…palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy…When I heard that Bath & Body Works was extending their Candle Day event & including an online shopping day – I didn’t pay it much mind. I never make it into the store for the big event anyway because I cannot handle crowds like that under any circumstances let alone during a pandemic. Usually, I just wait until the candles are $14.50 & I have a 20% coupon which brings the candles down to almost the same price as the candle day deal then I go to the store for a leisurely shopping experience. However, on further inspection of said coupon, this year it said that it cannot be combined with other offers or sales. What?! I get it, retailers are definitely struggling & probably less inclined to offer deals on deals on deals. So, here I am, 5 AM (I always get up at 5, I wasn’t doing it for Candle Day), going back & forth on whether or not I was going to give in & purchase some candles online. But, Stella – you just received a box of broken glass that is still sitting in your closet & your online ordering experiences have been less than 10/10.
Here’s the thing, I have a home fragrance obsession & I still needed to replace the candles that I was going to give as gifts because they are going to be the center item in these baskets I’m putting together. Now, I had considered swapping them for a bottle of wine but a couple of friends have stopped drinking during the pandemic & everyone can enjoy a candle. I decided that I was going to replace the gift candles & treat myself to one seasonal scent. Seems reasonable, right? Here’s what actually happened.
To start why is online shopping so difficult? It’s supposed to be easy, it never is unless your are shopping on Amazon which sucks because that’s why people shop so much on Amazon – myself included. I’ve never had payment issues, had an item be in stock when I check out & then received an email saying that the item was actually not in stock, they process refunds incredibly fast, replace missing items – just to name a few reasons that keep me coming back to Amazon. Obviously, being a brick & mortar retailer who also has e-commerce is different than only ever existing as an online retailer. Their logistics capabilities probably blow most other retailers out of the water. I have never heard of Amazon crashing even though they sell an average of 4,000 items per minute. Bath & Body Works goes live with Candle Day & the site almost immediately crashes. Why? Why does Amazon seemingly have access to far & away more bandwidth than any other online retailer?! It’s all the same internet, I don’t get it. So, I just knew that after 5 minutes of the website spinning & then getting the Uh-Oh screen that this was going to be a ride.
I have zero patience for online shopping, I would much rather go to a store in person & stand in line if need be. These retailers want me to wait in an online queue in the world of ones & zeros?! I don’t think so. Also, I am not very online shopping savvy – I’ve heard of shoppers using multiple computers or devices to navigate websites. I literally cannot be bothered. I decided to just leave the site & come back, when I came back it took awhile to load but it eventually did. There were a couple of scents that I wanted that were already sold out, no big deal because I was only getting one for me anyway. I’m adding to bag but had to click multiple times to actually get items to the bag, everything seemed fine otherwise, I’m so close to checking out that I can taste it. I choose PayPal because I think that’s the most secure way to check out online. The website timed out when it was sending me over to PayPal. I back up, my bag is empty, I refill it, select PayPal & this time it works. Huzzah! Back to the B&BW website, the submit order button is greyed out so I refresh the page. It’s clickable, the end is near. Processing, processing, confirmation from PayPal…processing, processing, another confirmation from PayPal….& then another. In the end, I ended up with three orders with multiples of items that I thought I was only selecting 1 each of but I’m guessing that I was adding to bag but the bag wasn’t updating…? Apparently, I have ordered almost 40 candles. I contacted B&BW immediately to let them know that they were all duplicate orders, there is no reason for them to ship 2 additional orders to me when I know they are swamped & nobody needs that many candles!! I can’t believe that the orders weren’t immediately flagged.
I’m stressed, my heart hurts a little – like a tightness in my chest. I think I should lay down. Do people actually enjoy online shopping?! How is this enjoyable, shopping stresses me out anyway but there is something so intangible about online shopping that really makes me anxious. I don’t feel like I have actually successfully purchased something until it’s physically in my hands. My hope is that they see that there are multiple duplicate orders but that still doesn’t remedy the fact that I was obviously clicking around too much & adding more than one item to my bag. Everything is mostly sold out now so I guess I’m glad that I shopped early…?
I’m tired, are you an online shopper? I know that you cannot beat the convenience but gosh, it seems like such an ordeal more often than not. I would probably have been better off just hitting the store tomorrow but here we are. If the candles arrive busted, that’s it for me & online shopping.