Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Amazon Wish Lists Go Universal

You Need A Wish List

A wish list is a series of items you are interested in, and if friends and family bought them for you, you'd be overjoyed. Think wedding registry, but without the wedding part.

If you don't have wish list setup, then it's time to make one. And if you've got kids, then it's absolutely time they made theirs. Why do you need a wish list? Lots of reasons...

  1. People want to buy you stuff. They want to buy you stuff you want to have. Why the heck not make this easy on them? Give them a handy list of items that they know exactly what they can buy you to make you happy.
  2. A wish list will insure you'll get the exact model of gadget, or edition of book you want. Really, why make people guess if you want a 1GB or 10GB music player?
  3. A wish list will signal to people what you're interested in. Have a wish list full of photography items, excellent, people know it's safe to buy you photography stuff. This is especially important for kids - fill up your wish list with Legos, and your uncle will know that Legos are a safe buy, rather than say, Barbi like he stereotypically thought.
  4. A wish list can be a useful way to manage your impulse buying. While I don't claim to understand the psychology of why it works, for myself, adding an item to my wish list gives my brain a chance to stop dwelling on the purchase. This often saves me from making the purchase altogether. It's as I've done the research, picked exactly the item I want and can now step away from the whole process. If I still want the item a few days or weeks later, I'll go ahead and buy it.
  5. It resolves the "What do you want for your Birthday/Christmas/Purim?" question. My usual answer to this is "Nothing," which as I said above, doesn't do anyone any good. Even if I did have an answer, how would I know that I was suggesting items in the price range this person wants to buy? A well stocked wish list, with cheap books to fancy electronics, and everything in between is the perfect solution.

Amazon's Wish List Improvement

I've traditionally kept my wish list at Amazon. And for the most part, I've been happy about this. Amazon carries just about every item on the planet and is a reliable place to buy stuff. However, occasionally, I'd come across an item that I couldn't find on Amazon. This usually meant that I had to keep it off the Wish List.

Not any more - Amazon has added the ability to add any item on the web to your wish list. This Universal Wish List capability is drop dead simple - you just click a Bookmarklet on a page, and a window pops up asking you to confirm/fill in details about the item shown. You do so, click OK, and poof, it's now on your wish list.

Other sites have had this capability for quite some time, so Amazon is definitely lagging behind here. But, to their credit, they've caught up.

So go, create a wish list and start adding to it. You might actually enjoy getting the things you really want.

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