I’m coining a new term: slip-sell.
(No, I haven’t done even a tiny amount of research to find if this has been used before. I’ve not heard it before, therefore it is new according to my perception of reality (and yes, I just used WordPress’s new Emoticons inserter thing – never saw that one before!).
It’s not like a cross-sell, that’s asking the customer to add in a complementary product. It’s not like an up-sell either; that’s asking the customer if they want to upgrade their order to add some extra value.
No, instead it is quite simply sliding something useless into the customer’s order without asking them first.
Sometimes it’s fun to shoot at elephants, so today I’m taking a shot at Godaddy.
First off, let me just say I have quite a few domains with Godaddy, and in fact I have upgraded a two of my accounts to their account level that gives you the best prices on stuff. I forget what they call it, but it costs $170 or something for three years (my recollection is fuzzy, I did it a while ago). Theoretically, having paid for that status guarantees me the absolute best price on anything I order. At least, that is precisely how it was sold to me. Fine… so what happens in practice?
In the screenshot below, you’ll see the line “Special Savings” off my receipt.
This beauty shows up only after I entered a coupon code in my cart. Not sure if the coupon will work for you, but it is gdbb1901, and it works on orders over $75. Apparently it also works on accounts that are already guaranteed the best deal.
Ironically, as soon as I enter the coupon code, they show up this little message saying something to the effect of “Congratulations! You qualify for multiple discounts!” Essentially they’re telling me that “oh, by the way, we noticed that you used a coupon, so we just remembered you’re supposed to get stuff cheap, and we’re adding that deal in for you as well. Pretty swell of us eh?”
My understanding of that account level was that it is meant to function like Wal-Mart: where the lowest price is the law. Instead, apparently it continues to function like Sears: where the highest price is the norm, but keep an eye out for our weekend sale promos because we’ll probably be slashing the price by 60-80% soon.
So okay, as long as we agree to define the relationship in this manner, we can still get along ok.
Then today when I was entering my order, (I was renewing a batch of domains), I specifically selected 1 year on all the renewals. Get into my cart, and they’re showing 2 years. Hmm, sneaky way to grab a double sized order out of me! No problem, I only had to close that browser, delete my cookies and go back into the cart in order to get it working to the point where I could select 1 year again. Minor inconvenience. So far, so good.
At this point, I email my buddy and explain triumphantly that I’ve managed to dodge several of Godaddy’s tricky little tricks. Oh, and don’t get me started on the “Round up for charity” which used to be auto-selected.
I complete the order, and just before I move on to something else, I glance at the receipt.
Spoiler alert: This brings us back to the slip-sell.
I see this line item:
Ah, gotta love the fact that Godaddy has my back! Always helps to have someone back there with a knife handy, what with all the masked thugs running around and all. They’ve kindly added in an SEO package for me! I can’t imagine what $23 worth of SEO gets you these days, but I can’t imagine it is anything more than slipping a handwritten note to one of the summer interns at the mighty Goog telling them they might want to check out this cool site.
So that’s what I’m defining as a slip-sell: slipping in a completely useless item without asking the customer. Kind of like if McDonald’s were to slip in a $5 body mass index evaluation with every order.
As the old saying goes, you can polish a turd, but at the end of the day, it’s still a turd.