Nov 8, 2006 at 9:05 pm #1220123
After reading Steep and Cheap deals on the board here for the past while, I decided to watch the site today. I was paying particular attention to the switch between the ladies Smart Wool T’s and whatever was coming. I hit F5 30 times in 3 minutes and low and behold, before my eye’s was an Arcteryx SL Alpha Goretex Paclite Jacket size L in a nice grey blue color for $100. I stared for about 4 seconds (literally) and pounced. I spent about 4 minutes looking to see what the real retail was on other sites, getting my credit card, and then proceeded to get it done. Within 6 minutes I had the whole transaction completed. Only to find out AFTER I had input all my personal info. (including credit card numbers) that it was sold out.
This seems a con. Even the shiester TicketMaster monopoly who gauge concert-goers give a set time to complete the transaction. Why the hell else would you give over your private info.? As a gamble that you might get what you were offered?!?!
I have a sinking feeling that it is sites like SAC that will lead us into increased internet regulation…and of course taxation to pay for all that regulation. There has to be some ethics when it comes to business. You can’t scan someone’s credit card at a brick and mortar business and then haul their gear back across the counter to give it to the person on the other side who found their card first! It is pure BS!Nov 8, 2006 at 9:24 pm #1366595
@oiboyroiLocale: South West US
dude, get a part time seasonal job at REI and you won’t even have to bother looking at sites like SAC. they have an “employee retention program” as i like to call it that is unbeatable. it must have been three or four months before i made any money there.Nov 8, 2006 at 10:27 pm #1366603
you can make a user name and save your credit card info on it so you can checkout fast and get your itemsNov 9, 2006 at 12:54 pm #1366646
Are you saying that once you add it to your cart, the clock starts ticking for when it would be taken out and put back on the rack? Sounds nice, you should suggest it because they are technologists.
It goes pretty quick if you save your credit card info.Nov 9, 2006 at 1:43 pm #1366651
What I am saying: I loaded the page probably simultaneously as SAC put it up. I placed the item in the “basket” within four seconds. I got to the credit card page, and stopped and went back to re-look at the item, but opening their page in another browser window. It had already changed to a backpack (within 15 seconds). I searched the jacket on the internet on google in that second browser window…to the tune of 45 to 60 more seconds. Determining that it was a great jacket and a fantastic deal, I walked 15 feet, got my credit card, and completed the deal within 2 minutes. The very last page, where you expect to see a confirmation, was a (wah wah waaaaah) “sorry charlie”.
They should disclaim this so that consumers know at the very least. They should utilize technology that gives a purchaser at least a limited amount of time to do your thing.
I can only guess that the folks (backcountry.com) who run this, like to be able to name drop a killer item at a great deal…but that is all it is. One item. To keep the hype there. But they neglect to protect individual consumer privacy and care nothing about service.Nov 9, 2006 at 6:31 pm #1366672
@crazypeteLocale: Above the Divided Line
To be unnecessarily blunt—
I am also assuming that you would hate Ebay then.
I suggest you type faster next time.Nov 9, 2006 at 7:30 pm #1366674
Scott, there are internet retailers doing things such as you mentioned; and when my first experience with an online retailer goes bad, I feel suspicious like you did. I have even reversed charges on my card once. However, Backcountry (and their SAC site) are reputable businesses and I have had no trouble with them. I bought two items from SAC (you do need to be quick if quantities are low), and several items from Backcountry; no problems once the transaction goes through. I suggest you try again before the graphic bars on the left of the page at SAC indicate the quantity is almost out. Remember, at SAC there are thousands of people being notified immediately by IM, email, YahooWidget, etc.. of each deal.Nov 10, 2006 at 2:47 am #1366699
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
No experience w/SAC, but for 2-3yrs i have made quite a number of purchases fr/Backcountry.com and fr/my experience, they are quite reputable. Have not had a single problem of any type.Nov 10, 2006 at 6:29 am #1366707
I’ve bought numerous things from SAC… never lucky enough to get smarwool… the only ‘problem’ is that there are a ton of people scoping for the high-profile items. They basically put a box of stuff on, and it dissapears. They’re NOT trying to scam.Nov 10, 2006 at 6:51 am #1366708
@dangLocale: Pacific Northwet
I scored one of the $30 smartwool zip T’s a few months back. I do remember the time period for buying was actually s span of a several hours, so it was not that difficult to obtain.
