Skymall.com: Hundreds of Ways to Spend Money on Things You Don't Need
A review by Bryan_Carey written on Oct 16, 2007Full review
I make many purchases via the internet and I am always looking for bargains on ordinary merchandise. A great feeling of satisfaction is felt when items can be obtained at lower prices than found in a physical store location, and the convenience of shopping at home makes the deal that much greater.
But every now and then, I stray a little bit from my usual internet shopping methodology and I visit sites where the merchandise, while often overpriced, is nonetheless unique or interesting in some way. One web site that certainly fits this description is Skymall.com, the on- line store for the infamous airline- promoted merchant.
What Does This Service Offer?
Skymall.com offers items for sale in areas such as:
Toys and Collectibles
Apparel and Accessories
Health and Wellness
Electronics and Gadgets
Auto and Hardware
The goods offered at Skymall.com are actually sold by different merchandisers. The companies that sell their products via Skymall.com include:
Dr. Scurrs Zinopin
The Sharper Image
The Noble Connection
The Greatest Gift
There are many other merchants that sell products at Skymall.com. There are some merchants that sell items intended for general use, but most of the items sold at Skymall.com are personal in nature.
Skymall.com offers exactly two options for shipping: Standard and Rush. The standard method promises delivery within four business days. Rush delivery promises the goods will arrive in two to four business days.
Skymall.com accepts all the major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) along with Diners Club, JCB, PayPal, and even Bill me Later for payment. They offer a few more options than other on- line retailers to better ensure that everyone will have the means to make a purchase.
Pill organizers. Motorized tie racks. Suction tub bars. These and other unnecessary pieces of merchandise are commonplace at Skymall- the company that specializes in offering unique ways to spend money on things you dont need. Most every item here is luxury in nature. Even the items that have some practical use are still manufactured with a design for luxury and are priced accordingly.
Anyone who has flown on a commercial airline is fully aware of Skymall. I can remember when I first heard about this company, in the early 1990s. Bored on a long flight and without a book to read, I began to search the back pocket of the seat in front of me for something to occupy my time. There, tucked behind the emergency instruction cards, was a merchant magazine I had never seen nor heard of before. This is how I first discovered Skymall, and I have been thumbing through copies of this magazine ever since. Anytime I fly on a commercial airplane, I am certain to look through the Skymall magazine at least once.
Like I said before, Skymall has made a name for itself as a store that offers unnecessary, overpriced luxury merchandise and I ordinarily dont waste my time with companies such as this. But, as much as I hate to admit it, there is something oddly appealing about Skymall. Its like anything that you dont really need that is priced higher than it is worth: The higher price and the uniqueness make you desire the products anyway because you assume that they must be products of high quality to cost so much and there must be a certain element of prestige in owning them. These facts give Skymall its unique appeal, and this is what led me to make a purchase from Skymall.com for the first time ever, last month, after taking a flight and finding a few items that looked like they would make good surprise gifts.
Most of the merchandise offered at Skymall.com is overpriced for what you get and there are usually better offers elsewhere. But if you spend time browsing the site (or through one of Skymalls magazines) with determination in mind, you should be able to find a few things that are less overpriced than the rest. I happened to find two such items, and they became parts of my first Skymall.com purchase.
Judging this site for its content, it turns up an almost equal number of hits and misses. I like the fact that I can search by category or by merchant. I also like the E-Reminder system, which allows customers to setup an e-mail reminder to buy a certain item of merchandise on a given date. There is also a good deal of product information and, once again, there are some very unique pieces of merchandise offered at Skymall.com. The affiliation with so many different merchants is part of the reason. Skymall.com brings together the product offerings of dozens and dozens of different on- line retailers, providing the consumer with a single web site in which to browse and make purchases of luxury merchandise.
Besides the higher than average prices, there are some other financial disadvantages of using this site. First, sales taxes are added to all orders. Second, shipping charges are high, and there are only two options: Standard and Rush delivery. Standard shipping will add at least $14 to your order. Select Rush delivery, and there will be a minimum of an additional $7.95 per item added to the bill. Depending on the size and weight of the merchandise, this additional per item charge for Rush Delivery can be even greater. I dont like these high fees and taxes, and these added costs almost convinced me to cancel my order. The only reason I continued and made the purchase is because I did a quick search on the internet for a Skymall.com coupon and found a $25 off offer. This convinced me to go through with the deal because the $25 discount almost precisely offset the cost of the sales taxes and delivery. Take away this discount, and I doubt I would have finished my order.
One other thing I have to give credit to Skymall.com for is the delivery time. The web site promises you will get your Standard Shipping order in two to four business days. This promise was kept, and I received my shipment only three days after the order was placed. Besides my confirmation e-mail after placing the order, I received another order stating that my merchandise had shipped only a few hours later. So, even though I didnt select Rush Delivery, I received my shipment in almost the same amount of time.
Overall, I am fairly satisfied with my Skymall.com shopping experience. I never imagined I would actually purchase something from this company (and admit to it later on). Its magazines, after all, were often the subject of much laughter in the break room at work, due to the ridiculous level of luxury and the high prices so common with the bulk of the merchandise. However, there are a few good things to be found at Skymall.com and some of the items are quite unique. Prices and shipping are high, yes. But a little luxury every now and then isnt such a bad thing, even when you know there are thousands of ways to spend your money more wisely.
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Location: Houston, TX
Location: Houston, TX