I asked Amazon to show me really expensive gadgets and oh dear

Not so good at the expensive search?

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Spare yourself a thought for the paid ones.

Or for those who simply need to spend big on the latest gadgets just to, well, feel something.

They have the right to spend their money however they want and online shopping helps them do that.

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I wanted to help them too. So I tried to get into the minds of these higher-end types to figure out what happens when you ask Amazon to show you not the stuff that’s good value, but the stuff that’s expensive.


So I typed “expensive gadgets” into Amazon’s little search box and pretended money wasn’t an issue. That is, when it comes to objects of technological desire.

What could Amazon conjure up? The short answer to that is a trough of confusion.

But you’re not here for short answers, are you? You are here to bathe in life’s vast possibilities.

Please let me tell you that Amazon’s idea of ​​an expensive gadget is the “Tineco Pure One S15 Smart Cordless Pet Vacuum Cleaner, Stick Vacuum Cleaner with Anti-Tangle Brush, Deep Cleaning for Hard Floors and Carpets, Pet Hair Cleaning with LED Headlights, WiFi Connection.”

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Of course, I was immediately encouraged. Who doesn’t dream of a vacuum cleaner with headlights and WiFi connection? Don’t you always vacuum in the dark? I do. And all for $499.99, the definition of an expensive gadget.

Then I concentrated. This wasn’t Amazon’s original suggestion. This was a sponsored ad “based on the product’s relevance to your search query”.

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To do this, I question Amazon’s ability to create an advertising algorithm that has anything to do with, say, the real world.

Expensive but on offer

However, I will not linger. There was much more joy here.

Amazon’s first suggestion was the “Unistellar eVscope eQuinox – Smart Digital Reflector Telescope – Computerized, Go to Portable Astronomy for Beginners & Advanced Users, Adults or Kids – Comes with Tripod, Alt-Az Mount and Control App.”

What a bargain that was. It was 33% cheaper, meaning it cost $1,999. Yes, definitely expensive.

Amazon was keen for me to be tempted by a couple of $1,000 DJI drones, but I’m made of sterner stuff. I was more taken with the “Osaki Ador 3D Allure 3 Steps Zero Gravity Ergonomic SL-Track Intelligent Voice Control Calf Kneading Massage (Taupe)”.

Can you imagine someone paying $2,999 for a voice controlled calf massager? I think so, even if it’s taupe.

Amazon also tried to sell me “Meta Quest 2 – Advanced All-In-One Virtual Reality Headset – 128GB Get Meta Quest 2 with GOLF+ and Space Pirate Trainer DX included”.

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The mere idea of ​​a space pirate trainer included in the low price of $399 was terribly tempting. Then I realized that I don’t know anyone who has anything like this, nor has anyone ever expressed an interest. I concluded that this was just one step away from obsolescence.

Asking Amazon about expensive gadgets may have screwed up the algorithm a bit.

It offered the “Hiboy KS4 / KS4 Pro Electric Scooter, Upgraded 500W Motor (Ver. KS4 350W), 19 MPH 25 Miles Range (Ver. KS4 17 Miles), 8″ & 10″ Tire Escooter, Foldable Commuter Electric Scooter for Adult (optional seat).” 25% off for a whopping $449.99.

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Next to it was the “Hikmicro B1L 160 x 120 IR Resolution Thermal Imager with WiFi, 25Hz Refresh Rate, 3.2″ LCD Screen, 19200 Pixel Handheld Infrared Thermal Imager and High Temperature Alarm.” But that was $429.

It seemed clear that Amazon’s algorithm had no precise idea of ​​what kind of expensive gadget I might be tempted to buy. It also didn’t have a fine understanding of the concept of expensive.

Dear, dear, dear

As proof, I can cite the fact that Amazon was keen to sell me its own brands. Yes, in the middle of this search for the expensive. And none of Amazon’s goods came even remotely expensive.

Example: the “Multi-Tool Pliers — 12-in-1 Camping Pliers Multi-Tool, Professional Camping Accessories, Survival Gear, Outdoor Compact Multi-Tool.” Yours for $11.99, but it’s not exactly the Gucci of gadgets, is it?

Also: This replaced my multi-tool gadget for a fraction of the cost

As I scrolled down, I lost hope that the rich would find something here that really mattered to them – oh, but how do I know? The rich can be very strange – I was suddenly enchanted by a weapon-like object.

This was the “Stoeger XM1 Bullshark – .177 Caliber – Black Plastic with Multi-Grip System and Buttstock Spacers”. Yes, I can imagine more than one person unhappily getting those last two words right out of the box, but $479 for an airgun? Even if it has “Olympic Accuracy”.

From this I conclude that Amazon still does not know me. It also doesn’t have a keen sense of how to trick those into shelling out a big wad for a fancy device.

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I felt like the company’s algorithm was getting a bit desperate when it suggested, at the bottom of the search page, “Air Fryer Cookbook for Beginners: 1500 Affordable, Quick & Easy Recipes for Delicious Homemade Meals | Tips & Tricks to Fry, Grill, Roast and Bake.”

Affordable? The whole point of this search, Amazon, was the opposite of that.