Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spamazon

I love Amazon. I do. Maybe it's the Free Super Saver Shipping. Maybe it's the fact that it has almost anything you can think of. Maybe it's because of the Universal Wishlist. Maybe it's because Swagbucks has Amazon gift cards. Anyway, it's quickly become a site that I check for a reference on almost everything that I'm thinking about buying. I signed up for an Amazon account a while ago, and there's really only been one annoyance that I've found: Spam.

I don't know why, but sometimes I either accidentally or purposefully check the "E-mail me updates" box when signing up, and then feel too bad to unsubscribe. I'm still subscribed on my spam Gmail account to this annoying tech tips newsletter, and I still won't unsubscribe for God knows why. But the reason I subscribed to Amazon is either (a) they didn't ask me, or (b) I guess I was interested in deals. To be honest, they have sent out some pretty good deals, some of which were actually relevant to me. It sent out suggestions for earbuds right around the time I was going to buy a new iPod. (I didn't end out buying any, though, because I remembered that my new iPod would come with earbuds.) But then it just seems to get to be so much that you call it "spam".

First off, I get an e-mail at least once a week about "Deals in electronics" since I've shopped there (or at least looked around there) quite a bit. That's not too bad, but then I also get a "Rate your recent transaction" after I buy anything. A little annoying, since I really don't want to rate my transaction with every little thing I buy. Then lastly, I get "Accessorize your order" e-mails after buying and receiving an item.

This is really what inspired the whole post. I bought some Altec Lansing speakers for my PC a while ago, and after I had received then and got them working and loved them, I get an e-mail from Amazon: "Accessorize Your Amazon.com Altec Lansing SoundBar Speakers Purchase." Um, am I dumb, or aren't speakers an accessory? What can you do to accessorize accessories? That lead me to thinking, I wonder (if I had more money) if I just kept buying "accessories", how far down the line I could make it. How long could I go until Amazon realized that there's no such thing as an accessory to an accessory to an accessory to an accessory to an accessory? Anyway, it recommended a surge protector and two different pairs of headphones. It just seems a little absurd to me.

The last thing that really annoys me is that they have "Recommendations"  for products that I've already bought. Like I bought a wireless card a while back, and soon after, I sign into Amazon, and all of my recommendations are filled with other wireless cards. Um, I just bought one, I'm not going to buy another right now. Same with an iPod dock I just bought too. I mean, I can understand suggesting "accessories", but alternatives? If anything, I'll just get upset because one of the recommendations will be better than the one I bought (which rarely happens, since I tend to research the heck out of everything before buying), but I still won't buy any recommendations because I already have a dock or speakers or a mouse, and I can't just throw it out and buy another one because I'm not made of money.


Before I sound like I'm really just ranting, I thought I'd say, Amazon is not the worst or only site who does this. I just thought the title was clever. I also get Newegg's e-mail every week or so, and that mostly annoys me because they advertise all these great $499 systems! Well, that's wonderful, only I just built a PC, and to be honest, I probably won't need/buy a new one for another 2 years. My point is, why advertise every week for something people buy every few years? I guess they assume that there's enough people out there that there's a person buying a new PC every week, but still, it's annoying to everyone else. I love Newegg, and I love their deals. I just wish it was on something other than complete systems 99% of the time.

Geeks be shopping,
Bry

[UPDATE 4-4-10] Last week I got an e-mail from Amazon giving suggestions based on an item in my wishlist, the Firefly TV series set. It also showed the price of it, which had dropped by probably $10 from the last time I checked it ($20 from $30), so I bought it there on the spot, from my iPod. (I combined it with the card game "Bohnanza", but that was just to get the free shipping.) Anyway, point being, I remember why I get a ton of crap from Amazon that I never want to read: because every once and a while, they'll surprise me with something grand. Here's looking at you, Amazon.

[UPDATE 8-30-10] I just looked in my trash folder and realized that I get an e-mail from Amazon every day. It wouldn't be so annoying if it wasn't suggesting stuff that I never even wanted in the first place. Like about a month ago, I looked briefly through the car headsets for a secondary monitor, and Amazon is still sending me e-mails about the Automotive section. Or I found a cool Dr. Pepper casafe that I might want, and Amazon sends me e-mails about Safes and Security now. The real reason I keep subscribed is that now and then, Amazon tells me it's having a killer deal on DVDs so I look through the ones on sale. But it might not be worth it.

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