Psyche Test for the 21st Century: What your WishList Says About You.

11 Dec
Glenn Beck's Amazon WishList by NewCorpse.Com

It can't be all bad if even the crazies are doing it. Right?

It is a fact: every one of my single friends out there has contemplated creating a gift registry for herself (á la Carrie on Sex & The City) so that her friends (whose showers and weddings and births she’s celebrated) will have an opportunity to balance the scales and occasionally recognize her milestones with a little something she’d like.

Well, fortunately, Amazon has a plug-in for their website that allows customers to capture ANYTHING on the web and add it to their Amazon Wishlist. Clever, Amazon.

I’m a believer in the Wishlist. Mainly so I can track my impulses for months before pulling the trigger on a purchase, but also so that if someone is struggling to find me a gift, they can get a sense of what I’d truly appreciate.

Seems innocent enough to create such a list, but remember: your WishList (like pretty much everything online) is searchable. By potential employers.

Why would that matter, you ask? Well, a friend recently told me about a candidate his company was interviewing. She looked good on paper and everyone she had met with liked her. When it came to the final stage in the process, the VP of HR did a quick google search and landed on her Amazon WishList, which – we shall say – did not reinforce the image she had put out there during her interviews.

That got me to thinking… what does my WishList say about me? And would it cost me a job?

Interestingly, when I was adding items to my WishList, I wasn’t aware of any themes. Yet, in revisiting the list in its entirety, certain, um, patterns start to emerge. Like: Apparently I’m cheap. Or have a high degree of guilt associated with buying nice things. Because almost every item on my list is accompanied by a comment I wrote along the lines of, “Yes. This is expensive. But it will last forever.”

I especially like one entry for a bracelet, in which I not only point out that it’s expensive, but then also offer tips on how to find it cheaper. “Don’t pay full price! Monitor eBay. Only buy it if you can get a good deal.” I’m not even sure who I’m offering this advice to, because – to my knowledge – I don’t have any WishList followers.

Other observations? I have shampoo and lotion on my list. Is this normal? For people to include toiletries on their WishLists? Maybe I’ll go one step further and start using it to create an online grocery list each week. How fun would it be to visit someone’s WishList and see that they’d like chicken stock, a bag of carrots and detergent?

I could only handle so much self-analysis, so I decided to look for some odd items on Amazon that I could’ve included on my list but didn’t, to make myself feel better. And I learned a few things…

  • Did you know you can buy Cremation Urns (and corresponding necklaces that allow you to wear your loved one’s ashes) on Amazon? Per the reviews, they are quite a good deal. I feel sorry for the people who have had to buy so many urns they  now comparative shop for them.
  • When you search “Adult Diapers” on Amazon, the most common item in your search results is “neoprene lunch totes.” Is this some kind of well-kept senior secret? Those would-be retirees aren’t bringing their lunch to work, they’re carrying a disposable toilet with them? Smart.
  • We’ve all seen “wall art” – those images and words that people apply to their walls for a graphic effect. This by far has to be the most bizarre image I’ve seen. I think it will look fantastic right over my bed. No, seriously – in what context was this invented, and does anyone ever buy it?
  • You can buy a 12-pack of fake mustaches for under $10. I’m tempted to add them to my WishList just to leave someone scratching their head when they think they have me figured out.
  • And if you’ve never visited this product to read the customer reviews, you must. It is the best free comedy you can find on a major e-tailer. This is my best guess regarding their market segmentation for this product:

Pie Chart showing Amazon sales of infamous wolf shirt
What does YOUR WishList say about you? Other than that your middle name should be Greedy McGreederson for expecting people to give you gifts?

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29 Responses to “Psyche Test for the 21st Century: What your WishList Says About You.”

  1. Darlene Steelman December 11, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    omg… if I hung that picture over my bed. I would jolt out of the bed every morning after opened my eyes. So long noisy alarm clock!

    Great post.

  2. whatimeant2say December 11, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    TOO funny – especially the reviews on the wolf shirt!

  3. thesinglecell December 11, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    Chuckled heartily right through this… brava. My current “wish list” is just three books. I only keep it so I can remember what the hell I said I wanted to read. I don’t think I’d lose a job over the list… but please tell me potential employers can’t find what I’ve searched for and/or looked at on Amazon. Because that would be difficult to explain.

    By the way, I once did a search for a percussion massager I want and everything came up hospital supplies and bathtub chairs. WTF, Amazon? As for the shampoo, lotion, etc… I think you’ve confused your Wish List with your shopping list. But as long as adult diapers aren’t on either, you’re doing alright.

  4. Kelly Thompson December 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    You had me at wall monkeys…=)

  5. yearstricken December 11, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Loved the product reviews on the Three-Wolf t-shirt. Thank you for that. The only use I can imagine for the howling wall art is in a guest bedroom when you hope the guests don’t stay long. Great post.

    • pithypants December 12, 2011 at 8:31 am #

      Good thinking… guest room. I likey.

      • kmurtagh December 12, 2011 at 10:33 am #

        reconsidering Feb trip….

