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Last Second Abandonment Of Shopping Items

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In increasing numbers, cash strapped consumers are abandoning items at the checkout counter or dumping items from their virtual shopping baskets online. The former creates orphan items that have to be restocked.

Last second abandonment is a new twist in the "Do I really need that?" shopping psychology that has set in. Now more than ever, shoppers are thinking twice in the checkout line.

Penny-pinching Americans are getting cold feet at the checkout -- thinking twice about spending and ditching items before they're rung up.

They're leaving sweaters in the dress department, dumping cookies near the grocery cashier and waiting until the last minute to weigh wants versus needs. Online, shoppers are abandoning their virtual carts as they search for better deals.

People "want to be in the act of shopping, but they don't want to be in the act of buying," said Joel Bines, a director at AlixPartners, a turnaround consultant.

Besides abandoning goods while standing in line, they're paying close attention once checkout begins. They ask cashiers to provide a total while they're still scanning items to see where they stand, or to have necessities like health care basics scanned first, said Dan Fishback, chief executive of DemandTec Inc., a retail technology company. When they hit their limit, they forgo what's left in the basket.

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com...phan-items.html

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I've only ever done this if I've suddenly realised I don't have enough money.

As taking goods off the shelves does not constitute a contract, you are free to fill a trolley with £500 of goods, and have them scanned at the check out and then walk away without either taking or paying for the goods.

If you ever want to exact revenge on a supermarket it works a treat.

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As taking goods off the shelves does not constitute a contract, you are free to fill a trolley with £500 of goods, and have them scanned at the check out and then walk away without either taking or paying for the goods.

If you ever want to exact revenge on a supermarket it works a treat.

:lol:

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I always pay by card which prevents the 'oh **** I'm a bit short' moment, but fortunately I'm very prudent anyway when it comes to shopping and generally have a running total in my head anyway when walking the isles. However I can see how cards got a lot of people into the overspending mess and see this as a good sign that people are finally having to think about the costs when shopping like people should have always done. Its common sense really to budget and put back luxuries that you don't really need, more people should be doing it as standard!

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I've only ever done this if I've suddenly realised I don't have enough money.

Online abandonment has to be common in any case, bunging something in the cart isn't exactly a statement that you intend to buy (often you can't even see all the terms without entering checkout process).

Abandoning stuff at an actual checkout is more significant. Still, might as well experience buyer's remorse before you part with your cash!

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We should all start doing this.

Pick up a relatively expensive non-perishable item in your trolley, eg beer/wine/spirits, and at the checkout leave it last and ask the cashier what the total is before scanning the last item. Whatever the total is just say I can't afford it so you'll leave whatever it is.

Be loud and proud so everyone hears ;)

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We should all start doing this.

Pick up a relatively expensive non-perishable item in your trolley, eg beer/wine/spirits, and at the checkout leave it last and ask the cashier what the total is before scanning the last item. Whatever the total is just say I can't afford it so you'll leave whatever it is.

Be loud and proud so everyone hears ;)

You will be trying to demonstrate to everyone a good example of living within your means.......

Their perception will be that you are some poor deadbeat who doesn't even own a credit card. You probably don't even drive a leased X5. As they are barbequing on the decking that evening they will tell their friends about this poor chap in the supermarket.....How sad...how embarassing!!!!

It's not worth it.

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As taking goods off the shelves does not constitute a contract, you are free to fill a trolley with £500 of goods, and have them scanned at the check out and then walk away without either taking or paying for the goods.

If you ever want to exact revenge on a supermarket it works a treat.

Does the same apply to ordering drinks at a bar?

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Does the same apply to ordering drinks at a bar?

Good question, probably if they haven't told you the price in advance, though the bar could argue you had consumed their service.

Edited by mikelivingstone

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"People "want to be in the act of shopping, but they don't want to be in the act of buying," said Joel Bines, a director at AlixPartners, a turnaround consultant".

So the pleasure lies in selecting the item (ignoring the fact you can't afford it), imagining yourself owning/using/wearing or eating it, and 'possessing' it for the brief time until you get to the check out?

