The worst $100 I ever spent

Last week I went to my favorite discount store, DownEast Clarence center! This place is a guaranteed good time! I’ve always been able to score amazing deals on slightly damaged Pottery Barn, West Elm, Red Envelope and other name brand items! Last week was no exception. I walked in and saw two chairs just tempting me to take them home! Two West Elm Tufted Chairs that were lovingly nick named the “Kitty” chairs! Apparently the previous owner had a cat who loved to use expensive furniture as a scratching post!  Would you have died?? I sure would have!

Both chairs had cat scratches on the front of the arms and on the lower sides but the tufted area and seat were in perfect shape! The wheels started turning and I pictured a simple reupholster job with fun fabric and a great result! They were marked down to $59 each but the workers at this store know me well and struck a deal I could not resist! Both for $100! SWEET! Sold!

So I loaded them up and off I went with my new buy! Visions of color blocking and a new modern and fresh look danced in my head! I was so excited!

I stopped off at one fabric store on my way home but left empty handed and a slightly discouraged! Was this project going to be as cool as I originally thought?

Back at home life went on! I fell into my mom roll and clean the house, practices piano and made dinner! 6 hours later I was ready to hit up one more fabric store to see if I could make this project a success! When we got into the car I about passed out!

The smell of these two marinating chairs about knocked me over! GAG!!!!

Not only were these chairs scratched up but they were also wreaking of smoke and pet! AWESOME!!!! How cool was that! I bought a set of winners! I wasn’t overwhelmed by any odor in the store but in my smaller car the stench was front and center!  It was right then in my car that I dubbed this the worst buy EVER! There was no way I was going to bring these smelly things into my house so off to DI ( thrift store)  I went to drop them off!

I was so embarrassed of my buy that I just had to get rid of them before my husband found out. He likes to tease me about project FAILS and this my friends, was the BIGGEST project FAIL yet!

If I was a professional reupholster expert or had the time to air them out I’m sure they would have been a huge success but bringing chairs like this into a pet free, smoke free home just didn’t sit well with me!

So 100 bucks down the drain! SUCK!!! Lesson learned!

Moral of the story: Don’t buy crap even if it’s 90% off!


Anything like that ever happen to you? What’s the worst thing you ever spent money on?



  1. 1

    Bummer! That really stinks!

  2. 2

    Ouch. I hate wasting money! But I hate urine and smoke smell even more!

  3. 3

    Oh man! We bought couches like this when we first got married. So lame! They STUNK! We sure didn’t smell it when we were there! I’ve had a lot of fails but a lot of successes too. You can’t win them all right?

  4. 4

    Curious why you did not first attempt to return them to the store where they were purchased?

    • 5

      It’s a discount outlet All Sales Final and I just wanted them out of my house. The thrift store was just down the street! Bye Bye!

  5. 6
    Tracy G. says:

    Don’t feel bad. I bought a whole house that stunk! Looked at it multiple times….never smelled. Bought it as a short sale (nothing short about the time period) and it sat closed up for a few months waiting for the sale to go through. Get the keys and walk in to our new home and it stunk like dogs and smoke. Took 6 months and A LOT of paint for the smell to finally go away!

  6. 9

    I am SO SORRY about your catastrophe! But I couldn’t help but giggle when reading about it though! Love the cat illustration! But really…bummer about the $100 :((

  7. 10
    Nadine Woodraska says:

    Oh, I have a list!! Pretty sure my hubby would be a millionaire if I were to add all of those things up. I do feel your pain. One of my big purchases was I had to have a set of Christmas dishes, several hundred dollars later and hauling the dang things out for Christmas, the DI had them the next Christmas. Now, flash forward several years later and I find the be all of Christmas Dishes, I of course had a talking with myself how these were different, better quality, Shelby would marry someday and I would have these wonderful gigantic Christmas parties and the dishes would be all the rave. WRONG!! Hello DI again! Sheesh, my vote is pretty paper now!!

    • 11

      LOL!!! I have a set of dished in my basement with your name on it if you want them! FREE! It will sting less when you drop them off at DI next year! Love that story!

  8. 12

    Aw man that sucks…! sorry to hear that… the chairs are beautiful though… darn that smoking cat!!! :(

  9. 13
    Theresa says:

    There are some professional carpet cleaning companies that rent ionizers…and they work! I bet they could have easily and cheaply gotten rid of the smoke smell. We moved into a house that was horrible smelling after a smoker had lived there for years…after a couple of days with the ionizer, you would never known a chain smoker had lived there…sorry about the smoking cat, though. :( Beautiful chairs!

  10. 14

    Oh becca :( I’m sorry that really sucks! I’ve done that a few times too

  11. 15

    Major bummer! Stuff like that makes me cringe! It’s too bad you couldn’t have taken them back! Oh well, don’t look back!! Have a Happy Easter!

  12. 16
    Raechel says:

    I got a car bed off Craig’s list, totally smelled like cat pee. I aired it out and scrubbed it a hundred times with bleach and everything else. It finally stopped smelling, but I vowed to smell everything I buy in the future. Live and learn!

