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Have you ever seen something online you just had to have, only to be disappointed when it actually arrived? Maybe it was the wrong size or color. Or perhaps it cost more than the value it ended up being. If that sounds familiar, you aren't alone. 

Our latest survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, conducted by OnePoll, reveals the expectations and regrets of shopping online. 

Common Online Shopping Regrets

According to our latest survey, 74% of respondents have experienced buyer’s remorse after buying items online. It also revealed that 73% of respondents own up to 15 items purchased online that they dislike. 

Whether it was knockoff designer sneakers, ill-fitting facemasks or electronics that quickly died or broke, there were plenty of must-have purchases made by respondents that they wish they could take back.  

Here’s a look at the most common online shopping regrets among Americans based on the survey:


1. Feeling like the item value is less than expected for the cost: 39%

2. Used product less frequently than expected: 34%

3. Spending too much money: 32%

4. Finding a better brand/version of the product 32%

5. Having to pay for return shipping 31%

6. Finding a promo code after the fact 31%

7. Finding the item on sale after the fact 30%

8. Missing the return window 28%

9. Not buying a protection/insurance plan: 26%

10. Not getting a different color/size: 26%

What Happens To These Purchases After Delivery?

With so many individuals having online shopping regrets, it's no surprise that these purchases don't always get used as originally intended. Almost half (45%) of respondents admitted to tucking away their unwanted items somewhere they know they'll never see them again. Some (40%) end up regifting these items for someone they know, and others (39%) return or exchange them for something else. 

The Drawbacks of Convenient Shopping Options

These days, consumers can make purchases within seconds from almost any corner of the world. Convenience is a luxury, but it can also be a curse. 

“The convenience of being able to buy almost anything from the comfort of home is hard to beat, but there are some mistakes to avoid,” said Louie Patterson, Personal Finance Manager for Slickdeals. “Always check shipping cost, return policies and fees before ordering. Also, beware of hard-to-find items being sold online for more than MSRP. Some sellers take advantage of temporary scarcity by increasing prices for the duration of the shortage.”

Delivery Delays and Surprises

Another finding revealed in the survey was the number of people who experienced extensive shipping delays when shopping online. The average person has experienced five weeks of shipping delays between ordering something online and having it delivered. Some of the shipping delay causes include: 

  • Backorder delays: 38%
  • Misplaced items: 38%
  • Delivered to the wrong location: 36%
  • Missing or stolen package: 60%

72% of shoppers who have faced shipping delays said they don’t mind it and believe the wait is usually worth it. The shipping delays experienced also revealed another interesting trend among Americans — 63% completely forgot they ordered something until it showed up on their doorstep. In fact, 56% of Americans shared that they don't remember what they've ordered until opening up the package. Can you relate?

Whether you've made purchases online that you regret or not, online shopping has its perks. Patterson added, “Another benefit of shopping online is the easy access to researching products and prices before you buy. Tapping into a community like ours with millions of shoppers helping shoppers is a great way to ensure you’re getting the best product at the best price.”


Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne is a personal finance, credit card, and travel writer. He is the family travel and budget expert behind Kevin lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids. His work has appeared on several websites, including FinanceBuzz, Credit Karma, Millennial Money, Club Thrifty, Student Loan Planner and Slickdeals.