Having enjoyed all these brief pleasures, dumped the goods and kept your dough, do you come out as a bit of a 'winner'? Like the guy who stands outside the bakery feasting on the smell of baking bread?

Or is the whole thing akin to .. ahem..withdrawal at the crucial moment?

Is this a fair account of shopping?

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I sell stuff on Amazon.

Recently, a few buyers of £50+ items have paid in the evening, then next day have emailed saying 'Is it too late to cancel the order?'

Bizarrely, the Amazon.co.uk system penalises innocent sellers within their 'customer metrics' system when giving a refund for any reason. So this makes wiser sellers send more expensive stuff immediately.

Under Uk distance selling regulations, the buyer can still send it back for a refund within 14 days, (if still sealed and no postage refunded) but they usually do not bother.

Ebay sales also seem to have died a death this week. Things always slow down in the summer, particularly at the end of the month, but it appears much worse and more sudden than usual.

Suspiciously, the Ebay partner 'Omniture' system that measure ebay customer web traffic is broken. No one can tell how bad it is. It has been broken for over 2 weeks now, an ebay announcement said it would not be working until mid Sept. which I've not heard of this after 7 years of ebaying.

***Shop traffic reporting issues***

19 August, 2009 | 03:26PM BST

Many sellers have contacted us recently about a sudden drop in numbers within their eBay Shop traffic reports. We have identified the issue and plan to have it resolved by mid-September. We will continue to keep you informed.

If you have seen a sudden drop in numbers within your Shop traffic reports, we want to reassure you that the problem is in the tracking and reporting system only and that actual traffic and sales for eBay Shops should be as normal.

Thank you for your patience and we apologise for any inconvenience.

Regards,

The eBay Team

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As taking goods off the shelves does not constitute a contract, you are free to fill a trolley with £500 of goods, and have them scanned at the check out and then walk away without either taking or paying for the goods.

If you ever want to exact revenge on a supermarket it works a treat.

Depends when the contract is actually made though. It definately isn't made at the shelf but at the checkout. It would depend upon whether your presenting of the goods constituted on offer to buy or whether the shop presenting you with a final price constituted an offer to sell. If the former then you are contractually bound, if the latter you are not bound until you agree the price.

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Good question, probably if they haven't told you the price in advance, though the bar could argue you had consumed their service.

There is always a price list there somewhere though. There has to be by law.

I think in the case of a bar the establishment makes an offer for sale via their price list. By ordering you are accepting their offer. It would seem the only fair way to do it as it involves the bar opening or pouring a drink which would then be useless if you didn't want to pay for it. The same is true of self serve petrol pumps. The offer for sale is made at the pump.

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I sell stuff on Amazon.

Recently, a few buyers of £50+ items have paid in the evening, then next day have emailed saying 'Is it too late to cancel the order?'

Bizarrely, the Amazon.co.uk system penalises innocent sellers within their 'customer metrics' system when giving a refund for any reason. So this makes wiser sellers send more expensive stuff immediately.

Under Uk distance selling regulations, the buyer can still send it back for a refund within 14 days, (if still sealed and no postage refunded) but they usually do not bother.

Ebay sales also seem to have died a death this week. Things always slow down in the summer, particularly at the end of the month, but it appears much worse and more sudden than usual.

Suspiciously, the Ebay partner 'Omniture' system that measure ebay customer web traffic is broken. No one can tell how bad it is. It has been broken for over 2 weeks now, an ebay announcement said it would not be working until mid Sept. which I've not heard of this after 7 years of ebaying.

***Shop traffic reporting issues***

We started putting stuff on ebay earlier this year, mainly returns and closeout stock. It has been going very well with a lot of stuff selling through quickly and for significantly more than it would in the shops, although the key thing on ebay just seems to be that you need to be the cheapest inc P&P by just 1p.

Since the beginning of August sales seem to have dropped by 30 to possibly 50% some days. Our regular online store has dropped a bit but nowhere near as much. The actual shops are past their worst period of the year which June/July.

My feeling with ebay is the whole enterprise is reliant on a constant supply of below cost stock, ie closeout, bankrupt, refurbished etc. It might be that there's presently less of this.

