Around the House: Internet glamour shots can be deceiving – News – Daily Commercial

Before the age of selfies, smartphones, and picture apps — Glamour Shots was the place to have your own fashion magazine quality picture made. The company did a great job making everyone feel special — like a New York City runway model — and it became a big thing for girls’ night out. The company did a great job making the picture, creating an experience, and packaging it in a way to make their clients feel special.

Most importantly, Glamour Shots did a wonderful job photoshopping, fading and touching up their clients’ pictures to make them appear a little younger or more attractive. With some of their clients who had special challenges in their appearance, the photographer would go a little overboard on the touch-ups. In fact, they could make a 50-year-old client look 20 years younger.

Now, that’s magic!

How many times have you ordered something on the internet and when it arrived you were disappointed?

With the move by so many consumers to shop online, companies are increasing awareness of their product images online, and it has created something I refer to as internet glamour shots.

In the area of construction products, the photographers and marketers have become so clever in their photography presentations that it’s almost become deceitful. Recently, a lower quality window company published an advertising image of their window and a beautiful view of the beach. It was a gorgeous picture, but it highlighted the view and showed nothing of the window. Throw in some overblown words about being the best and a lifetime of views, you have a window glamour shot.

Where building material glamour shots become dishonest is when companies show items like sidings, mouldings, doors and flooring in a glamour shot to hide obvious quality issues like size, thickness, weight, and appearance. House siding from afar can look very similar, but when you touch, feel and pick up the siding product, you immediately notice a quality issue. Homeowners that make major decisions about big items from just a picture on the internet will be disappointed.

The other issue with internet marketing, especially with building material items, is over-embellishing the quality and features of the products. Consumers should understand that minor details can be embellished to make any item seem more than it is. For example, a two-by-four #2 grade southern yellow pine board with limited wane and knots for structural construction is much better than just saying two-by-four #2 pine. With each word, the marketer hopes to convince you this is a much higher quality product that you won’t find elsewhere.

Hardware items are notorious for glamour shots and over-embellishing their real worth. Cheap cast, foreign made locks and cabinet hardware are made to look like real forged steel products which will last a lifetime, especially when they throw in a meaningless lifetime warranty. Marketers who practice this type of deception through glamour shots and over-descriptive embellishments are counting on you to not have the wherewithal to admit you made a mistake and send the item back. In most cases, a homeowner selecting cabinet hardware in person would reject these lower quality products when they see and touch them.

My advice is simple. If you are making a big purchase for any building material item for your home — look at in person, touch it and feel it before shelling out your hard-earned cash. Bigger items are much harder to return and sometimes because of time constraints you are forced to use an item you really don’t like. Shopping local on big ticket items makes a lot of sense if you are looking for something a little better. Don’t get duped by internet glamor shots.


Don Magruder is the CEO of Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply Inc. He is also the host of the Around the House radio show heard every Monday at noon on My790AM WLBE in Leesburg.


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