Another classic "trend" piece from The New York Times looks at the newest Internet danger entering our homes and threatening our livelihoods — shopping online while drunk.
As anyone who has ever walked into a 7-11 after midnight could tell you, sales resistance is considerably lower when someone has been drinking. The lack of inhibition and impaired judgement created by alcohol also leads people to push buttons on their phone or computer that they really shouldn't be pushing. Add in one-click shopping (which doesn't require physically opening a wallet or counting crumpled, beer-soaked bills) and you end up with a $3 pair of sunglasses that cost $17 dollars to ship.
Featuring the always popular phrase "reliable data is hard to come by," the story has plenty of amusing anecdotes of folks buying everything from $10,000 motorcycle tours to used CDs. And it is true that traffic to many of the of the post popular shopping websites tends to go up in the evening, when people might be enjoying a post-dinner cocktail. But until laptops start coming equipped with breathalyzer tests, there's really no way to know how booze affects sales or how stores could really take advantage of that knowledge. Perhaps a partnership with Foursquare that sends you coupons after you check into your third bar of the night?
The idea that boxes from Amazon.com could show at up at your door with no memory of how they were acquired is an odd one too. Not only is it harder on your pocketbook, it's not as tasty as a microwaved burrito at two in the morning.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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