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BUIs: Buying under the influence.

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BUIs: Buying under the influence.

Old 04-22-08, 07:01 PM
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BUIs: Buying under the influence.

BUIs: Buying under the influence.


Do you get soused and shop the Web?
The Rage wrote this story because she loves nothing more than to spend a Thursday night with a bottle of Pinot and the myriad possibilities on eBay. Among her drunken purchases? A vintage Oscar de la Renta dress that was a size 14 (not a 4 -- whoops!) and a set of highball glasses from the 1960s engraved with gold tennis rackets. Hiccup.

"IT'S THE VODKA NIGHTS that really get me into trouble," says Kelly Krause, with a sigh. "I once woke up and I had spent $700."

Not on martinis. Krause, an independent film publicist with L.A.-based firm mPRm, doesn't need a bar stool for her idea of a bender. On Mondays, she sips Pinot Grigio, watches "The Hills" and then visits SeenOn.com to buy accessories from actress Lauren Conrad's wardrobe. Friday nights involve vodka tonics and a hot date with NeimanMarcus.com.

About those Tory Burch flats? "I own several pairs, and I don't recall buying one of them sober," she says.

BUIs -- those who buy under the influence -- may be the Internet's dirty little secret. (Then again, how dirty can you feel when you wake up spooning your keyboard?) And with retail e-commerce up 19% to $136.4 billion in 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, it's not shocking to realize that some people are boozing and browsing.

Over at the online boutique Shopbop.com, traffic doesn't spike after happy hour. In fact, according to the Reston, Va., online research firm comScore, e-purchases made by women in the evening hours total only about 22.6% of all online retail sales. But Internet sellers know all about consumers who click on a Marc Jacobs dress and slur, "Hey there, frock. I want to take you home tonight."

"People definitely do it all the time," says Shopbop spokeswoman, Alle Fister. "It's click, click, click after a few cocktails."

Across the pond, Brits are much more upfront about the phenomenon. There's a book called "Shopping While Drunk: Confessions From Modern Life" and a U.K. research firm named Conchango deemed the syndrome BLOTO (Buying Loads of Tat Online) in 2005. The firm also found that 7% of people polled knew someone who shopped while intoxicated.

The appeal of the BUI is as clear as a shot of Stoli. With every glass, inhibitions and judgment soften. Much like drunk-dialing an ex, the impulse to buy becomes an urge that quickly blurs into a must. Suddenly, that $850 David Yurman amethyst and 18K gold ring doesn't seem like a silly splurge. It's a reward.

"I looked at that ring and thought, 'I work hard and I deserve it,' " says Denise Weaver, co-founder of Spin Shoppe Canvas, a PR firm.

Weaver usually hits the e-racks at 9:30 on weeknights while sipping Pinot Noir or a Petite Syrah. "I never would have treated myself to that ring if I wasn't buzzed, and I love it."

A glass of courage

OTHERS are emboldened by a few drinks to flirt with outfits and accessories they would typically avoid. "When I drink and shop, I always think I am a size smaller, and I go for much funkier clothes than my usual black dresses," says Krause. "I buy plaid or polka dots. I once bought a canary-yellow dress."

Fittingly enough, it's "Last Call" -- NeimanMarcus.com's perpetual blowout sale that offers merchandise up to 70% off -- that hooks many BUI offenders. Weaver dabbles in American Apparel online and EBay, too. She sometimes can't recall where she made her last purchase.

"These boxes show up, and I am, like, 'Oh, my God. I did it again,' " she says.

That would never happen to Alana Zinn. She doesn't e-stumble from one retailer to another and click on strange sites. Like someone who frequents a neighborhood bar, she has a favorite stool.

"I have a wish list at eluxury.com, and after a few cocktails with my friends, I go home and I search it," says the advertising director of Revolver magazine, who admits that she has been sipping and shopping for about a year. "It's still an impulse buy, but at least I chose it when I wasn't intoxicated."

Then again, what's to stop you from getting utterly soused and splurging on Lanvin shoes anyway? Any retail remorse can be easily erased with a click, as nearly every online retailer accepts returns -- no questions asked. It's that option that keeps most BUI offenders from unplugging their keyboards before they uncork a bottle.

"It's fun, and it's the only thing you can do after a few drinks and not have any regrets," says Krause. "You don't wake up in the morning and panic and think, 'What did I buy last night?' "

BUI: Buying Under the Influence - An Expensive Habit
Monica Corcoran, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

I see internets sobriety check points comming in the future......
Old 04-22-08, 08:09 PM
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i drunk post and drunk download alot. never did a BUI though.
Old 04-22-08, 08:14 PM
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My first recollection of doing this scored me a Plextor 8x CD burner. There have probably been hundreds of instances since.
Old 04-22-08, 08:23 PM
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I used to buy alot of crappy cds from half.com back in the day while loaded.

