I buy things at Newegg. I have found them to be a trustworthy merchant. However, they’ve just instituted a new policy that I find irritating on a number of levels. When I see an item for sale, I want to know how much it costs. They have just instituted a “Price-Available-at-Checkout” policy. This is different from their already inconvenient “See-Price-in-Cart” practice, where some items are set so you cannot see the price until the item is in your cart. Distributors of the merchandise they sell have probably rangled some deal with them that they can’t just blurt the price out because then scraper engines that cull prices on comparison websites might accidentally draw more people to the site selling the merchandise… no wait… that would be a good thing right? Well, I don’t know why they do the See-Price-in-Cart thing. It’s annoying, but not entirely obnoxious. I can always remove it from my cart when I see how much else I’ve spent on other items. However, Price-Available-at-Checkout is one step entirely too far. At that point I’m only one click away from purchasing a product. There is probably some statistics genius at Newegg that figured out people are much more likely to make an impulse purchase if they’re that much closer to the last step of actually clicking the “Purchase” button.
This is bad. Newegg really doesn’t want impulse purchases on large-ticket items. It causes credit problems for people who can barely afford that item. Newegg should not be in the business of making it easier for people to get into debt trouble. It makes it more difficult later for the same people to come back to Newegg and buy stuff they can actually afford — after having considered the cost, shipping and additional other items carefully.
Making me wait until I’m at the point of purchase to see the price makes me feel like a rat in a Newegg’s lab. Well… I know I’m already a rat in Newegg’s lab because I receive plenty of emails that send me suggestions about what I should buy based on my previous viewing habits. I don’t even have to be logged in. I just have to browse the television section or the solid state drive section for about 40 minutes or leave some items in my cart and I get an email about what great televisions or SSD’s are now available for me at Newegg the next day.
Godaddy does this upsell thing where even if you just want to register a domain, they try to make you buy skatey-eight other products and services along the way. Price-Available-at-Checkout is as annoying as Godaddy’s upsell practices, but maybe worse. I don’t buy anything without first seeing in my cart exactly what I’m paying for the item and shipping. This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
I like Newegg’s youtube videos. I like the products they sell. I rely on their customer feedback. I can live with See-Price-in-Cart and the Picked-Just-For-You emails. This new policy is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I draw the line there. I expect better from Newegg.