Friday, December 12, 2008

I thought it was bigger...

Have you ever noticed how things in ads or catalogs or menus always looks different than in person? We once ordered a dessert that was roughly the size of Texas. We ordered three of them and ended up taking two home. That was for nine people. Ridiculous.

How about things from those mail-order catalogs? I quit ordering stuff when I opened a bag of felt pieces for vacation bible school and found that the biggest piece was less than an inch. Since I was planning a craft for four year olds... well, let's just say that I found something else for them to do.

Naturally, merchants want to show their merchandise in the most attractive fashion, but it seems to me that they could find some way to make the size clear. Why not put something of a known size next to it, like the archeologists do in their photos? You know--place a small ruler next to the item. That way, people would have a realistic idea about the size.

I swear that some of the most creative writing in the world is done for catalog descriptions. I sometimes wonder if the writers ever have the opportunity to see and touch the items that they're describing. Or does someone tell them to mention that the sweater is warm and sensual...

I really try not to buy anything over the internet or through the mail unless I've seen it in person or even held it in my hands. I recently bought a psaltery right before my vacation. Fortunately, it arrived in time for me to take it along on my trip. My father loved it, but he was pretty concerned when he found out I'd bought it over the internet. "How did you know it would be this beautiful?"

I explained that I had not only seen one in person, but even tried playing it. In addition, I spoke to the owners of the company and discussed my reservations with them. That's the way to buy over the internet. Check it out first.

That's what I did with my Sony digital reader. I wanted to see it, hold it in my hand, try it out before spending $350 for my new electronic toy. A lot of people think that's quite a bit of money. It most certainly is! So why would I spend that much without making certain it was something I really wanted? I waited until I found a store that sold them and then I bought it there.

What do you think? How do you determine that an item is really the size you need it to be?


Yay!!! Today Magnolia--Book Four of the Flowers of Camelot is released from Ellora's Cave! It's Yule time in Avalon.


  1. I seldom try out anything before I buy it online -- and I do almost all my shopping online. The only thing I don't buy online is shoes. If I can, I try them on in a store then I may buy them at, but usually I buy shoes in a store.

    Any computer stuff I buy online (and I shop exclusively online for technology like computers, PDAs, Ipods, etc.) always has detailed technical specs, which I can interpret. I know not all people can understand the jargon, but I'm in IT, so it's easy for me to understand.

    I got my Kindle as a gift, but prior to that I bought ebook readers on Ebay and at Ebookwise. They weren't quite what I wanted, but I used them for years until I got the Kindle.

    Ditto the Asus netbook I use. I went through a few laptops and finally settled on it. Haven't been disappointed yet. I didn't try one until mine arrived in the mail from, but it's been great. Could it be improved? Yep. But for what I paid and the convenience of purchase, it's great.

    Have I ever been disappointed? Yes, in one purse I got at It's an Anushka bag, and I thought it was wider than it is. I could have returned it, but I decided it presented me an opportunity to weed out my purse.

    I also misunderstood the measurements on a suitcase I got on Again: I could have returned it, but the bag is so big, my spouse and I can use it and pay for one bag on any trips, so it'll be useful, albeit used seldom.

    I'm not profligate with money, but I don't concern myself overly if I buy something and it doesn't work out. If it's inexpensive and I try it and it doesn't work, I give it to charity and if it's expensive, I find a way to make it work. I dislike shopping so it's worth the gamble to me.

  2. I hate buying clothes online or from catalogues; I prefer to try them on first. But I've been lucky with my coat and choice picks from Lands End. No need to send anything back because it doesn't fit:)

    Happy Release Day, Anny! Heading over to get it right now:)

  3. Happy Release Day, hon. This is a great book! I love it.

    Never forget going to a place in NYC that specialized in NY style cheesecake. Everyone in our group got a piece and they were HUGE. Well, huh, we should've known since the price was $15. Will never forget the restaurant saying, if you were sharing with another person add $6 to the price. YEEESH.

  4. For items that are not perishable I'll go to the store look at the item, check out the sizing and such, then find a better price for the exact model and make. Usually no tax or shipping when making purchases on the internet.

  5. I like to check things out in person also. That way I know what I am after before I get it. I do shop on the internet but I know what I am after before I do that. Larena

  6. Happy Release Day, Anny. I've given up buying clothes from internet sites. They look so beautiful and perfect, when the reality is that their size medium would fit my 12 year old neice.

    I am a visual shopper, even for lotion and candles, I have to go to the store and check out the fragrance in person before I will take a chance on an online order.

    I've learned to just keep my online purchasing to books and music. Just can't beat the convenience of a hot off the press book arriving on my doorstep the day after it releases.

  7. I really don't buy anything on-line, I have a very paranoid hubby unless that's the only place we can get a certain item needed.

    Mostly I rather just go to the store, look at it, look at the contents (if I can) to see if it's really what I need.

  8. I'm always leery of buying clothing sight unseen. Actually I even like to see things where the size doesn't matter (like books--silly, huh?) If possible, I try to find a way to see it in person, but sometimes that isn't possible and shopping becomes a leap of faith! That, and I check the return policy! ;)

    Congrats on Magnolia!

  9. Happy Release Day, Anny! Can't wait to read Magnolia.

    We do a lot of shopping on-line, but we're careful. Being able to get weird, imported CD's from Amazon for G and T? Priceless.

  10. I do buy things via the internet, but they're things I've already researched. I buy some clothes but I've been buying stuff from the same company for years. I always make sure I can return stuff if it doesn't fit.

    I have to say that burgers always look yummy when I see them on TV, but never look the same when I buy them instore.

    Happy release day. Here's wishing you loads of sales. :)

  11. Happy to have another flower in the collection. Congrats.