I don’t generally consider myself any more intelligent or knowledgeable than the average person I pass on the street. So it always throws me off when I discover that something I know isn’t common knowledge. But it seems I am discovering more and more that I was a friendless nerd growing up, and I sought the company of random and seldom useful data on the Internet more than that of my peers.
In any matter, I always feel morally…maybe civically obligated to share these things. So on that note, my cousin texted me.
My family is going on a trip next month, and she sent me this picture of the outfit she was getting. It’s cute, and she said our other cousin ordered one too, and it might be fun if we all matched. She sent me a link to the site. She didn’t give me a direct link to the outfit for sale, only the home page. So I had to wander through the whole site to find this piece. And the more pages I clicked, the more I scrolled through, the more confidence I lost in this clothing company.
“Have you bought things from this site before,” I asked my cousin.
“No, but it seems pretty legit. I found it on Pinterest!”
Where do I begin? Well first off, I became initially skeptical because, as I started clicking on items, all of the pictures on the description page were blurry. How can you sell something as visual as fashion, and not feature clear imaging of what you’re selling? Every item for sale.Then… well, let me just show you a few photos.
We have what looks like a professional fashion shoot photo, a kind of sexual photo of some oompa loompa tanned blonde chick, and a… a sweater. Just a sweater, chilling by itself.
How the feezy do these three pictures come from the same source? I’m supposed to believe that this is a reputable business? A business who posts bathroom selfies of garments for sale and believes that’s viable marketing? Surely we have not gotten that bad as a society yet. I mean, I know we’re close, but we can’t be there yet.
This was the point in time that I texted my cousin back and asked if she had purchased clothes from this site before. And she said no, but the photo of the outfit she bought was on Pinterest.
Because if it’s on the Internet, it must be legit, right?
Pinterest is a great website. You make a profile, and you can create pinboards to post your interests and catagorize them. It’s aesthetically nice, as you just endlessly scroll through nice pictures from other users that you follow, and repin what you like. You can add the Pinterest widget to your browser so if you like a picture from anywhere on the Net, you can immediately pin it to one of your boards on the platform. And the cool thing is, each pinned picture is actually a saved hyperlink to the webpage it originated from. That’s why it’s so great for the crafty among us. Recipes, needlework patterns, shopping, fitness routines, beauty how-tos, whatever! You can go back to them whenever you want by just clicking your pin later on.
How could you tell I’ve been a member of Pinterest since it began, back when you needed to be invited and only considered to join after a social media background check?
So why is “I got it from Pinterest,” then, not a legitimate excuse to purchase anything online?
Because Pinterest, while it likes to act as though it is more sophisticated and classy than other websites, gets its content from us. Just like every other social media platform.
And we, as the mass populace, don’t do things right, and have the collective intelligence level: stupid.
That will always be the downfall of social media. The users generate the content, and people are generally morons. Pinterest worked hard for years to screen their members and educate its users of plagiarism, copyright, and sourcing, and of course people still pinned images from Google, or didn’t cite sources of content, or didn’t question the validity of the sites they visited for these pins. And over time, when it comes to buying things and using Pinterest to find what you want, the site has effectively become the Wikipedia of eCommerce. Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean it’s true.
Now then, so far we have a sketchy source, an even sketchier display of product, and I’m still ranting, so what else is wrong? Well with all of those red flags, I decided to research reviews of the website.
But let me stop being mean. There are some positive reviews…
…in broken English.
It is with the legitimacy and trustings. I am the convinced.
I digress. Anyways, it took me a whole two minutes to find all of this information. It’s so easy to look things up online that it pains me to discover that people just don’t. Or don’t even think to, or find something off about these Chinese discount fashion websites. I feel like getting sucked into these things is today’s equivalent of getting conned by Nigerian princes emailing you for help. You should know better.
I mean, you can go ahead and take your chances. I’ve purchased plenty of things from Chinese sellers that seemed too good to be true. But I at least knew I was taking a risk, and that the best case scenario is generally that I get something of okay to low quality, maybe on time. Anyone buying things with the highest expectations, because they saw it on Pinterest, kinda deserves the L.
UPDATE: Luckily, my cousins did in fact receive their packages in time for our trip to Cuba. I’d consider them some of the few success stories, so huzzah. I instead, opted to have my aunt make me a similar cover up so I could kinda still join my cousins in the whole matching thing. It came out amazing.
Handmade wrap skirt, courtesy of @2ChicDesigns!
TL;DR: Word to the wise, check the legitimacy of online shopping sites before you throw your money at them. And no, don’t take your inquiry to Pinterest. Hopefully happy online shopping to you all.