Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thoughts on Amazon.com recommendations

I have been browsing over at Amazon.com and it's becoming more like work.

See, I have a mission: make everything on my Amazon-recommended list be something I might buy. Also, mark everything I own, and rate everything I can. Then, with ruthless abandon, I re-trim the recommendations and add stuff to my wish list.

This is difficult. I told Amazon I owned They Might Be Giants' albums. One of them, Miscellaneous T, is evidently a "wacky" album, because now all the Weird Al CDs are in my recommendations. I own Terry Pratchett's The Color of Magic, and so now all forty-odd other Discworld novels are in my recommendations. I told Amazon I like the set-collection game Coloretto, and now it's recommending every travel version of every game anywhere.

As for buying board games at Amazon, it's a rough row to hoe. Amazon discounts most games by about 5 to 10%, and shipping is crazy. Any real online game retailer is going to have a better shipping rate, a better selection, and better prices. Except, of course, that's not quite true. Amazon has had decent game sales in the past, and it also occasionally clearances out some good game. Bargains are available... and that's what keeps me pulling the handle of the slot machine; that, and the occasional Amazon.com gift certificate.

Still, it's handy to have a unified wishlist for everything. Amazon knows that. Of course, I also have a wantlist over at BGG, too.

In other news, I went to two craft stores this weekend and searched on Amazon, and eventually ended up ordering the half-inch circle punch I wanted from another online craft store. I'm planning to use it to chop out board game parts. I also priced out furniture plugs (to use for train station markers) online.


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