The Daily Ping

The 1st Ping was published on January 6, 2000.

September 15th, 2000

Give Me My Paperclips!

A couple co-workers and I went in on a purchase at buy.com last week. Buy was doing a “free shipping on all orders over $50” promotion and had a coupon for $30 off a purchase of $150.

There are a pair of DVD sets coming out that all three of us were interested in pre-ordering. Buy had them for $24.99 each, meaning that the grand total for all three of us came out to $149.94. Enough to get free shipping, but not enough to get $30 off the order (which would bring the cost of each DVD down to $20, shipped). Sure, one of us could have ordered another DVD, but that would have cut the savings-per-DVD down substantially. Plus, none of us really felt like spending more than $40, anyway.

So, we bought some paperclips. They were 19 cents, giving us a total order price of $150.13, enough for the free shipping and to use the coupon.

However, Buy has a policy of shipping each item separately at no extra cost (allowing in-stock items to be shipped before pre-order items). Can you see where this is going?

The other day, I got this in the mail at work:

Paper Clips

That’s right — they put a single box of 19-cent paper clips in a box big enough to hold three normal-sized hardback books. The only other thing in the box was the shipping receipt and a section from a local newspaper (coincidentally, one that we subscribed to in New Jersey when I was a kid). Buy shipped the paper clips UPS — I can’t imagine how much it actually cost them.

I wouldn’t have minded waiting for my paper clips. Really. -ram

Posted in Miscellaneous

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