Gold Box

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I am always amazed and confused by Amazon and their “Gold Box.” For those not familiar with the ubiquitous golden chest in the upper-right corner of the Amazon page, here is the deal. You get to click on it once every 24 hours. Once open, you are presented with an item at some super-duper discount sale price. You have 60 minutes to either purchase it or go on to next item, never to get the previous item again (more on this). It is sort of a Let's Make A Deal system. “No, Bob, I think I'll pass up the bacon-stretcher for what's behind door number 2.”

I can see the theory behind how the Gold Box works. The time limits give it a sort of urgency, like an auction–and people can get a little carried away with their spending when it comes to auctions. Unfortunately, auctions tap people's competitive spirit (“I can't let that guy get this. *I* need it! *I* need to WIN!”), whereas the Gold Box is just a race against the clock, which does not quite catch the same mood. Also, and this is the BIG thing, just about everything in the Gold Box is absolutely useless!

Let me reiterate. Everything in the Gold Box is generally useless and/or super-specialized. It is as if they want you to impulse-buy things that no sane person would impulse-buy. Recently, my items included things like:

  • a $110 wine opener, discounted to $70. WTF?! And I felt a little excessive when I passed up the $5 plastic+metal wine opener that always ends up broken to get the $15 all-brushed-aluminum shiny one.
  • sparkle in-line skates. Well, I guess if I wanted to skate around like a sparkle-jockey at the beach in glittery pink in-line skates, sure, but I would have thought Amazon had collected enough demographics on me by now to realize I'm not gay, not a kid, have no kids, and have never purchased a kid item from Amazon.
  • nice little $80-apiece satellite speakers. These are the little speakers that sit behind you when you have a surround-sound system. You see, most people with home theater systems purchased the amp and surround sound speakers at the same time because that's the POINT of home theater audio. Without the satellite speakers, it is just a stereo or boom box.
  • a gift basket from a golf-club company containing cozies in which to place your golf club, hunks of processed cheese, processed sausage, and crackers. While I am a fan of the Hickory Farm, which is often over-priced in and of itself, the price and contents of this gift basket was just double-plus-ridiculous. I mean, really, golf club cozies?!
  • a $100 juicer. While I have often thought of getting a juicer there are two key factors at play here. (1) I have a perfectly acceptable cheezy little plastic juicer from the supermarket, the one that everyone has, for oranges and lemons (2) I'm lazy and won't ever clean a “professional” type juicer. Plus, $100 for squeezing citrus?!

    I could go on and on, but I think that is enough to get the point across. The Gold Box is full of useless crap. It seems that they cannot even get rid of the stuff, as I often get the same item on multiple days. I am not sure why I continue to bother with clicking on The Box, other than morbid (or at least, crazy economic/sociological) curiosity. As I write this, I just heard a product mentioned on the radio: a wireless, electronic, speaking meat thermometer. Ummm…..yeah….

    I am sick this weekend and feel like poo. I learned the actual burn rate of the company for which I work during some after-work drinks on Friday. (At this point, only inertia, spelled l-a-z-i-n-e-s-s, is keeping me there.) My car has been in the shop for a week — pro: I do not have to pay for a new transmission, con: my car has been in the shop for a week. I am starting to feel that my ride-leeching privileges with coworkers are starting to wear thin. Is there anything particularly passionate about the bitter-sweet flavor of passion fruit? I am trying to learn the SoulSeek protocol to help out the guy writing the Mac OS X client, but I am sick, feel like poo, and am having difficulty concentrating while my head is about to explode.

    Posted in: Dear Diary Work
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