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February 5, 2005 08:52 PM

Broken: Furniture sale

Hale1I know a good sale when I see one - over at [link to site removed] they're selling [a certain brand of] bookcases for 100% off.


    Retail Price: $1,211
    Your Price: $0
    You Save: $1,211 (100%)

Something tells me, though, that this is broken.

Update Feb 6: The webmaster of this unnamed site complained about all the attention his site was getting from this post - so I've removed any mention of it. Dang all those incoming prospective customers! Also, the price is no longer listed at $0. -mh


did you try adding it to your cart and ordering it, if it went all the way through the order as zero, even up to the confirmation, then they'd either have to send it to you as such, or you could get them on false advertising.

Posted by: Dragon at February 5, 2005 09:05 PM

I'll take two!

Posted by: Maurs at February 5, 2005 09:32 PM

I added it to my shopping cart, but haven't gone further than that yet.

Posted by: eliot at February 5, 2005 09:34 PM

Try to buy it.

See what the purchase order says.

If it's all automated (100% likely becasue it's all done through the web site) then chances are, you could buy quite a few before anyone noticed the error.

Posted by: BOB at February 5, 2005 10:08 PM

Well, i ordered it, but it says transaction pending, so we will see what happens. If they charge 1,211 to my account, Im screwed.

Posted by: Jeff at February 5, 2005 11:08 PM

I notice that there's a LOT of pulldowns for selecting parts for this bookcase. I suspect that if you order 0 of all the parts (which is zero dollars), you've ordered 0 pieces of wood. So the cost seems fair.

I'm not sure it's broken, but it sure is weird as a sales method.

Posted by: Jarett at February 5, 2005 11:58 PM

If they charge your account for that amount of money but the purchase order says $0 then you can sue them for fradulent advertising.

What they will do if they find the error is tell you that they cannot ship it to you unless you want to pay for it.

Posted by: BOB at February 6, 2005 12:04 AM


I am the webmaster for [name removed] Office Furniture. Due to the complexity and variety of ordering these bookcases we list them at a starting price of $0. We did this in order to spare the customer the complexity of piecing together a barrister bookcase on several different product pages. These cabinets can be configured in many different ways, which is why this product is listed in this manner. As Jarrett explained in the sixth post, if you order nothing you get charged nothing and we send you nothing. We have sold quite a few of these cabinets with little confusion.

I tracked down several customers ordering nothing to this link. I hope this clears up the matter. This is NOT broken.

Thank you.

Posted by: Webmaster - [name removed] Office Furniture at February 6, 2005 12:29 AM

Wouldn't it make more sense to just say that the price is $0 before configuration rather than list the apparently arbitrary price of $1,211? I mean, it must be even a little broken if just glancing at the pricing information makes it appear to someone glancing through that a major error has been made. Plus, what if someone were using a text-only browser like Lynx and couldn't see that "price determined" image?

Posted by: Maurs at February 6, 2005 01:21 AM

I beg to differ with the Webmaster from [site name removed]. Showing a price of $1,211 and indicating a savings of 100% is indeed broken given his explanation. Certainly for a modular product such as this bookcase, providing a proper price after selecting all the components makes sense. But in that case, the cost isn't $1,211 and the savings most assuredly isn't 100%.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at February 6, 2005 07:22 AM

sorry webmaster for [name removed] Office Furniture but this IS broken!!!

Posted by: daizee at February 6, 2005 11:09 AM

Dear Webmaster for [name removed]...this is very broken.

If an automotive site indicated that the price of a car was $0, but depending on what you add (like, for instance, THE CAR), the price could be different, that would be broken...if not misleading.

Your site doesn't even let the user know that the price varies at this phase in the process. Instead of stating that the price is $0, you could state that the price varies based on configuration, or specify a range depending on configuration.

The only thing more broken than the site is your explanation.

Posted by: Michael McWatters at February 6, 2005 01:36 PM

Perhaps you should look at the web page before commenting. This issue has been resolved.

Posted by: Webmaster - [name removed] Office Furniture at February 6, 2005 01:39 PM

1- If it wasn't broken there would be nothing to resolve

2- On the page where you choose which bookcase you want to look at it still say $0.00. Yes now it says price determined by selections below on the last page so in a way that part is fixed

Posted by: daizee at February 6, 2005 03:32 PM

Webmaster: we have checked the page. It still says $0. (Perhaps you should fix the page before replying nastily.)

Another fix would simply be to remove the price on the primary product landing page. Then, it's no longer misleading or broken.

Posted by: Michael McWatters at February 6, 2005 05:35 PM

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