Sunday, April 22, 2007

Internet Impulse Buying

I must say, the internet has totally mastered the art of product placement for impulse buying.  I mean, I know that stores do it all the time -- placing products near the check-out stand so that you think, "Oh, hey, I should grab me one of them" on your way out, even if you never intended to buy one when you walked into the store.

I've seen cheap attempts at product placement on the internet before.  Omaha Steaks, I think, gives you one of those "Hey!  Why not add-on these great deals?" after you hit the "checkout" button.  Which I've always found a little obvious, if not downright annoying.  No, I already ordered what I want.  Give me my damn Enter Payment Info screen.

And then ... someone tipped me off to woot.  Woot offers one deal a day ... until it's sold out (or the day is over).  Then you have to check their site the next day (midnight central -- conveniently 10:00 Pacific) to see what the next product is.  Largely tech/geeky stuff.  (Sometimes I have to research the day's woot, because I have no idea what the item does.)  But the prices are good.  And every once in awhile they have a "woot-off" -- when rather than running one deal a day -- they run one deal at a time, and put up a new deal once the last deal has sold out.  During a woot-off, I found myself obsessively checking their website every few minutes, to see if the last deal was gone yet and the next one posted.

And woot also links to other, similar, websites, which is how I met the nice folks at steepandcheap.com  Steepandcheap is, apparently, owned by backcountry.com -- and they run a woot-off style site (just keep replacing the deal when the last one sells out) that sells outdoorsy clothes and gear.

I might have mentioned I'm planning this Alaska cruise thingie, right?

So, here's me, glued to the computer, maniacally refreshing steepandcheap.com to see what the next deal is.  I knew it would only be a matter of time before I ordered something from them. 

It was about two days.  It would have been sooner, but I'm short, and most of their clothing does not come in "petite" sizes -- meaning that arms are too long in jackets and legs are too long in pants.  But I could tell the prices were good, so I kept checking.  Which might explain my purchase of trail running shoes.

OK, let's be clear here.  I do not run trails, nor do I foresee myself running on a trail anytime soon.  So I can't really imagine a circumstance in which I would have walked into a store and said, "Gee, I need me some trail running shoes."

But when I saw the trail running shoes on steepandcheap yesterday, a few facts ran through my head:  (1)  They are in my size; (2)  They are good for outdoorsy terrain, and I will find myself outdoors with no real alternative to my hiking boots; (3)  This model says it stops pronation, and I tend to pronate; (4)  Excellent reviews for these shoes and people say they're so comfy they wear them indoors; (5)  Damn, that's a good price.

So, now there's a pair of trail running shoes winging their way toward me.

What's even worse is that steepandcheap has now prompted me to impulse buy stuff from other websites.  Example:  Steepandcheap puts up a pair of sunglasses.  I can't buy those sunglasses, because I wear regular eyeglasses.  But it reminds me that I've wanted a pair of clip-on sunglasses for months.  Now, last time I tried to get clip-ons, the folks at lenscrafters said I'd need to buy new eyeglasses (in that they come in matched sets) and my prescription is out of date so I'd have to go to my opthalmologist and get a new 'scrip (or have him rewrite the old one and fax it to them) and I've never gotten around to doing this.  But now, I get the brilliant idea to search the internet for some clip-ons, which leads me to polarizedoptics.com.  They sell clip-on shades in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Indeed, they make you measure your eyeglass lenses in millimeters so they can match the exact size.  (Ever try measuring your eyeglass lenses in millimeters?  You obviously have to take your glasses off.  In which case, you can't freakin' read the difference between 27 and 28 millimeters -- 'cause if you could, you wouldn't need the damn glasses in the first place.)  Sure enough, I found a pair in something remarkably close to my size (or, at least, close to what I thought my size was).  Now, normally, I'm very cautious about buying stuff from websites that don't come with a reputable recommendation -- and I'd sorta found these guys from their paid ad on amazon.  But, to my absolute delight, they accept PayPal, so I didn't have to risk giving a stranger my credit card info.

So, now there's some clip-on sunglasses also winging their way to me.

Steepandcheap's got a backpack up now.  Wonder what that's going to make me buy.

3 comments:

grodygeek said...

Hey,
Now that I know you struggle to find outdoors type of clothing, you might find a bargain or two here. http://www.sierratradingpost.com/

Its not a site I normally give out. They have great bargains (and not so great either) and I'd rather not have any more friends to compete with. Yet since you won't be buying anything near my size, go ahead, have fun. And what you seek, is probably not what I seek anyway.

Good luck.

hewasolddog299 said...

Looks like you're well on your way to becoming an equipment freak if you keep this up ;)

Surprisingly enough, Cabella's (a hunting/fishing/outdoorsey place)
http://www.cabellas.com
has a rather nice selection of clothing for women. In case you've never looked there before...

Gordy! Where have you been hiding? I lost track of you in the great diaspora. How in heck are you doing (sorry to steal your comment space for personal business, NZ. Cut the comment it if it bothers you -- no problemo.

helmswondermom said...

I am on my way to check out "Woot", thank you very much.  Both stores mentioned in the two previous posts are ones that we patronize.  We just bought a wet suit from Sierra trading post, and we buy all kinds of things from Cabella's.
Lori