2008 November

Shop Smarter

One of my pet peeves about tech sites targeted to women is that, at some point, they start posting lots of stuff about shopping. I guess it rubs me the wrong way because I think to myself, “C’mon. There’s lots more that we do — or should do — online than just shopping.”

You know what else? I hate shopping. I hate digging through racks to find my size, I hate trying stuff on, and I hate standing in line. I also hate crowds. (I’m a real charmer, aren’t I?) But, I love technology, I adore efficiency, I like a bargain, and when I venture out in public I like not looking like a hobo. Luckily, my sister recently sent me a site that has made my shopping life easier.

You know what that means, right? Yeah. I’m about to write about shopping.

The site is Shop It To Me and the concept is simple: sign up on the site and specify the brands and retailers that interest you, as well as the sizes you are looking for (in Men’s, Women’s and/or Kids). You can also customize how often you want to be notified about sale items (daily, weekly, etc.).

I started small: a handful of Women’s and Kids brands and a 2x/week email. The beauty of the Shop It To Me newsletters is that I only get notified when the brands AND sizes I want are on sale. With retailer newsletters, I’m notified every time they have any kind of sale, whether or not my size is available. (I wear a size 11 shoe, so this is particularly convenient in regards to shoe shopping; anything above a 10 can be very difficult to find.) Sometimes, the email also includes a special Shop It To Me discount code as well. Bonus!

Today, I started adding more brands and am considering increasing the frequency at which I’m alerted via email. I’m also considering taking myself off the retailers’ mailing lists (though I’m sure they’d hate to hear that). Who needs them, when I have this?

The Shop It To Me emails (see sample below) are formatted very simply and include thumbnails of the products, so I can scan over it very quickly and either act on it, or delete it. I don’t even have to visit the sites to get the information I need! So simple. One small way to apply technology to simplify your life, instead of making it more complicated.

So, happy shopping. May the bargains be with you.