The One Time Clark Howard Was Too Cheap

If you know money expert Clark Howard, you know that he's all about getting the things he wants and needs for cheap. And Clark loves nothing better than sharing money tips with those who want to save.

But there was one time when Clark’s strategy didn’t quite turn out how he planned.

The Parka That Was Off the Marka

"There was a website that I used to buy from called Now this isn't Wish's fault," Clark says. "But I was getting a new ski parka. One thing you've got to know when you're buying directly from a Chinese seller, goods that were really intended for the Chinese market, is that the sizes are going to be really different."

Clark says he bought a size 5XL adult men’s ski parka. And it didn’t fit. He also says it was poorly made in many ways.

So what did he do with the parka? Clark says he donated it to Goodwill. Hopefully someone benefitted from it.

So what’s the takeaway from this experience?

“I learned an important lesson for $19 and something cents with free shipping,” Clark says.

Clark’s Takeaway

Be very careful buying online. Clark wants you to be especially guarded about buying big-ticket items sight unseen save for an online picture.

“The point is there’s a big difference between me wasting $20 on that and somebody buying a house,” he says.

“Be very wary with large purchases, like with a car. I freak out when people buy a car online-only with no right of return with full refund,” Clark says. “At least with Carvana, you buy it with your phone [and if you don’t like it] they just say, ‘Fine, here’s your money back.’”

Final Thoughts

Clark is not opposed to buying online. After all, that's where some of the best deals are. But he wants you to examine in person things that cost a lot of money.

“Your own eyes need to experience it,” he says. “Please, please be careful just buying from what you see on a website or from an influencer.”

As always you’ll want to:

  • Comparison shop to make sure you're getting the best deal.
  • Know beforehand the return policy on any item you buy.
  • Pay with a rewards credit card.

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