I was looking at a pair of shorts on an online store the other day, trying to decide if they would suit, when I took a closer look at the price, teased with the red pixels that indicate markdowns and savings: $49 retail, marked down to $48.93. Seven cents. (Please let’s not make this discussion whether it’s right to pay $50 for a pair of shorts. I concede it isn’t, but these were a specialty item, and I was only window-shopping.)
I’ve been having good luck with online chat on retail sites, so I summoned up some poor sap in the Philippines and we had some back-and-forth over this. My side amounted to really? and his was all about profuse apologies and we’ll-get-to-the-bottom-of-this. Check back! he advised.
Today I did. The shorts had been put on real sale this time:
I’ve also been looking at an item on my holiday gift list. You can buy it directly from the manufacturer for $99. Ever since I made the mistake of comparing it to the Amazon price, I’ve been served an ad for it regularly. It started at $119, which is baffling enough, but today it changed to this:
I assume this is another example of Amazon’s forward-thinking dynamic pricing, also known as the one where the shoes you want are, ooh, sorry, not available at the lower end of the price range we just teased you with to get you to click from the Google search. Rather, you’ll be paying the other price, the top one, maybe more. It turns out the cheap price is only for people who want them in chartreuse and size 2. Know any tiny people with itty-bitty feet and no color sense? Tell them the world is their oyster.
I’ve seen this enough times that it has pushed me away from shopping on Amazon. Based on the absurdity of the price-chop on those shorts, I can only assume it’s spreading, or seeping, or something.
Can one of you tech-savvy people explain what’s going on? I sorta understand about the shoes, but I’m baffled by the meat thermometer. If you can find the same thing, in 10 different colors, on the manufacturer’s website at price X, why would you pay 50 percent more somewhere else?
The mysteries of our brave new world often leave me cold.
A few short links here, at least one of which basically has nothing to do with Him, although maybe with the mysteries of our brave new world: How Twitter became plagued with trolls and abuse, and has stayed that way for nearly a decade.
My friend Amy Welborn homeschooled her two boys for four years, and is writing a pretty great blog series on why and how she did it (and might do it again). She’s not hostile to public education, and is a strict-but-not-insane Catholic, so I found it interesting. It seems she did it for the right reason, which boils down to: School sucks, not all the time, but a lot of the time, and if you have the right temperament, the right kids, the right skills and the means to do so? Why not. This is part four, which I link because she has the links to the other parts right at the top, and you can go from there.
Himself’s North Carolina director is alleged to have pointed a loaded gun at a colleague’s knee. Are you surprised? Didn’t think so.
Finally, Jon Favreau, the former Obama speechwriter and current pundit/podcaster, has a column up about how to react when the inevitable Trump comeback narrative is unleashed later in the campaign. You might want to clip and save.
And here it is, the weekend again. Enjoy it.