You know what buyer's remorse is, right? You find some gadget, gizmo, widget you think is the cat's pajamas and the bee's knees, and impulsively grab it, lay your money or plastic down, and feel good about it. Then you get home, look at it closer, and ... um, well, it somehow lost its luster. Goes from "great!" to "okay," to "not bad," to "meh ..."
This usually doesn't happen to me. I'm not a big shopper. I don't hit the stores and traipse from one to the next to another contrasting and comparing, then circle back to the first one to make the buy. Shoe-shopping is a good barometer for how I do it. I go looking for shoes. Spot a pair I like, try them on. If they fit, I'm done. I don't look at all the other shoes to see if there might be something better. I'm done.
But I do like to go look, at least for some things. I want to hold a tangible item in my hand, see how it feels, looks, what it does or doesn't do. Once I've done that, I could save myself some money by ordering it somewhere cheaper, though I generally don't.
I wouldn't have bought an iPad without playing with one first. If I wanted to get a Kindle Fire, I'd have to find one somewhere and fiddle with it before I bought one. You can do a lot of research online, but it's not a substitute for hands-on, not for me.
There are things I'll buy off a website because I don't need the direct experience. When a new book by a favorite author comes out, I don't need to read the first couple of pages. S/he wouldn't be a favorite author if I didn't trust them to take me on an interesting ride. Yeah, I'd rather go to Powell's and get it there, but that's a choice to support the local bookstore instead of Amazon.com.
I haven't bought any new boomware in a while. Like GAS–guitar acquisition syndrome, and also gun acquisition syndrome–the jones is always there. I don't need a new gun or guitar. But do I want a new one? (Saw a TV show, American Gun, recently, a shop built a cowboy action revolver for a preacher. Computer-milled the frame and cylinder and hammer from blocks of steel, custom-fitted the other parts, slicked up the action, did some engraving. Ten grand, which was a kinfolk deal, since the dealer usually charges fifteen thou. I'd love one of those. And there are boutique guitars that sound as if they were made for angels to play, and are jaw-droppingly beautiful too, and make the gun look like a cheapie for what they cost.)
But I haven't bought new hardware lately. I do now and then get new leather or grips, a tuner or capo or like that, to keep the jones at bay. Kind of like sipping at a single glass of beer instead of downing a whole bottle of bourbon ...
Um. Anyway, recently, I saw some pistol grips I thought were pretty cool-looking, on eBay.
Didn't cost that much, so ...
Got them, put 'em on, then after a few days, decided I didn't like the way they looked or felt. Had I seen them in a shop, I expect I wouldn't have bought them, but they looked better on eBay, and I bid. They were buffalo horn (not bison), dark gray, almost black, and the gun is also black finish. Kind of like a gangster wearing a black suit and black shirt and light tie, I thought it would appeal, but it didn't.
It was an inexpensive lesson, and I can keep them for back-ups, or swap 'em at a gun show, and it's a lot cheaper than buying a new gun and then deciding I don't like it. But it's one of the perils of the web that can tangle you up. Caveat emptor ...