Living and Dying on the Amazon Vine

Posted: August 27, 2009 by datechguy in amazon reviews, oddities, personal
Tags: ,

The new general Amazon Vine newsletter went up today. Shopping on it is very much like being at a mall at midnight on the Friday following Thanksgiving trying to get one of the 10 $100 laptops offered.

Basically the program works like this, based on the interests you give when you sign up, you are given a personalized list of about 10 items that you can select. About a week later everything goes on a general list and then you get a crack at it.

Last month my vine e-mail was classified as “junk mail” so I was the last of everyone to see things so I was determined this month to be ready. I checked the date on the e-mail that was junked and determined when to expect the new e-mail. I’d be ready this time…

Of course to my surprise the e-mail showed up a few days earlier than the previous month. When I saw it it had been in my inbox for 30 minutes which was long enough for both the software and the earphones (which I really could use) to be gone. Nothing else rang my chimes so I noted that the new e-mail was due today and was determined to be ready when the time came.

So This morning when I finished my errands I logged into the Amazon Vine site and kept refreshing the window every now and then.

By 2 p.m. I was refreshing every few minutes but as the 3 o’clock came I found myself distracted by the news of the day. When I finally turned my eye back to Amazon…the Newsletter was up and the race was on!

The newsletter couldn’t have been up 10 minutes but by the time I got there every electronic device and accessory was gone.

Then it came time to look at the books, My primary interest is history and I found something that looked pretty good but there was only two copies left, I clicked as fast as I could to request it but by the time I got to the confirmation page they were gone.

Deciding I wasn’t taking any chances rather than try to look through everything the moment I saw something of interest I started to click through. It was high on my priority but I was taking no chances. I clicked through and got it!

Now feeling like I wasn’t totally shut out I continued through the list and found a book on a historical event I never heard of. I read the description and it was interesting but since it didn’t have the “only x left” warning I left it open in a new tab and kept checking. I saw one or two items of interest but decided that the first one was the one I wanted. BIG mistake. By the time I went back to the tab and started the request they were down to two. By the time I finished I was too late.

Feeling resigned I checked out the list and found 4 items that seemed pretty good, three histories and one technical book. The technical book was interesting but was something I knew pretty well. One history seemed interesting but as it was written by a reporter from the New York Times guilt by association moved it back in the line.

I was down to two volumes, one on a legendary sports figure of some note and another on ethnic families and their struggles. It was a tough call but I decided to go for the book on the sports figure.

All of this took place within 30 minutes of the items showing up on the vine list. One hour later the offical e-mail listing the vine items showed up in my inbox.

But that’s ok I have to interesting items on the way and I didn’t have to worry about being trampled. Life is still good. Once I’m done the books you’ll see links to the reviews here.

  1. […] a rule the first few minutes during the Vine newsletters releases are the remote equivalent of a mob at a store going after 10 […]