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Three things you shouldn't buy online

More online shopping because of the pandemic means more chances for you to get ripped off.

NORFOLK, Va. — We can’t visit most of our favorite stores right now because of social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

So instead, a lot of people are ramping up online shopping with companies like Amazon and Walmart. But, according to consumer experts, there are certain things we should avoid buying online.

Here are three tips to save you time and money.

  • Cosmetics: If you’re comfortable with a particular retailer and you’ve purchased from them online before, you’re probably in the clear. But many, many products -- from eye shadow to hair cream -- are counterfeit, even on sites like Amazon. It’s also hard to tell because the packaging on fake products can be nearly identical to the real thing. What’s worse, is that in some cases it’s more than just a rip-off. Because these products aren’t regulated like legitimate retailers, you could end up with a skin infection or a rash, depending on the product.
  • Trader Joe’s online: Even the company will tell you to use caution if you see Trader Joe’s items, like its popular spice blends, sold outside of the store. That’s because they’re being re-sold by third-party sellers. The product may be real, but it’s usually marked up and oftentimes damaged or expired.
  • Off-brand phone accessories: Are they cheaper? Yes. But when you spend $10 on certain off-brand chargers, you’re putting your phone’s motherboard at risk. That could cost you big time.

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