christmas. Received A Very Nice Blanket - With Someone Else's Dog In It

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#119 I Ordered 10m Of Wallpaper Online And Received Ten 1m Rolls

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#120 You Guys, What My Friend Ordered vs. What She Got

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#121 What I Ordered vs. What I Got. Be Careful What You Order Online

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#122 Shopping Online For Coffee Tables And Came Across This Review

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#123 Ordered Upholstery Nails And Received Something Slightly Different. But Do You Think This Will Effectively Bring Out My Thunder?

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#124 These Body Scrub My Mom Ordered

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#125 Ordered This Mask Online. Ad vs. What I Received

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#126 Mil Ordered From A Dodgy Website Showcasing Realistic Puppy Toys. Right Is What Arrived

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#127 This Will Teach Me To Trust Buying Shoes Online From New Websites

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#128 My Fiance Tried To Have Our Groceries Delivered Today. She Wanted Five Bananas But Somehow The Woman Misunderstood And Bought Thirteen Pounds Of Bananas

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#129 “This Custom Furniture Piece Will Be Made To Order Just For You”

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#130 Cake That We Ordered From Fred Meyer vs. What They Made

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#131 I Ordered These Beautiful Knit Gloves For My Daughter

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#132 Waited 9 Months For This Custom Bird House

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#133 Expectations vs. Reality

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