I saw an unbelievable tweet this morning:
So I went and looked at the link.
Then I went and checked the Borders site and saw this:
And I clicked on the listing for the Red one and saw:
Let me tell you how tempted I was. I went and displayed local store inventories. I figured maybe I’d hop into Manhattan and pick one up. Yes, I despise eInk, but this is a frikkin touchscreen Sony Reader for just $100 — and red too!
Well, I retweeted the news and within an hour, people were reporting that their attempts to buy this resulted in the price mysteriously doubling when it got to Checkout!
See, this is why I absolutely hate “web specials” and think they should be outlawed.
If a physical store tried this, the state Attorney General and consumer protection agencies would jump on them. TV news would have footage of people complaining. The store would suffer humiliation.
But the main reason to ban these things is this: They attract speculators who buy them up with the sole purpose of selling on eBay.
Also, with physical stores, there’s an on-site inventory. When that’s gone, the sale is over. With a web special, who knows how many are really in the pipeline? If they have only 300 and 1,000 people order, when do the 700 “losers” find out?
Website specials create havoc, disappoint people, and bring the greedy out to prey.
And Borders, you should honor every single one of those purchases that began with the page showing a $100.00 price! This is your mistake — if it was that — now eat the loss!