I hate Overstock.com

I hate Overstock.com

Update: They did sell out of that stupid thing I bought. I wouldn’t have been able to believe that I could hate them more. They gave me a $5.00 coupon toward a future purchase, but even including that, I had to spend $15 more in order to get an item similar to the one I wanted to buy.

Sure, Overstock might lure you in with their ads featuring a seductive austrian woman prancing about in a white wonder world of online commerce, but what really awaits you on the web site? I hate Overstock.com. Don’t get me wrong, I shop there, but I hate it the same way I hate Wal-Mart, and I hate it too, but for different reasons. Read on to see why I hate Overstock.com.

Overstock has great prices on a lot of things. I just got done shopping for my Mother and Granny on there. Yes, I call her Granny. I was minding my own business trying to buy some things, and I felt instantly pressured, by an online store with no physical connection to me.

Almost Sold Out
When you are trying to sort through the pages that are designed in such a way to sell you the highest dollar items first, you come across “Almost Sold Out” signs on a lot of the items. They are trying to make you think “Hey, some guy might buy this before I can and it’ll be sold out before I can buy it!” It’s high pressure sales without the salesperson on commission.

Sold Out
OK. I can accept that. They want to move their items. But what about this? A “Sold Out” sign on items? What are they trying to get you to think there? “Oh man, Overstock sure does move product. Even the ones that don’t say ‘Almost Sold Out’ might be sold out before I’ll have a chance to deliver my money into their grubby paws!” I don’t get it. I’ve never seen a retailer brag about being sold out of something that I wasn’t even looking for in the first place. It’s just odd.

Sold OutWell, it worked. I added multiple items to my cart, and wouldn’t you know, even an item that didn’t say “Almost Sold Out” on it said “Only 10 Left!!” on an animated gif on the cart page. They were trying to make me check out immediately. Well, I didn’t. I said, “I don’t believe that. They couldn’t possibly sell out while I’m shopping.” I added another item to my cart, and wouldn’t you know, now it says “Only 5 left!”

Well, that worked too. I checked out immediately, because I didn’t want my gift shopping time to go to waste, but I don’t know if I’ll shop there again. I probably will, just as I volunteer to be abused by Wal-Mart, but it’s not right. Capitalism, sure, it’s great, but just let me shop on the site. Don’t hustle me out the door.

And to top it all off, when I got done, this is what I got after paying with my credit card:
Overstock.com Survey

Author: Chris Benard

Chris Benard is a software developer in the Dallas area specializing in payments processing, medical claims processing, and Windows/Web services.