Online shopping explained

In the run-up to Christmas, more and more of us will do some or all of our present shopping online. Unfortunately, many online shops use a secret language that can be hard for the unitiated to follow. In the spirit of helping my fellow man (and woman), here’s a handy guide to the most common phrases.

In stock.
Out of stock.

Out of stock. Due in 5 days.
We didn’t say which days, did we? They’re the 15th December, 4th January, 22nd September, 5th October and 1st November. 2009.

We despatch most orders on the same day.
By “most”, we mean “other people’s”.

This special offer expires on Thursday.
It’ll be cheaper on Friday.

We have a no-quibble returns policy.
Assuming you can find our returns address, which is hidden in a secret page on a completely different web site. And even if you do find it, sending stuff back will cost a fortune and will take forever. And then you’ll find that we have to order the replacement from Guatemala, and it will be delivered by carrier pigeon. A slow and easily confused carrier pigeon.

We accept all major credit cards.
Except yours.

Track the status of your order!
The page will say “awaiting processing” on the day you place the order, and won’t be updated until you die.

Choose your delivery slot.
Go on, choose one. We don’t have the slightest intention of delivering at that time, on that day or even in the same century.

Price promise.
We promise that if you find the product cheaper anywhere else, we’ll magically discover a hitherto invisible clause in the terms and conditions that specifically excludes any shops that are cheaper than ours.

State of the art.
In 1932.

Email customer service.
You honestly believe we read those messages? Sucker!

Compatible.
Compatible with everything except the specific hardware or software that you have.

Free delivery.
Assuming you don’t need it for this Christmas.

This week’s hot deal.
Our warehouse is full of crap that nobody wants. Please buy our crap. Please.

We have recommendations for you.
You ordered Boy George’s autobiography three years ago, so we think you’ll be interested in lots of gay porn.

People who bought this item also bought…
Other people are idiots.

DVD price crash!
You too can own “Toys”, “Universal Soldier” and “Flubber”!

The perfect gift.
For someone you hate.

If you require any assistance feel free to call our Customer Support Hotline
Which costs £400 per second and will keep you on hold for six weeks before “accidentally” disconnecting you after you’ve said two syllables.

Welcome to eBay.
You’re gonna get screwed.

If anyone else has their own translations of online shopping jargon, feel free to add them in the comments section…

7 thoughts on “Online shopping explained

  1. Stephen says:

    Brilliant!

    I was on a website yesterday that mentioned, inter alia, that the price I was looking at was a “special offer” which expired on “24 November 2004”. Thinking it mighty coincidental that I had caught it just in time, I looked at the source. Yes, you guessed it: javascript to insert the current date plus one.

  2. Squander Two says:

    The stupidest Amazon recommendation has to be when they emailed me to say that, since I’d bought series 1, volume 2 of CSI from them, I’d probably be interested in their special offer on the complete series 1. Hmm.

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