Wooooo, those of you who tried to hop on this deal have maybe done it before, or maybe this was your first experience with it, but either way—you’ve done it now. The adrenaline rush. The thrill of the chase; the high of the ultimate bargain. That’s the sort of thing that makes shopping fun again, right?
Well, yes and no.
For those of you who are maybe haven’t hopped on a deal like this before, you need fair warning. There’s an excellent chance all of our orders will be canceled.
And if you read any bargaining forums, here’s what you’ll see if that happens: “It’s not fair!” “They have an obligation to give us what was promised!” “I’ll never shop Amazon again!” “It was a bait and switch, pure and simple!”
I don’t agree with any of those sentiments.
Look, pricing mistakes happen. In this case, when I found the deal this morning, there were over 300 pairs of shoes offered by Footsmart on the Amazon site that were marked down to $1.99. I’m not sure I would consider that a simple mistake, but, well, yeah—there’s a decent possibility that a disgruntled employee or someone really careless was at the pricing helm today. There’s also a decent possibility that this was a liquidation of some leftover stock. I don’t know. Either way, there are rules of engagement for extreme deals like this, and the sooner you come to know and accept them, the less of a chance that you’ll end up disappointed.
Rules of The Big Deal:
- Run. On an extreme bargain, you have to shop like the wind, baby. Throw stuff in your cart and check out as fast as humanly possible. If there’s free shipping involved, do separate orders so that you can check out with the stuff you want before it disappears. When shopping in a time crunch like this, open lots of windows—I do a main window to browse in, then do a separate window every time I go to a specific item. That way, I always have my “place” in the original window to come back to.
- Don’t change anything until you have the merchandise in hand. So you ordered 10 pairs of shoes and you’re elated. Great! Then you run upstairs and clear your closet of shoes and donate them to Goodwill that afternoon. No! Stop! Don’t do it until you receive your order. Trust me.
- Assume that your order will be canceled. Huh? Didn’t I just tell you to shop like the wind? Yes, I did. But you’re taking a chance, when you come across an extreme deal like this. There’s an excellent chance that the merchant will rescind the unbelievable pricing. Easy come, easy go. Don’t become enraged if this happens. If you get your order, that’s excellent. If it turns out to be an elaborate boo-boo on the part of the merchant, no, they’re not obligated to honor your order anyway. What they can’t do is charge you a different price (that’s illegal), but they’re well within their rights to claim an inventory glitch and cancel.
- Don’t shoot the messenger. In this case, the deal is with a third-party merchant selling through the Amazon site. I guarantee you that if these orders are canceled, people will be bad-mouthing Amazon all over the place. Guess what? We didn’t buy from Amazon. We bought from Footsmart. Amazon offers protection in the form of things like not allowing merchants to overcharge you and helping if your items aren’t received, but they can’t force someone to fulfill an order if it’s properly canceled and you aren’t charged. (Likewise, please don’t come yell at me if the deal falls through. Thanks.)
- There’s always next time. If this deal doesn’t work out, don’t worry. Another one will come along. I promise! I’ve had incredible deals canceled when I didn’t expect them to be, and I’ve gotten orders I was sure would never be honored. That’s part of the fun.
- It’s not over ’til it’s over. My orders are showing as “completed” in my Amazon account history, but that only means they’ve been turned over to the merchant. My credit card hasn’t been charged yet. If/when I see the charge appear on my card, then I’d say there’s an excellent chance that I have a package coming. But until then, who knows.
Now, sit back, cross your fingers, and let’s all do a little shoe dance. But either way, there’s no point in getting worked up about it. I can’t believe I’m saying this… but… they’re only shoes. And believe it or not, merchants do not exist to make us happy. They have to earn a living, too. So… wait and see, and then move on to the next deal.