Pushy Marketing

I recently ordered a few household goods online, and I’m already regretting that decision.

First of all, I needed some new compression stockings. The prescription type generally look like crap, so I was in the market for something a little nicer, even if the compression factor wasn’t as strong. I have edema, so my feet and ankles swell up as the day goes on, but compression stockings plus a prescription for a daily diuretic help keep that in check. So I stumbled across an ad on Facebook for some black stockings with sporty, colorful racing stripes. ‘Sure, why not?’ I thought. They were inexpensive and attractive, so I bought a six-pack of them. No sooner had I done so when I started getting emails from that same company offering me a discount on MORE socks! How many socks do they think I need, anyway? The pressure to buy more has continued, guaranteeing I am unlikely to buy anything from them in the future. As a side note, I did receive the stockings, and they are fine and pretty much as advertised. After a washing or two, they seem to be holding up okay, but time will tell if they are truly durable or give out on me before the year is up. Because their compression factor isn’t as strong as I really need, I only wear a pair of them once or twice a week.

Also, we have two kittens. They are just shy of 1 year old as of this writing, and like most cats track litter around the house. After discussing options with T., I ordered a pair of litterbox mats. These mats have a honeycomb-shaped upper layer, and the litter falls down through the holes to be trapped in the lower layer, which can then be dumped back into the litterbox. Genius! Several different firms offer these, and at similar prices when shipping is factored in. I picked out the ones I wanted and ordered. AGAIN with the “Hey, here’s a coupon; buy more stuff!” sales pitches.

Now I get that they’re aiming for customer retention. What cheeses me off is the fact that I haven’t even received the initial order yet: I don’t know if their product is crap, or even if they are a fly-by-night outfit that will take my money and run, and they’re already trying to get me to buy more. It’s intensely frustrating.

Who teaches these outfits to market like that? Seriously, if their products are fabulous, that’s worthy of repeat business, but I DON’T EVEN KNOW YET!!! Are they just preying on gullible consumers? If so that’s a red flag right there — and a BIG one.

The latin phrase “caveat emptor” — meaning essentially “buyer beware” has never been more appropriate nor more accurate than in today’s online marketplace. I prefer to buy my goods from a brick and mortar store, and these pressure tactics by online vendors only reinforce my preference.

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