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  • Easily Tripp Over Amazon Batteries

    Posted on September 20th, 2004 Brian No comments

    So there was a recent power outage here, and I noticed that my computers shut off when it happened. Now, that may not be so surprising to you, but I have a UPS on my computers, so they should have stayed up. I checked the UPS this morning, and the light next to the little picture of a battery with a slash through it is lit, meaning my batteries are dead.

    Since I have a Tripp Lite Omnismart 1400 unit, I hopped over to their site to find some replacement batteries. I was quite pleasently surprised by the following facts:

    1. My unit was listed.
    2. Replacement batteries existed.
    3. To help me, they listed five places from which I could purchase said replacement batteries, including up-to-date prices.
    4. I could put in my zip code and they would calculate shipping and give me a final cost for all of those places.
    5. Shipping 20-pound batteries was free at Amazon, making them was the cheapest.
    6. Amazon remembered all my info. (Okay, no surprise here, but I’m building to something.)
    7. Amazon is offering a discount of pi/2-percent-off if you have recently used the a9 search engine, making things even cheaper.

    So there are a few interesting things in this list. First of all, uninterruptible power supplies seem to be immune to the obsolesence problem to which most modern technology falls victim. Technology advances so quicky these days that I am accustomed to simply purchasing new equipment because replacement parts for old equipment are often no longer manufactured. It’s good to see that batteries are pretty much the same as they were four years ago.

    Second, Amazon is giving you a discount for using their search engine. Presumably, this is an attempt to drive traffic to their search engine, and it may very well work. However, I am forced to comment that giving people pi/2-percent-off for using a search engine is really quite irrational.

    Finally, this was quite simply the best case of online purchasing I have ever experienced. I started at the site of the manufacturer of my product. They gave me a listing of places from which I could purchase, including prices and shipping costs. Then I moved over to the purchaser’s site, where they remembered me and let me purchase my order with little hassle. All-in-all, it was probably seven clicks to make this all happen, and each page required very little input from me. My job boiled down to reviewing the screen and clicking “Next.” The entire time I was guided down the path of least resistance towards a good deal.

    Or at least I think it was a good deal. It was all so easy, I didn’t even bother to check if there was anyplace cheaper I could have bought the batteries! The people who made this happen are good at what they do, and they will become rich by suckering me into purchasing something without checking for alternatives.

    On the other hand, I really didn’t want to spend an afternoon shopping for batteries.

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