Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Consumer Stalking

Have you ever felt like a company or store was following you around, tempting you with things that they know you can't resist? I feel that I'm am currently the victim of consumer stalking.

I swear to you. I don't know if they're tapping my phone or reading my thoughts, but somehow, Amazon clearly knows what I want and exactly what price it will take to make it impossible to say no. Now, they already have plenty of information on me. I've bought various things from them over the years, usually movies and books. And I have about six wish lists, including one specifically telling people what would make a good gift for me. I'm a list person, and Amazon satisfies my organizing addiction. So it's not surprising that they know what I want. But really, I don't know why there has been such a string of things which seems specifically designed to ensnare me and my money.

First, it was Gilmore Girls. Loved it in high school and college, and I've recently started watching the reruns every weekday on ABC Family. So when Amazon sent me a friendly little e-mail about their deal of the day, imagine my amazement to see that they had the entire show, seven whole seasons, for about $100. That was insane, because we're talking about 40+ discs that usually sell for at least $170. I knew I would want this set eventually, and that it would never be cheaper, so after a few agonizing hours going back and forth, I gave in and made the purchase. And a week or so later I had my lovely little set waiting for me in the mail box. So pretty, so new, and with its own special place on my shelf. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Uh-huh.

But then, I was further propositioned by Amazon with another deal of the day a few weeks later. The complete series of Angel, for the same ridiculous discount. I haven't even seen all of Angel, but I knew I wanted it, being the spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I already own. And somehow, not having seen the series made me want it more, because it made me want to watch it, and there was no other way to do it. So I gave them another $50 of my money and anxiously awaited another package. It does concern me that perhaps some of my motivation was to make walking to the mail box more exciting, but I don't think that would be enough for someone like me to want to spend money. The gorgeousness of David Boreanaz is a much more likely culprit.

Now, if I start getting e-mails from Amazon about Doctor Who specials or discounts on NCIS, I'm going to have to call in reinforcements, because that will be going one step too far. I did find a flyer for Arby's in my door, so maybe now I'm being stalked by fast food vendors, which might actually be worse. I can look at my shelves and still feel good about my purchases, but I probably wouldn't say the same thing about the crumpled-up wrapper of a cheeseburger.

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