      • pithypants December 12, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

        We’ll have a theme room ready for you, Murtagh.

      • kmurtagh December 13, 2011 at 12:30 am #

        may I suggest the “wine room”.

  6. k8edid December 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    The best thing I’ve read all day…especially the reviews,

  7. Dorkahontas December 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    1. I bought my husband a 3-Wolf Moon shirt a few years ago. No lie. And every time he wears it, he gets comments. Best conversation starter ever.

    2. What on earth did the prospective employer see on the candidate’s wish list? I’m dying!

    3. For what it’s worth, I also have the “guilt for buying nice things” thing going on. No prob at all going overboard for someone else, but rarely for myself.

    4. I have a fake mustache in my purse right now.

    • pithypants December 12, 2011 at 8:31 am #

      Ha! I didn’t look at the name on this comment and was like, “This sounds like one of my friends.” Shazam! And I can imagine George rockin’ the Three Wolf Moon Shirt. It’s a classic.

  8. Kimberly Pugliano December 12, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    Holy crap why was I never told about this wish list? Amazing! Can we add real estate to the list? I really want a house. Nothing too big, just 2-bedrooms and a back yard for the pups. If a potential (or my current) employer saw that on my list they would just think I was responsible and came from money.

  9. Sara no "H" December 12, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    I love amazon wish list. I have like 15 of them! 🙂 I am not ashamed to put everything on my list bc they are mostly there for when I’m broke and I see something I want and later on when I’m on an impulse buy I can buy crap that I wanted. My husband is throwing a bach party this wknd and I bought an inflatable sheep for the centerpiece. Read the first review. Its awesome. I love amazon.
    By the way..the wolf shirt had me cracking up. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it in person around my town. 🙂

    • pithypants December 12, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

      I’m slow on the uptick. First I thought your husband really liked dead composers and was throwing a Bach party. Then I thought you omitted the ‘e’ and it was a beach party. Both made me wonder why a sheep would be needed. And that’s when the lightbulb went off…

      • kmurtagh December 13, 2011 at 12:32 am #

        I read beach party myself–and never even questioned. That’s the Irish in me. A sheep is welcome anywhere!

      • pithypants December 13, 2011 at 5:14 am #

        You are slaying me.

  10. araxie11 December 12, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    I’m just super curious about what she had on her wish-list that led a company to change their mind about a job offer!

  11. Alicia December 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    I am SO getting you that terrier decal for Christmas. But its eyes will be crossed. So fire up, girlie.

  12. Lorna's Voice December 12, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    I’ll have to keep the cremains locket in mind. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving…”Honey, I’ll always be close to your heart. Really, really close…” 😉

    • pithypants December 12, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

      I just imagine it accidentally opening up during a business meeting. How do you explain that?

  13. Greg December 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Imagine what an employer would think if he/she could see a list of items you’ve searched for rather than simply added to your Wish List. Ahem, “adult diapers”?

    • pithypants December 12, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

      Actually, adult diapers speak to my productivity. I work without bathroom breaks?

  14. skippingstones December 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    We sold that shirt or others like it where I used to work. People loved them, we were always selling out. Those review comments were hilarious! That dog was actually frightening. So was the $50 price tag. People are crazy.

    • pithypants December 13, 2011 at 5:13 am #

      Wow. How did I – Miss Frugality – miss the price tag? I need to rework my pie chart to reflect 70% “Just Nuts.”

  15. kmurtagh December 13, 2011 at 12:40 am #

    And on a serious nerdy note:
    1) I keep one list for myself/open to the public for anyone who wants to buy something for me (but also desperately hope that they realize they are just ideas–I don’t really need the $90 shirt unless it’s on sale!). I love that I can also put items on that wishlist from other retailers like etsy.com or Title Nine. So cool.
    2) I keep one list for books to check-out of the library–easy way to keep track of them
    3) I keep a last list of book/gift ideas for children–ones I’d like to buy or good ones I’ve bought in the past in case of a last minute child needs a present emergency (gotta love Amazon Prime)

    On a side note, I’ve started to feel bad about how much I shop on Amazon vs local retailers. It’s just so damn convenient! I love the two day shipping for free. I’ve decided that i’d like to be able to shop directly from local stores through Amazon. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense since the prices surely would be higher but I do want local shops to exist, I’m just usually too lazy to go to them. I also think that I should have to pay taxes at Amazon but still have no intention of doing so in my Illinois income tax filing as required by law. (p.s. Illinois auditors this is not karen murtagh posting it’s a completely different kmurtagh)

  16. Anja@ www.pcprima.de December 13, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    I like my wish list. It keeps track of things that I may be interested to buy.
    What I really like is, that I can also add items to your list from other websites with the amazon add on button.That way I don’t have to bookmark the page I visited..
    I keep my wishlist private though and I don’t think I want to change it that 🙂

  17. Tracy December 14, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Thank you for the gift of the wolf shirt. The reviews are priceless.

    • pithypants December 14, 2011 at 11:39 am #

      It’s not too late to buy one for that special someone on your holiday list…

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