Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Online Retail Fail

Gil Scott-Heron released a new album last Tuesday.

That's an ALL-CAPS headline deserving of thoughtful, probing analysis. But I ain't hear the album yet. Got sidetracked by life. Although I did mark a very big star next to that item in this week's To Do List. (Translation: "You really need to tick this one off cause it's extra, extra important.")

On Monday afternoon of this week, Barnes & Noble (B&N) was kind enough to alert me to a big sale they're having. $8.99 for any single CD. Perfect. I was gonna buy the Gil album anyway and here was a nice price break to validate my neglect in being among the first to cop it.

This morning, I opened the email from B&N to begin making the Gil purchase. I've never ordered from them online so I had to fill in some standard shipping and billing info during the first phase of the checkout process. No biggie. After securing all of my information, B&N informed me that the brand-new, just-released Gil CD is usually available within 1-2 weeks and that I could choose an ultra-cheap shipping option ($2.98 to receive my order in 3 days or less) bringing the total for my order to: $12.57 (including tax). Suddenly, this didn't seem like such a good deal.

I opened a new tab and clicked over to Amazon. I've ordered from them several times before. Probably more than several. Many more. The Gil CD was in stock both new ($12.99) and used ($11-something). Amazon offered me the same fast click checkout option they offer all regular customers and promptly informed me that I could receive the Gil CD by this Thursday (less than 48 hours from now) for a total of $12.99 (free shipping, no tax). That sounded pretty cool.

If you're scoring at home, here's how the retail fail breaks down:

Barnes & Noble = $12.57 to wait as long as two weeks to receive a CD that was released last week
Amazon = $12.99 to get the same CD within the next day or two

I ordered from Amazon.

Thanks for the coupon, B&N. I put it to very good use. For your competition.

1 comment:

mindful said...

I would have selected Amazon easily too... I've always appreciated them over B&N :(