Old 04-22-08, 08:37 PM
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I have never owned a gaming console and didn't have any intention of owning one.

Had a work/social outing the same night the original XBOX was being released at midnight back in 2001. Me and some co-workers got sauced and figured since it was 11:30pm and were only one block away from the midnight XBOX launch at Toys R' Us we would check it out. At around 12:30 five of us each owned an XBOX.

I woke up that morning with the plan of skipping the work/social outing, only to wind up going, getting tanked and spending $700+ on an XBOX, a couple games, an extra controller and an HD pack.
Old 04-22-08, 11:33 PM
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Man With Complete Mama's Family Video Library Never Going On eBay Drunk Again

NEWTON, MA—In a solemn pledge to himself and the world, Kevin Wollersheim, the new owner of a complete Mama's Family video library, announced Monday that he will "never, ever again" shop the online auction house eBay while inebriated.

Wollersheim and a portion of his recent purchase. Inset: Vicki Lawrence as TV's Mother Harper.

"Over the course of Saturday evening, Aug. 21, I drank two Jack and Cokes, somewhere in the vicinity of six to eight Icehouse beers, plus, I believe, at least one shot of Cuervo 1800 tequila," Wollersheim said at a press conference held in his apartment. "And, although I now have no memory of doing so, it is clear that I logged on to America Online and accessed eBay sometime before 2:28 a.m. early Sunday morning."

"During my visit to the eBay site," Wollersheim continued, his voice beginning to break, "for some reason known only to God, I entered a maximum bid of $300 in an auction for the entire episode run of the popular '80s situation comedy Mama's Family, starring Vicki Lawrence and Ken Berry."

"I won that auction," he added gravely.

The final sale price for the 44-tape set was $279.50, with shipping charges raising the total amount spent by the 33-year-old elementary-school teacher to $301.67. Wollersheim, who said he is "partway through the first episode," also received a copy of the 1981 made-for-TV movie Eunice, which preceded the sitcom.

"I was understandably stunned by my own actions on that fateful night," Wollersheim said, "yet I was bound by honor to pay in full for the tapes, if only to preserve my positive feedback rating."

Wollersheim has attempted to reconstruct the mental process which led to his excessively generous bid for item #114258855.

"I remember always liking that sketch where Tim Conway makes Harvey Korman crack up talking about the 'Siamese elephants,'" he said. "But that was on The Carol Burnett Show, before Mama's Family was ever a series. Maybe I was so drunk I didn't remember that, though."

Continued Wollersheim: "Or maybe it was because Debra Dunning, this girl I went to high school with, used to watch that show, and my 15-year reunion is coming up, so I somehow thought I'd impress her because I have every episode. But Debra's married, so even that doesn't make sense."

Though Wollersheim has been known to regret eBay purchases in the past, including a $65.50 "autographed" Carl Yastrzemski lithograph which turned out to bear a reproduced signature and a Japanese import Steely Dan CD that "turned out to be just a bunch of weird remixes," his recent acquisition is by far the most puzzling.

"Do you think I was so drunk that someone could have broken into my house, started up my computer and bid without me knowing it? No, that can't be. They wouldn't have had my password," said Wollersheim, whose money order for $301.67 was received Sunday by seller "bluebird27." "Did I mean to type in a bid of $30 and enter $300 by accident? But what would have made me bid even $30?"

Whatever the rationale for the purchase, Wollersheim insisted that appreciation of, or even nostalgia for, the program was not a factor.

"I hardly even remember the show," Wollersheim said. "I recall that Mama was a contestant on Family Feud once, and... that's it. I remember the Family Feud episode."

"Christ," he added, "I can't believe they made 130 goddamn episodes of that show. How many years is that? I'm gonna need a new cabinet."
Old 04-23-08, 09:12 AM
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I have never had this problem, but I don't normally buy shit from ebay anyway

I had a friend that use to like to go into Tower Records after a night out drinking. There was one within a blocks walk of a local bar we use to go to and it stayed open until midnight. He would go in all tanked and buy a dozen CDs or Movies. He would look at them the next morning and think why in the hell did I buy this shit?
Old 04-23-08, 09:40 AM
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If I am drinking the last place I am going to be is on a pc.
Old 04-23-08, 08:57 PM
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The only times I've bought things drunk, were when I had been contemplating buying something for some time. When I got drunk is when I finally bought it, but it had been in my mind to pick it up for a while.
Old 04-24-08, 03:18 AM
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I have a friend that loves to go to Walmart and dive into the $5 DVD bin near the checkout while drunk. Can't say I've done any BUIing, myself.

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