Friday, July 3, 2009

Sometimes you just step in it.....

I wanted to get my grandson a little surprise something for a graduation gift. I knew that he had been talking about wanting a bigger hard drive for his Xbox. So I decided to check out ebay. Oh yes....I found them on there all right....LOTS of them. Well, first of all I had to decide how big I wanted to go...I figure, the bigger the better. So I go with 120gb. Then I have to read all the fine print. Some are coming from overseas. Nope, can't have that. Seems as though there is supposed to be a data transfer kit that comes in the package. Hmmm....some sellers have taken that out and you're only getting the hard drive. So you have to be alert...on your toes. Its a jungle out there in auction land.

I find one that looks acceptable. I make my bid and go about my business. I come back a couple days later to find out that I have been outbid. Not only outbid but sniped! Not nice. That person placed their bid only 9 seconds before the end of the auction. Good thing I didn't want to go any higher on that item.....I would have never had the time. So I found another one. There are lots of them. I place my bid on that one. This time I'm outbid...not sniped but just plain outbid. So I lose that one too. The third and final try was quite hilarious.

You see when I bid on things I just put in what I want to pay and then forget about it. More inexperienced bidders just bid $5 at a time or so. Makes no sense to me....but I'm thinking they are confusing this with a live auction in which whatever you bid is what you pay if no one outbids you. Anyway, the item has a couple days before close and as I'm checking other things I happen to notice that the bid has changed. Its still mine, but now its for more. As I'm watching it, a bidder is having a nervous breakdown over taking the bid away from me....$5 at a time. I keep watching and laughing. It takes this person 10 bids to finally outbid me and by this time I'm sure that he has bid more than he ever really intended to pay. I've lost the item but do not want to pay more for it than what I originally bid, so I decide heck with it and start looking for it at retail stores. I find it for only $8 more than what I had bid....of course I have to pay $7 for shipping but all in all....its worth it. The item was ordered and shipped and it sits on my daughter's kitchen table right now awaiting my grandson's delightful possession. The auction, by the way, still hasn't closed. It will be over in a couple hours or so.

Speaking of shopping, the last couple times I've ordered from a particular store this has happened to me....and if it happens ONE more time, I'm never shopping there again. I will get an email, advising me of a nice sale going on at such and such store. I go there and find some things I need at a pretty good price. I usually don't shop online unless I can take advantage of free shipping but they don't have any promo codes for free shipping this time. The sale is worth it, so I break down and pay the $7 or so for shipping. As soon as my order has been processed....maybe an hour or so later....I will receive an email from THIS SAME COMPANY advising that they have this sale going on and because I'm such a good customer, I can guessed it.....FREE SHIPPING. So I don't know what their deal is....but if it happens again....I'm history as far as they are concerned.

Also, along this same line of thinking.....some of the purchases I make for stuff that I need on a regular basis seem to go on sale right after I buy them. Now....I seem to remember that if you take the sales slip back to the store and complain about that, they will give you the difference in price back. Does anyone know if stores are still doing this? Even though it ticks me off at the time, somehow it just doesn't seem worth it to use extra gas to drive back to the store, wait in line at the customer service desk and complain about 75 cents. Now if it was for $5 that would be different. I was thinking......wouldn't it really be a nice customer service for a business to have their computer system set up so when you purchase something it would note that its going on sale within 24 hours and you're getting the sale price. How happy that would make customers! Talk about incentive to come back! Personally I think it would be a great idea and it would make us think that somebody out there cared about us consumers in this age of banks raising interest rates purely for greed and a noticeable price increase on groceries from one week to the next.....not to mention gasoline going up and down on a whim.


forsythia said...

I hear you. Learned the hard way a few times too. Ordered a toilet seat on line. Why, you may ask. Well, it was cute. Looked like an aquarium with plastic fish and seashells and all. When I received it, I was taken aback to read that if I wanted to return it, it had to be returned, UNSEALED, it its original packaging. This meant I couldn't take it out and look at it. Didn't remember whether the fine print said this or not. So if I opened it, I was stuck with it.

KayDee said...

Very few businesses care about the consumer these days but if there ever was a time for them to be courting the customer it's now. If more of them displayed good will towards customers now, when the economy picks up people will probably still continue to shop with them because they remember a good deed.

Cheryl said...

I love your idea about letting customers know about imminent sales. What great PR that would be.

Do you subscribe to or Those are two of my favorites.

I know your computer is down. Hope you're back up and online soon.