Several years ago, I wrote a marketing rant in which I admitted to having had fallen for the old 3-days only sale approach. I could write an entire post on marketing “techniques” I have fallen for over the years. It’s not my fault. I’m destined to make this mistake. I’m pretty sure if I sent a swab of spit to be analyzed by 23andMe, the report would include:
“…tendency to buy stuff marketed as being a bargain while actually selling at the normal or perhaps an inflated price.”
I’ve done that.
The combination of being an optimist and being
slightly naïve (I crossed out slightly so the Editor wouldn’t have to) leads me to trust the wrong people.
I wrote a post about a disreputable vendor selling what was described as being high-quality garden carts when he was actually having an all-too-ordinary cart drop-shipped from Harbor Freight. More recently, I’ve read two articles about people who buy clearance-sale items from Target and Wal*Mart and sell them at a regular retail price through an Amazon website. It might be legal, it might be smart, but it seems deceptive. The fact that a lot of what’s being sold through Amazon a) isn’t being sold by Amazon and b) isn’t anywhere near the bargain you’d expect from Amazon are two of the reasons that put Amazon last on my list for buying a lot of things.
So, if I’m avoiding these vendors, what has me writing a post about this stuff?
1) Facebook follow-up – As I mentioned in replies to some of the comments on Saturday’s post, an article published by CNET on Saturday, made Facebook sound even worse than I had. The headline/sub-head reads:
Facebook’s two-factor authentication (2FA) puts security and privacy at odds
Stop using your phone number for two-factor authentication on Facebook.
You can read the entire article here, but these two snippets will give you a thumbnail version:
“…The phone number you give to Facebook to help keep your account safe from potential hackers isn’t just being used for security. … people can find your profile from that same phone number, and you can’t opt out of that setting.”
“…about five months after Gizmodo found that the phone number being used for 2FA was also being provided to advertisers for targeted posts.”
2) We Miss You – Last year, I discovered that the company that manufactured my portable jigsaw, plans to stop making the proprietary blades that saw uses. My saw is in near perfect condition, so I searched for a supplier where I could stock-up on blades. I found several on eBay and Amazon, selling blades for several times the previous list price. I found one mail-order company selling the blades for a higher price than I ever paid, but not an extremely high price. I bought a bunch. I haven’t bought anything else from this company because their prices, across the board, are high. They just sent me a 10% off coupon, because they miss me. 10% wouldn’t bring their sale prices down to what I would expect to pay.
3) Facebook Only Ad – For a software product that I might like and is selling for less than 15% of the previous price. I don’t trust this. Why would the offer only be good if I purchase it through the Facebook ad? The company could be in cahoots with Facebook to gather a bunch of information about me during the transaction. They could be planning to release a new version of this software. They could be going out of business. Nope, too many questions/possibilities.
Let me close this post with a story from my consulting days in the 1980s.
I worked for one of the then Big-8 accounting firms, in their consulting division. We were asked to perform an official review of a software product. The price for this review started at $100,000 but would let the developer attach the firm’s imprimatur to their software.
I was assigned to conduct a preliminary review to determine if we even wanted to proceed with this project. The software worked, seemed like it would fill a need in the marketplace, but was bug-ridden. I spent three days evaluating the product and compiling a list of errors. At that point, we said: “Fix these things and we’ll talk.”
The owner fixed the most blatant errors, fired his development staff, hired two people to market the software and included: “reviewed by an international accounting firm” on the jacket. The best part of that engagement is that the owner introduced me to the term ‘higgledy-piggledy’ when, after reading my review, said: “it’s seems to have gone all higgledy-piggledy on you.”
Our weather went all higgledy-piggledy on us Saturday night. We got a little bit of snow, a little freezing rain and some regular old rain to start our Sunday. Pictures in the gallery.