Ahem, If You Try To Sell Something You Gotta Make Sure Your Shop Works

I was hunting a stapler online, and of course clicked those fancy google ads that appear on search pages. Three out of three attempts to buy a stapler failed. All these cases can happen in gaming world too. If you are selling something online, better check out these lessons:

#1 – In shop one, the stapler page could not be found
The first ad directed me to a front page of some site. There I clicked “products” just to get error “page not found”. I didn’t waste any more seconds on that shop. If they want me to buy stuff from their site, they should make sure their site is accessible.

End of attempt number one.

#2 – In shop two, no staplers here
In the other shop, I couldn’t find staplers. Why advertise staplers if you don’t have them?

If it’s fun to spend money advertising something you don’t have, why not also make a bonfire using dollar bills?

#3 – Third shop, horrible shipping costs
The third shop was more promising. I found a stapler that was said to cost 11 euros. There was technical information about the stapler and I was pleased. I was wondering why they didn’t mention shipping costs anywhere, but since the site was located in Finland (where I live) I thought it wouldn’t be many euros anyway.

So, I took some time and wrote lengthy details (shipping address etc.) and was finally one click away from the purchase. There they said that shipping costs are like 20 euros (or something like that) which made me both laugh and cry at the same time.

Hiding costs is something, but if the shipping cost is like 20 euros then why not simply put that shipping cost in some place where I can see it easily. Would save everybody’s time.

The hunt for the stapler continues.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. #3 is unfortunately all too common.

    Especially when buying games online, you get bombarded with additional fees and taxes after going through the hassle of filling in your information. On several occasions I cancelled purchases because they suddenly added 20% tax, pay pal fee, etc.

    Maybe I’m just spoiled because around here (Germany) your are required by law to include all fees and taxes in the price. Also shipping costs have to be clearly stated and have to be easily accessible.

  2. Juuso, it is true that it doesn’t help the consumer, but it might help google or some coorporation.
    For instance, maybe google don’t want a situation that you don’t get any ads in the google ads space. So it put some junk ads when it doesn’t have real ads to put.
    Some companies are trying to lure you, they advertise they sell one product, and when you reach their website, they try to sell you a different product.
    I assume it works on some people.
    It could be something more sinister or diabolic, like creating demand for google ads.
    Then charge more for each ad because others are trying to buy the same ad space, while these others are actually virtual companies with junk ads, that make it seem there is alot of demand.
    Just a couple of thought.

    My point is, it isn’t necesseraly a mistake or an unintentional bug.

  3. Sargon, I think Jake means here that if you are advertising “buy cell phones here” and when you click the ad link you see a page about “order pizzas online” it doesn’t exactly help much… since the buyer was after cell phones, not pizzas.

    Anyways… I went to a real shop. They didn’t have a good stapler there.

    …so the hunt continues…

  4. Actually, don’t be so sure its a waste of google ad money.
    There are some weird things going on on the internet.
    For instance, alot of weird companies would buy your domain, if you forget to renew it after a year. Then, those straw companies won’t even sell you the domain back if you ask from them.
    I think the reason companies or fake companies, buy google ads and domains, is to increase demand.
    If there is increased demand for google ads, then people will have to pay more for these ads. The same thing with domains.
    I know these kind of things happen in tangible products, so why not virtual products and services as well?

  5. Agree with the idea of going to a “real” shop :-)

    Yeah I often click on google ads after typing in a product name to find the page does not have the product on it! This is such a waste of google ad money as it will result in very low conversion rates.

  6. “If it’s fun to spend money advertising something you don’t have, why not also make a bonfire using dollar bills?”

    I love that line. :)

    Good blog post.

  7. Probably mich more easier and faster to go to a nearby shop to buy a stapler.
    Plus, you get up of the computer and get out a bit.

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