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Save Yourself: The 10 Worst Online Retailers

Ads like this are the only reason to visit AmericanApparel.com...if you like that sort of thing
Ads like this are the only reason to visit AmericanApparel.com...if you like that sort of thing

It's frustrating enough to shop for friends and family members during the holidays. Do I get my 80-year-old aunt a gift card to Kroger or H-E-B? Decisions, decisions.

Unfortunately, some online merchants make the process even more difficult by creating overly complicated, ugly or annoying Web sites. Instead of shopping with the Christmas spirit away from raucous crowds, you spend your time reversing credit card charges, waiting on hold for customer service and drinking whiskey straight out of the bottle. It's beginning to look a lot like IHATEMYLIFEANDWANTEVERYONETODIE-mas.

Fortunately for you, we've put together this list of the ten worst online retailers to keep you from going crazy and shooting Santa. You can thank us later...with an iTunes gift card.

You can read my list of the 10 Best Online Retailers here.

Yes, bubble-tab graphics do still exist online
Yes, bubble-tab graphics do still exist online

10. Microcenter.com I love Micro Center, but this is a Web site only nerds can love, just like their insane newspaper sale flyer I get every month. We assume that the PC engineers ganged up on the Apple graphics guys during the initial Web site meetings and chanted, "Function over form! Function over form!" as they beat them senseless with millions of lines of code.

Banner ads on your retail Web site mean you're doing it wrong.
Banner ads on your retail Web site mean you're doing it wrong.

9. ToysRUs.com I almost feel bad taking a crap on Geoffrey the Giraffe like this, but parents often have less of a clue when it comes to technology than kids, so a Web site designed for selling toys probably should be easier to use than this. Also, would it kill you to update your graphics to something that doesn't make us feel like we're going into a seizure?

8. Costco It makes sense that a store overly packed with bags of potato chips the size of a burlap sack and value packs of flatscreens would have a Web site that was cluttered and difficult to use. Also, we're pretty sure most monitors are now wider than 800 pixels, so you might want to consider widening your layout there, Costco.

7. JC Penney You'd think that a mall store that got busted for gaming Google last year would have spent as much time and money on the Web site it was trying to artificially force up the search engine rankings as it did on the cheating. Clearly, that is not what happened. The skinny layout forced all the way to the left of the browser window screams 2001.

Nothing says "we hate our online customers" like hiding the links to the merchandise.
Nothing says "we hate our online customers" like hiding the links to the merchandise.

6. Nordstrom.com It seems like many of the luxury retailers have a tendency to skimp on the Web site. It isn't the dumbest idea, as often rich people are too busy hiring butlers and drinking champagne in the back of their Bentleys to bother with online shopping, but they could make it easier for their personal assistants, right? This isn't a horrible Web site, but, conceptually, it needs to be held to a higher standard when considering the clientele and the type of merchandise it sells.

 

Funny just how accurately they captured my life in a photo
Funny just how accurately they captured my life in a photo

5. RalphLauren.com Really, Ralph Lauren, a Flash slideshow of models hanging out in their hunting villa? That's what you've got for us? Maybe work on organizing your site first and then go for the whole fox-hunt motif later.

UrbanOutfitters.com or MyEyesMyGodMyEyes.com
UrbanOutfitters.com or MyEyesMyGodMyEyes.com

4. & 3. UrbanOutfitters.com and AmericanApparel.net If you want to see annoying graphics, loud colors for no reason and hipster pubic hair, these are the sites for you. If you want to buy clothes, not so much. Oh, and don't go to the .com version of American Apparel. Apparently, they weren't selling enough leggings to afford to buy it from the squatter who owns it.

The CVS.com special Christmas section. We couldn't make this shit up.
The CVS.com special Christmas section. We couldn't make this shit up.

2. & 1. Walgreens.com and CVS.com Drugstores are the store of last resort at Christmas. They got smart a few years ago and started carrying gift cards from every store on the planet for this very reason. But, don't bother going online to get your gifts, last-minute or otherwise. I'm sure these sites are fine for refilling your Viagra prescription, but they are woefully lacking when it comes to holiday offerings. You can put a bow on ibuprofen if you want, but that doesn't make it a gift. At Walgreens, you can pick up "romantic gifts" like condoms, vibrators, lubricants and positional furniture, because apparently their version of intimacy includes apparatus commonly found in Thailand whorehouses. At CVS, it's even better, as one of their Christmas ad offerings is -- see the photo if you think we're joking -- feminine hygiene products. Talk about romantic -- honey, here's a douche, Merry Fucking Christmas!

See the 10 best online retailers (not named Amazon).


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