  13. 17

    I shall not laugh at your misfortune. I shall only laugh at your funny post.


  14. 18

    Man, that is a bummer.!!
    Sorry the big score went downhill… :(

  15. 19

    As soon as you mentioned cats, I knew what was coming :( Loved the “look” of the chairs though :)

  16. 20

    I’m so sorry about the fiasco……however, your post made me laugh out loud….the cartoon kitty was funny (sorry)


  17. 22

    Awww… I feel bad for you, Becca. At least you could write something funny about it, I think I would still be fuming mad!

  18. 23

    Ugh! That is theeee worst!!! I’m so sorry! They are really cute chairs though… just looking at them! (:

  19. 24

    Lol, aww! That is such a bummer!

  20. 25

    what a total bummer!!! im so sorry.
    i once bought a bunch of nwt baby clothes and shoes from ebay and when I opened the box from the post office, YIKES!! The awful stench of smoke! WTH? Did these people actually smoke with their baby in the house?

  21. 26

    Hey Becca, how long did it take to get the smell out of your Ruby?

  22. 27

    You give up too easily! ;) I don’t blame you, but I would’ve flipped if I spent that much and they were smelly. I would’ve soaked them in an enzyme cleaner and baked them in the sun.
    Up side is, if you keep the receipt for the chairs and get a donation slip from DI, you can write them off! lol.

  23. 28

    oh so sorry to hear that…sometimes i buy craps but like 10$ or 15 max

  24. 29

    I would have done the same thing you did… gross! Sorry that you were disappointed!

  25. 30

    You have me beat, but I snagged a free fridge from a friend at church one time that I thought we could use as an extra fridge/freezer in our garage. We didn’t own a truck or anything that could haul it, so we rented a truck to pick it up. After we got it home, I started to clean the inside (I knew it was dirty), but it was so filthy that I couldn’t get any of the gunk out of it. After about an hour, my husband went and rented the truck again and we took it the landfill, where they charged us to take it off our hands. It ended up being about a $75 mistake, plus a lot of time. My husband was not happy with me, to say the least :(

  26. 31

    What a bummer! So sorry!

  27. 32

    Aw, its ok! It was jst one of those crappy days when evrythng jst goes wrong! Happens to me too!

  28. 33

    Shame on the store for not tipping you off and just trying to get the “Big Sale” Imagine them all laughing as you leave with the cat chairs….if you are as good of a customer as you indicate, they owe you an apology…and should be honored if you ever darken their door to receive it!

  29. 34

    I feel your pain! I bought a loveseat off Craigslist, brought it home & immediately put it in the living room, even though I planned on having it reupholstered. Later, after noticing a smell, I realized it had been peed on by a cat, which had caused my cat to spray it. Although my 9 year old cat has never peed on the floor, she now has anxiety & a wetting problem. It was definitely the worst money I ever spent & resulted in even more money to be spent (vet, new furniture, & other items she ruined by wetting on them)! Live & learn, right?

  30. 35

    Sorry for your loss :) This post was really funny though. Made me laugh.

  31. 36
    Kimberly says:

    So sorry this happened to you, but your post gave me a good giggle. I probably would have done the exact same thing. My husband doesn’t need to know about shopping fails. :)

  32. 37

    You should have sold them on KSL for $50 crazy lady. But then the hubby would have found out and that’s just embarrassing (; JK. Super cute chairs, stupid cat!

  33. 38

    This isn’t my worst failure but maybe the funniest. I bought my husband this fabulous suit at a garage sale for $5. Great deal. He never wore it and said it looked like I got it off of a corpse (guess you have to know my husband :-)

  34. 39

    Have you ever heard of this stuff called Netroleum Alpha. It is made in Pocatello, ID and is used by the Wild Life people to get rid of all kinds of smells (i.e., skunk, outhouses, etc.). It is harmless to people and animals and REALLY, REALLY works. You just spray or saturate a stinky spot or item, or add some to you cleaning water or washing machine and the smell is GONE. It does not come back and smells very fresh. I’ve been using this for over 20 years and I think they use a small amount in Febreze. This stuff is very consentrated. It use to be about $4.50 a bottle, but now I think it is up to $24.00. Your chairs would have been a huge bargain once sprayed or washed with this stuff!!!!
    Pocatello Supply Depot
    238 Dillon
    Pocatello, Idaho 83201

  35. 40

    I usually think it over many times when it comes to shelling out serious cash for something, unless I’m absolutely sure, which isn’t always the case – quite the contrary actually! So I end up buying much less stuff than I would if I just listened to my instinct. Still, a couple of turds turn up now and then… The worst must have been when I (willingly!) paid for a ringback tone subscription, something similar to this. I thought it was fun. Well, after 2 days the fun ran out. And there I was stuck with a year-long subscription. There’s worse stuff I’m sure but just to have been so gullible to spend money on something like that… I still get angry at myself thinking about it!

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