Online -- bring your own bottle and shop

Dec. 28, 2011 at 12:54 PM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. retailers acknowledge they are making sales to tipsy consumers who are shopping with a mouse in one hand and a cocktail in the other.

"Post-bar, inhibitions can be impacted, and that can cause shopping, and hopefully healthy impulse buying," said Andy Page, the president of online retail business Gilt Groupe told The New York Times.

Consequently, Gilt Groupe is posting more sales at 9 p.m., after customers might have downed a few drinks, the Times reported Wednesday.

EBay's vice president of mobile sales Steve Yankovich said sipping a highball while shopping online was "absolutely" part of the equation.

"I mean, if you think about what most people do when they get home from work, it's decompression time," he said. "The customer's in a good mood."

That good mood can translate into impulse buying that has a high rate of returns, which has online retailers reluctant to directly say they cater to the inebriated, the Times said.

BYOB or Bring Your Own Bottle shopping can also startle the customer who may not remember buying a gaudy white elephant on eBay the night before.

"I was drunk and I bought it, and I forgot about it, and it showed up in the mail, and I was really excited," said Tiffany Whitten, of Dayton, Ohio, who said her impulsive buying set her back $5 for a cat-shaped cell phone cover.

On the other hand, late into a drinking session, Australian accountant Chris Tansey told the Times he spent $10,000 on a motorcycle tour of New Zealand.

"The hang-ups of spending your hard-earned cash are so far removed from your life when you've had a bottle of wine," Tansey wrote in an e-mail.

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