UChic Tech Tip: How to Beat the E-Commerce System

And Why Argyle Never Seems to Work

Last night I was shopping online _(take note: online shopping is the new midnight snack)_ at urbanoutfitters.com and I found some red and gray argyle socks on sale for 2.99. I was happy. I put three pair in my cart, continued to checkout, entered my address and credit card number. Then it occurred to me that if I’m already paying shipping and handling, I should make sure there’s nothing else I want from them. So I closed the page and went down stairs to get a snack… _(okay, so maybe online shopping really isn’t the new midnight snack)_. When I went back upstairs a few hours later, _(okay, I watched some tivo)_, the socks were still there, but next to it in little red letters were the words, *”Out of Stock”*.

I called their customer service line, _(which by the way, is available until 2 a.m. for all you night owls)_, and they told me that it was “impossible” to order those socks, that people who _did_ order those socks might not even get them because there aren’t any left. I was discouraged, *but then a beautiful thought occurred to me. I went into my internet history, and found the page where I had entered in my information to make the purchase*. I kinda figured it would tell me something like, “This Page Has Expired,” but no, it let me continue adding my VISA number and actually let me order the socks. For a while the status of the order was, “Low in Stock, Order May Be Cancelled,” but it eventually was processed and shipped. I beat the system.

*Now for the sad part of the story*. I got the socks and when I pulled off the package sticker, it pulled out all the little argyle stitches. Very unfortunate…I returned them. It reminded me of just a few weeks ago when I got a pair of green argyle socks at J.Crew and after I wore them they pilled. I guess I’m into argyle lately. If you don’t know what argyle is…like my friend who thought it was like cashmere, “Argyle? I bet that’s expensive,”… argyle is that diamond pattern that is most commonly seen on golfers.

*If you really want to see some beautiful argyle in action*, “check out this sweater”:http://www.cabionline.com/FALL05/CEO/ceo3b.asp by CAbi (aka: Carol Anderson by invitation). I still haven’t received my invitation….but when I do, I’m buying this sweater. If that turns out badly, then I guess I’ll swear off argyle for life, which would be a pretty big deal considering I like to golf.

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The Biggest Shopping Day of the Year

*Happy Thanksgiving!* Hope you’re all enjoying the break. I don’t know about you, but I am stuffed. I know one great way to burn off all those pumpkin pie calories would be to wake up at 4 am and go sale shopping, on the biggest shopping day of the year, “Black Friday.”

*I’m staying in bed,* but for those of you shoppers who do brave the cold weather, long lines, screaming, kicking, and name-calling…well, good luck. Maybe report back to the rest of us on the great deals you got and _(while you’re at it)_ let me know if there _really_ is kicking, name-calling, biting, etc. There probably isn’t…wait, don’t tell me. If I knew I wasn’t risking personal safety _(since I’m currently insurance-less)_ I would probably go shopping. And that would be a lose-lose situation for me. I’d lose sleep and money…so you see, *I’m better off thinking I’d get trampled to death if I went to Walmart at 5 am*. Yes…you people enjoy your unabashedly risky shopping habits…maybe you’d like to run with the bulls in Pamplona, or go sky-diving too. *_You, risk-takers, you._*

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