The first question is—have you ever experienced a buyer’s remorse? Then the second question is—have you ever felt disgusted or dirty from buying something?? Now before you think I’m exaggerating things, nope I’m not. It’s hard to admit at first, I struggled to acknowledge it (to say it out; to put it in words). It’s that feeling when you are disappointed with yourself…
I tend to get disappointed with myself. I’m kind of used to it at this point. When things went wrong, I find faults in myself first. Because I know if I can become better at it then maybe next time, I can avoid failure altogether. Ha! And then you realized the only way to feel better IS to SAY it out loud—to another person! To admit that you’ve failed.
You see…almost everyone has this remote control situation where you know, you have a couple of them and they’re just lying around, literally. We have this piece of marble slab on our coffee table but I want a solution that can “hide” my controllers. Above image was taken like the first week after we moved in. I told Jim this “you know those things like a book but it’s bogus and there’s storage space inside” (yes I used the word bogus). He was like yeah I know whatcha talking about. Fast forward five months later, just yesterday we happened to chance upon this exact bogus thing. There was only one (mistake number one), it was on display together with sofas that I wouldn’t buy (warning sign??). The price tag was $15 (roughly $10 USD). Take this Wikipedia explanation on Buyer’s Remorse –
In the phase before purchasing, a prospective buyer often feels positive emotions associated with a purchase (desire, a sense of heightened possibilities, and an anticipation of the enjoyment that will accompany using the product, for example); afterwards, having made the purchase, they are more fully able to experience the negative aspects… – continue reading
I was overly excited (kind of giddy) before I paid the item over the counter and was delighted that it’s on 50% discount (GIANT RED FLAG??!). I gladly paid for the item in cash and couldn’t wait to see it in my home. Then it was this (on our coffee table) –
Searching on Amazon, a bunch of results came up for “faux book box”. My husband assured me it looked okay. Deep in my heart, I know it’s not.
There seemed to be better designs (who am I kidding?) on Amazon (“I would have preferred a plain cover”, I said to him). I knew I didn’t like the cover of the box but yet I chose to buy it and this cover will be the one image I would have to look at everyday, every night, every time I’m sitting on my sofa. Maybe even in my dreams. No, just no. Oh, and I also tried the trick of standing from a distance so that the cover might be less disturbing to me. It didn’t work. “Stop thinking about it and go take a shower”, so I was told.
That sunken feeling accompanied me in the bathroom. I tried…I tried to find reasons and ways (telling myself maybe it will grow on me. What??). At this point it became ridiculous, the joy of me gotten something I always wanted for only 8 bucks is no longer there. In fact, I questioned myself why was I so blind? Okay, lemme just tell you from a designer standpoint, no way this box is going to work in my home. The box itself is not half as bad as what I’ve told you (except that I kept thinking that it’s dirty and it smells, jeez). My husband can tell you that it does not smell and I’ve cleaned it meticulously with wipes (inside and outside) before even placing it on my coffee table. These are my conclusions –
The design on the box cover is too “ornate” for our Modern Contemporary home. I am a Minimalist and always prefers the less is more look for my home (although I love Traditional designs as well when it reflects the homeowner’s style!). I have personal problem with second hand items (this one I cannot be 100% sure). My white wipes turned yellow (all three of them) from cleaning the box, I think this is the biggest reason why I feel that it’s dirty and it smells. Also after I told Jim that “I don’t want to ever see this box again in my home” (actual words), I handled the box (trying to dump it in the storage room) and thought that it felt really sticky (strangely, now recalling I can almost feel that stickiness on my hands again). I actually washed my hands three times with soap after I’m done with the box. (And I do admit I used to have OCD, would you like to hear this story? Perhaps I should tell it next time.) Oh, and Prestige Affairs is selling this faux book box thingy for $99 (original price $129).
However, this is not the same with hand me down, vintage items and furniture, you see…most of them are actually made of quality wood and/or with great craftsmanship or at the very least has sentimental values. Unlike, well…the-box-that-I-do-not-want-to-see-again (yes, I’m a Harry Potter fan). This is my most recent designer fail moment. It went to the extent that I felt the box cheapened the rest of my furniture (strong words I know). If you wanna know, our Arco lamp IS a replica but it has a real marble base, our coffee table is made of real wood (we got it from Crate & Barrel). We really like sturdier furniture even though my current desk (I think it’s a Korean brand) is made of wood veneer, we got it for $65 during sales (original price $100 something). Jim said he might be able to DIY to make the box look better but he might end up spending more than $8, he’s been warned (and he agrees with me).
I actually had an actual designer fail moment when I purchased three rugs for our new home (prior to moving in). Without seeing the actual rug and without feeling its quality, I bought them online. The left image was the night we unrolled the rugs and instantly we inhaled a foul stench. The anti-slip mat (which you have to pay for!!) came with a stench that reminds you of urine. In the end, the mats does not matter.
The delivery also came late even though I paid for everything weeks before my requested delivery date. Granted they did not promised that it will be delivered on the requested day (red flag!) but they assured me that this isn’t their first time handling a request like mine. I paid for a shag rug for our living room and they told me a glitch in their system listed it as available when it was actually out of stock. I didn’t like any of the replacements even though they were okay that it’s okay to choose one that is $200 above what I’ve paid. I told them to use the next three weeks to order the shag rug for me and they gave me their words! They had weeks to inform me but chose to tell me one week before delivery date that it’s out of stock (like forever-out-of-stock). You can be sure that at this point, I wasn’t happy at all (where am I gonna find a rug within a week?!) and it’s always the most hectic following up to the actual move-in day.
It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we decided to go to our local Crate & Barrel (which we bought several furniture and many items such as dinnerware, all scheduled to be delivered). We told them our problem and the salesperson tried his best to arrange for short notice delivery of the rug (THANK YOU!). It came together for us but after the sofa had been set in place. It was late at night, the two of us (Jim and I) lifted the sofa in order to place the rug (the sofa was heavy to say the least, later we found out Jim hurt his back because of this).
We could not lift our king bed to place the rug for our bedroom (of course not unless I have superpowers), 6 months later our master bedroom is still rug-less. Naturally I wrote emails to them about my awful experience with their rugs. The only rug we kept and used for one month was the round white rug which used to be in Noah’s room. But then he was diagnosed with mites during his first visit to the vet. We are not 100% sure how he got mites but we didn’t even want to think that the rug could be a contributing factor. After all the anti-slip mat has a pee stench (and yes we put our face close to smell it and we threw them away). Someone else took the grey rug I purchased for our bedroom after we left it near the curb, it was gone in 30 minutes. I sincerely hope it’s working for them.
To sum things up, I was eventually given refund and online credits, etc. by the rugs seller but I will never buy anything from them again (no, it’s not Etsy or any vendor listed on my resources page). As for home accessories, I strongly advise buying something that you really like, don’t buy it because it’s cheap or because it’s on sale. Ask yourself if you would pay full price for the item. Check out Erin Boyle’s Simple Matters (I bought it but has yet to read it), I need to go back to my Minimalist root of Less IS More and only buy what you love even if it cost more because it will last you for many years!
Leave a comment below to share your own story! Have you ever had buyer’s remorse? Was it something minor like a $8 box or much more and did it get resolved? If you like reading personal posts such as this one, do leave a comment and let me know. ;)
All words and images by me. This is a non-sponsored post.