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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On-line Shopping: Good Deals? Surveillance?

Every now and again I think I should mention the discount site Sierra Trading Post. I first heard of them when I was sent a tiny catalog, with mostly men's outdoor wear and gear. Over the years the company has gotten more and more successful and the catalogs--and now the website--have gotten so unwieldy that, afflicted by too many choices, I don't buy anything.

One reason I love the company is that it is among the few with a no-questions asked, no time limit return policy. I looked over the site a few days ago and found that they carry all sorts of desirable stuff, some even for fashionistas. So, for the sporty, they carry Keens. For the middle-aged comfort-oriented woman, they carry Lilla P. And for the fashionista they carry Lafayette148. And much more.

Needless to say, I was hooked by some (forgive me fashionistas) jean leggings. They were half price. I put them in my cart and decided to think about them for a few days.

The VERY NEXT DAY I received a 40% off coupon/free shipping offer. Now, I get these all the time and just delete. I am wondering if the offer was triggered by having the items in my cart, languishing unbought.

Does anyone know? And should we be worried about surveillance? I still love the company.


Vivienne said...

Those facts are absolutely related - they know it's your cart, and they know your email address. Getting people "off the bubble" to finalize their purchase is a big challenge in internet retailing, and offering discounts is an easy way to move people to make the purchase. You have to evaluate how much you care if someone is aware of your actions, and if the discounts are worth it.

Duchesse said...

I do not remotely consider myself a fshionista and in blog posts that debate jeggings, vote no. And if you vote yes, that's a good buy.

I have long ago given up *any* thought of retaining privacy when buying online or via a store terminal.

Sierra seem to be a jobber, buying odd lots; you can strike it lucky if they have what you want in your size.

Northmoon said...

I had been looking at ice cream makers on line this summer. I'd been purchasing a fair amount of Haagen Daz and wondered if it would be better to make my own.

The other day Amazon emailed me a deal on a Cuisinart ice cream maker. I don't think it was coincidence. However if they want to offer a discount and I want to buy it's fine with me.

I don't know if I'll bite or not - it makes 2 quarts, way too much ice cream for one person!