_____________________

Haven't noticed any more than usual of customers leaving things at the till, it's a problem, even in the better times, with a mathematically challenged population. The main reason is customers misunderstanding shelf-edge-labels and thinking things are cheaper than they are.

Edited by Soon Not a Chain Retailer

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Good post, 1929. I have definitely seen more of this recently, but it didn't really 'register' until you mentioned it. I have certainly got as far as checkout with a few on-line purchases recently and had second thoughts.

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You will be trying to demonstrate to everyone a good example of living within your means.......

Their perception will be that you are some poor deadbeat who doesn't even own a credit card. You probably don't even drive a leased X5. As they are barbequing on the decking that evening they will tell their friends about this poor chap in the supermarket.....How sad...how embarassing!!!!

It's not worth it.

Why should you be bothered with what people think? I have noticed more abandoned items left at checkout tills...in the past when people paid in cash they used to pick out the items to leave to match the amount in their purse available for payment.

Today more are realizing if they don't it could cost them far more in other ways. ;)

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"People "want to be in the act of shopping, but they don't want to be in the act of buying," said Joel Bines, a director at AlixPartners, a turnaround consultant".

So the pleasure lies in selecting the item (ignoring the fact you can't afford it), imagining yourself owning/using/wearing or eating it, and 'possessing' it for the brief time until you get to the check out?

Having enjoyed all these brief pleasures, dumped the goods and kept your dough, do you come out as a bit of a 'winner'? Like the guy who stands outside the bakery feasting on the smell of baking bread?

Or is the whole thing akin to .. ahem..withdrawal at the crucial moment?

Is this a fair account of shopping?

I believe so.

When online shopping for books or things I buy like art materials, the individual items seem good value but it is shocking how the final total always seems to be more than one would think. I often get cold feet and close the page.

That is why i like very much the 'wish list' idea. I often put stuff on my wish list instead of buying and then I feel as though I have almost bought it. I expect to buy it when I feel I can afford it.

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I love threads like this, that probe the inner workings of the sheeple mind (if any).

I have indeed noticed the "do I really need it?" holiday cancellations coming in for pre-booked hotel stays. Each hotel applies different cancellation penalties and most do not even charge anything to the card until after check-in, or cancellation, whichever comes first. On most occasions when hotels try to charge cards now for bookings made both recently and yonks ago, the card cannot be charged (either the punter is up to their limit, or, the card has been cancelled etc).

My system demands a reason for cancellation to be given by the booker - almost all are now variations of the "do I really need it?" self-query - eg "worried about redundancy" to "lost my job". Even "worried about swine flu" has cropped up and is essentially the same query, ie "do I really need to catch swine flu when I am in a developing nation without access to NHS intensive care?", or perhaps it means "I am broke but using the swine flu excuse in the hope that you won't charge me any penalty".

Many agents are failing and more will fail this autumn/winter due to this same query, along with airlines etc suffering to boot.

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Why should you be bothered with what people think?

A very good point Winkie but haven't you noticed that's what the last 5-10 years has been about?

It's all about keeping up, dontchaknow.

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A very good point Winkie but haven't you noticed that's what the last 5-10 years has been about?

It's all about keeping up, dontchaknow.

Yes, and who do you think is having the last laugh now. :P

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the key thing on ebay just seems to be that you need to be the cheapest inc P&P by just 1p.

Since the beginning of August sales seem to have dropped by 30 to possibly 50% some days. Our regular online store has dropped a bit but nowhere near as much. The actual shops are past their worst period of the year which June/July.

My feeling with ebay is the whole enterprise is reliant on a constant supply of below cost stock, ie closeout, bankrupt, refurbished etc. It might be that there's presently less of this.

Glad to hear it's been going well.

Yes, consumers are now so price sensitive, even more so on Amazon, as the items visibility is locked on the cheapest being on the first page. The Ebay 'best match' system is a bit more discriminating, yet confusing for many buyers who (according to the ebay business forums), do not often bother changing to the other search options.

Anecdotally, on the other end of the market, an Amazon forum post said the boot sales were extremely busy. I went to a couple last week, at one they were turning sellers cars away who were queued up the road, which I'd not seen before.

However, buyer numbers are much reduced compared to sellers.

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