The shipping was extremely fast, it went out the same day and I received it 2 or 3 days later.
DanNov 10, 2006 at 7:17 am #1366709
Crazy Pete, success or failure on e bay has nothing to do with how fast you type. Timing and bid selection are the key there. Once you have won the item, you can infact take up to a week to type your info.
I do not think SAC is out to rip everyone off. Just to repeat one last time. They do not need my credit card info. if I am not buying something from them.
SAC, like other sites who sell high demand-low supply items (think world series tickets) can and should deploy software that allows the first person who clicked on the item, the ability to purchase it within a few minutes. The fact that they do not have this software speaks to the fact that they do not care if new users are able to get some of the good stuff. Obviously there are quite a few “trolls”, with pre-established accounts, who play this game well. So when a new guy like me thinks he got lucky, only to find SAC took my info. to sell an item out from under me…it is not a good experience.
So I have harped enough. I won’t spend too much time using that site. I do find that it may create artificial feelings for an item too. As you watch all the items that are of no interest to you go by…and your anticipation for something good builds…and finally you see something like “Epic” jacket….$50….”Mountain Hardware”….you figure…that has to be good….better get it now!!! And then you have a jacket, that sure enough was cheap. But how long does an UL backpacker find happiness with a 1 pound rain jacket?Nov 10, 2006 at 8:13 am #1366715
“SAC, like other sites who sell high demand-low supply items (think world series tickets) can and should deploy software that allows the first person who clicked on the item, the ability to purchase it within a few minutes. The fact that they do not have this software speaks to the fact that they do not care if new users are able to get some of the good stuff. Obviously there are quite a few “trolls”, with pre-established accounts, who play this game well. So when a new guy like me thinks he got lucky, only to find SAC took my info. to sell an item out from under me…it is not a good experience. “
To put it in perspective, I tried purchasing airline tickets recently and had the lower cost ticket availability dry up twice while entering my info. If a major airline doesn’t have this software, I’m not sure I would expect a division of an online outdoor retailer to have it either.Nov 10, 2006 at 8:15 am #1366716
Here we go again … they are going fastNov 10, 2006 at 8:45 am #1366719
Perhaps Ticketmaster pre-empted the extra hate they would generate given the situations you and I faced with other sites. They, of the ilk of “extra convienence fees” and it’s $2.50 to print your own tickets at home!!! It really would be salt in the wound if you thought you got tickets to a concert…and then put all your info. in only to have it go poof.
Your point regarding the airlines drives home the fact that increased internet regulation is probably not too far off, but the rationale about scale being the driving factor is not true. Neither company cares about service. Airlines long ago gave up even pretending to care about the customer. Try traveling extensively for a living and you will see. Why should they care about your online experience if they don’t really care about any other aspect of your experience?Nov 10, 2006 at 9:05 am #1366720
@williamlawLocale: SF Bay Area
I’d hate for somebody to happen across this thread and think SAC is anything other than the 2nd greatest web site in the entire universe (BPL being number one:-).
Seriously, I’ve bought dozens of SAC items (Smartwool zip-T just minutes ago) and have never had anything but a positive experience.
Like they say right there in big bold type: “Act fast, ’cause once it’s gone you’re SOL…” If you want some kind of guaranteed deal, I’m sure you can find it. For much closer to full MSRP.Nov 10, 2006 at 7:40 pm #1366780
I’ve bought quite a few items on SAC and never had any problems. If you spent any time the SAC forum, you’d know that people bitch all day and night for arcteryx, so when it goes up on the site, it goes fast. SAC exists to move quality gear quickly and cheaply. Sometimes its gone in minutes and other times it doesn’t.
If you knew anything about how an online retail transaction occurs, you may understand that its very complicated, and SAC does it pretty well.Nov 14, 2006 at 12:20 pm #1367121
If anybody is still following this thread, the unofficial SAC FAQ is here:
The FAQ is pretty funny. And, yes, the item isn’t allocated until you have committed to buy. I’ve got it down to about 10 seconds, and I still missed something a few weeks ago. Oh well.
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