Tag Archives | shopping

11 Percent Of People Say They Shop Online Naked

shopping

Via CNET News, I’m not sure exactly what this says about our relationship with the consumer items we purchase:

This is the ultimate in capitalist freedom. How many people, though, will actually admit not only that they shop online in the nude, but they actually like doing it?

According to a survey commissioned by PayPal, a resilient and courageous 11 percent confessed that, yes, there are few things as likable as shopping starkers.

In essence, therefore, there may be a certain lifestyle segment in the US that drinks and takes its clothes off, then lies on the sofa or in the bath (or elsewhere), in order to have the perfect online retail experience.

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Chinese Man Commits Suicide At Mall After Girlfriend Refuses To Stop Shopping

deadDeath by overwhelming and inescapable consumerism? Via Gawker:

A man who was fed up with his girlfriend’s incessant Christmas shopping responded to her request for one more look around a mall shoe store by leaping seven floors to his death.

The 38-year-old, identified as Tao Hsiao, had been shopping with his girlfriend at the Golden Eagle International Shopping Center in Xuzhou, China, when she asked to check out one last shoe store.

Having been inside the mall for five hours, Tao had reached his limit, and reportedly insisted that they leave immediately. “He told her she already had enough shoes, more shoes that she could wear in a lifetime and it was pointless buying any more,” an eyewitness was quoted as saying.

Surveillance footage shows Tao angrily hurling the shopping bags and jumping over the railing onto the cosmetics section below. A spokesman for the shopping center says that the man died instantly upon impact.

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Black Friday Isn’t Even the Best Day to Get a “Deal”

dawn_of_the_dead_1978_404_303_photos121This won’t be news to most disinfonauts, but here are some details you can share with your less informed friends and family.  Tiffany Hsu writes at the Los Angeles Times:

As the hardiest of shoppers prepare for the annual Black Friday consumption frenzy, many are convinced it’s their one shot at a great deal.

But “that’s not even close to the truth,” said Matthew Ong, senior retail analyst at online personal finance company NerdWallet Inc. Bargain hunters can — and, in some cases, should — avoid the Black Friday weekend crush, several experts said. Many characterize the shopping bonanza as an expertly marketed ploy to capitalize on shoppers’ fear of missing out. By dangling a small batch of irresistible savings, stores land hordes of hopeful shoppers all scheming to score the retail version of Willy Wonka’s golden ticket. Yet only a tiny percentage of customers end up with the most desirable deals.
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Walmart Shelves Emptied in Unlimited Food Stamp Shopping Spree

Black Friday at a Walmart

A mobbed Wal-Mart store, but not the site of the food stamp stampede.

Well now we know where food stamp recipients like to shop (no surprise of course). Now who’s going to pay the bill? (No prizes for guessing the answer to that one either.) Via ABC News:

Louisiana officials are trying to decide what to do about a massive shopping spree by families on food stamps when a power outage lifted the caps on their spending cards.

Police were called to Walmart locations in Mansfield, La., and Springhill, La., on Saturday as shoppers cleaned out store shelves.

Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd said some customers were pushing more food than any household could store in a refrigerator and freezer.

“I saw people drag out eight to ten grocery carts,” he said.

Lynd said customers were “not unruly.” There were no fights or arrests made, but the scene was still chaotic, he said.

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Nordstrom Tracks Shoppers In Stores Via Their Smartphones

NordstromOh, and it’s not just Nordstrom. Go shopping with a wifi-enabled phone at your peril, reports the New York Times:

Like dozens of other brick-and-mortar retailers, Nordstrom wanted to learn more about its customers — how many came through the doors, how many were repeat visitors — the kind of information that e-commerce sites like Amazon have in spades. So last fall the company started testing new technology that allowed it to track customers’ movements by following the Wi-Fi signals from their smartphones.

But when Nordstrom posted a sign telling customers it was tracking them, shoppers were unnerved.

“We did hear some complaints,” said Tara Darrow, a spokeswoman for the store. Nordstrom ended the experiment in May, she said, in part because of the comments.

Nordstrom’s experiment is part of a movement by retailers to gather data about in-store shoppers’ behavior and moods, using video surveillance and signals from their cellphones and apps to learn information as varied as their sex, how many minutes they spend in the candy aisle and how long they look at merchandise before buying it.

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App Scans Grocery Store Items To Identify Monsanto Products

Identify MonsantoSpecifically intended to point out items linked to the vast and nebulous tentacles of Monsanto and Koch Industries, the smartphone app uncloaks the corporate family tree behind a given barcode. Via Forbes:

The app itself is the work of one Los Angeles-based 26-year-old freelance programmer, Ivan Pardo, who has devoted the last 16 months to Buycott.

Pardo’s handiwork is available for download on iPhone or Android, making its debut in early May. You can scan the barcode on any product and the free app will trace its ownership all the way to its top corporate parent company, including conglomerates like Koch Industries.

Once you’ve scanned an item, Buycott will show you its corporate family tree on your phone screen. Scan a box of Splenda sweetener, for instance, and you’ll see its parent, McNeil Nutritionals, is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

 

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How Stores Are Spying On You

Wear a mask, pay cash, and break out your old brick cell phone. Consumer Reports tells all:

High-resolution video cameras monitor all areas in and outside the  store. With facial-recognition software, your mug shot can be captured and digitally filed. Ditto for your car’s license plate. Stores don’t provide sufficient disclosure, so you can’t opt out to protect your privacy.

Gaze trackers are hidden in tiny holes in the shelving and detect which brands you’re looking at and how long for each. There are even mannequins whose eyes are cameras that detect age, sex, ethnicity, and facial expression.

Your mobile phone is an excellent device for tracking your shopping route. Retailer tracking systems can identify individual shoppers by monitoring your phone’s International Mobile Subscriber Identity number (constantly transmitted from all cell phones to their service providers) or Media Access Control address (transmitted when the device’s Wi-Fi is enabled, which is the default setting on most devices).

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The Adventure Of Randomized Shopping

Craving the excitement that consumerism arouses, Darius Kazemi designed the Amazon Random Shopper, which buys random object each month, and documents the results. Could this randomized consumption prove more rewarding than shopping according to our supposed needs, desires, and tastes?

Recently I’ve been making a bunch of weird stuff that randomly generates things. The first iteration of this was going to be a program that bought me stuff that I probably would like. But then I decided that was too boring.

How about I build something that buys me things completely at random? Something that just… fills my life with crap? How would these purchases make me feel? Would they actually be any less meaningful than the crap I buy myself on a regular basis anyway?

So I built Amazon Random Shopper. It grabs a random word from the Wordnik API, then runs an Amazon search based on that word and buys the first thing that’s under budget.

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