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#Top150 CR: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow

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#Top150 CR: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow [#permalink]

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Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers to create “wish lists” of items they would like to receive as gifts. Such lists are certainly useful, but these retailers should also explore other ways to suggest gift purchases for these customers. In particular, without revealing the specifics of a customer's purchase history, a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory, select a list of items similar to those the customer has already purchased, and then e-mail that list to a group of contacts specified by the customer. Such a system would suggest gifts that, because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases, would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer.

In the argument, Joanne assumes that the hypothetical customers

A. are familiar with most or all of the items in stock on the websites where they shop

B. would prefer novel gifts that are unlike the items they currently own

C. do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts

D. would be relatively unconcerned if their retail purchase histories were available to others

E. prefer online shopping to shopping in physical retail stores
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: #Top150 CR: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow [#permalink]

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Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers to create “wish lists” of items they would like to receive as gifts.

Such lists are certainly useful, but these retailers should also explore other ways to suggest gift purchases for these customers.

In particular, without revealing the specifics of a customer's purchase history, a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory, select a list of items similar to those the customer has already purchased, and then e-mail that list to a group of contacts specified by the customer.

Such a system would suggest gifts that, because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases, would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer.

In the argument, Joanne assumes that the hypothetical customers

A. are familiar with most or all of the items in stock on the websites where they shop...........even if they are not familiar it does not matter as they can get familiar of the gift after receiving it. Did not think of while selecting this option.

B. would prefer novel gifts that are unlike the items they currently own............argument considers similar items. this weakens the argument and cannot be assumed.

C. do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts............they purchase items and get gifts. true

D. would be relatively unconcerned if their retail purchase histories were available to others.........out of scope since this need not be assumed as its negation will not affect the argument. Even if they are concerned, website as per the argument does the task without revelation of their info.

E. prefer online shopping to shopping in physical retail stores..............preference in comparison does not matter
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Re: #Top150 CR: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow [#permalink]

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Choice A, out of scope, Choice B and D, weaken the argument.
Choice E, preference of customers does not influence to the conclusion, because the purpose of this list is to appeal to the customer. The argument told nothing about purchase items in the future.
Choice C: the customers purchase items not for gifts, we can deduce that they buy for themselves. It strengthens the argument. But if they buy items for others, this list will be no appeal them, because they cannot give others 1 items two times.

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Re: #Top150 CR: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow [#permalink]

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souvik101990 wrote:
Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers to create “wish lists” of items they would like to receive as gifts. Such lists are certainly useful, but these retailers should also explore other ways to suggest gift purchases for these customers. In particular, without revealing the specifics of a customer's purchase history, a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory, select a list of items similar to those the customer has already purchased, and then e-mail that list to a group of contacts specified by the customer. Such a system would suggest gifts that, because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases, would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer.

In the argument, Joanne assumes that the hypothetical customers

A. are familiar with most or all of the items in stock on the websites where they shop

B. would prefer novel gifts that are unlike the items they currently own

C. do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts

D. would be relatively unconcerned if their retail purchase histories were available to others

E. prefer online shopping to shopping in physical retail stores


My initial thought was "what about people who don't want duplicates of certain/similar items OR what about those who buy things for others?"
If you negate choice C then you destroy the argument. Those who use the website to buy gifts for other people may not want similar for themselves - C is correct

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Re: #Top150 CR: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2017, 00:18
I understood from previous comments that the assumption here is - the customers who are receiving the gift lists does not purchase gifts from the online retailer.

However, I was confused by two things .

1. "a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory"
- This makes the website and the retailer two different entity.

So , when I saw "retail websites" in option C, I was confused ! Is this the website itself from where you are purchasing such as amazon or the retailers such as the sellers in the amazon. Or are they same ?
If they are same then why would the author write this ?

2. Negating the option C, denotes that as the customer already buys items from the online retailer ( considering the retailer and the website are the same) , he or she would not be interested in buying gifts from the same online retailer.
- Does this have to be true always ?
A customer who already buys gifts ( things for others) from a website , can also continue buying gifts from that website.

To me, option C does not qualify for the best option here because of these confusions.

Please comment on this. Thanks.
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Re: #Top150 CR: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2017, 01:44
urhowig wrote:
I understood from previous comments that the assumption here is - the customers who are receiving the gift lists does not purchase gifts from the online retailer.

However, I was confused by two things .

1. "a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory"
- This makes the website and the retailer two different entity.

So , when I saw "retail websites" in option C, I was confused ! Is this the website itself from where you are purchasing such as amazon or the retailers such as the sellers in the amazon. Or are they same ?
If they are same then why would the author write this ?

2. Negating the option C, denotes that as the customer already buys items from the online retailer ( considering the retailer and the website are the same) , he or she would not be interested in buying gifts from the same online retailer.
- Does this have to be true always ?
A customer who already buys gifts ( things for others) from a website , can also continue buying gifts from that website.

To me, option C does not qualify for the best option here because of these confusions.

Please comment on this. Thanks.


Don't bring in outside knowledge while answering GMAT questions. Use the information in the question stem to arrive at the answer.
The only exceptions are universal truths such as Moon revolving around the Earth.

1. "a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory"

- This makes the website and the retailer two different entity.
Even if they are two different entities how does it affect out argument. A website is just a platform to offer things.

As to the 2nd point:

The conclusion is : Such a system would suggest gifts that would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer.
Premise :Because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases.
Linkage : people(Or the ones who get the gifts) would buy things similar to what they receive.
This is all we are concerned with.
Option c states that : People do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts .
what if everyone uses this website primarily to purchase gifts for others but never to themselves.
This would shatter the conclusion .
Hence the correct answer.

Let me know if you have more doubts.

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#Top150 CR: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2017, 05:09
goforgmat wrote:
urhowig wrote:
I understood from previous comments that the assumption here is - the customers who are receiving the gift lists does not purchase gifts from the online retailer.

However, I was confused by two things .

1. "a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory"
- This makes the website and the retailer two different entity.

So , when I saw "retail websites" in option C, I was confused ! Is this the website itself from where you are purchasing such as amazon or the retailers such as the sellers in the amazon. Or are they same ?
If they are same then why would the author write this ?

2. Negating the option C, denotes that as the customer already buys items from the online retailer ( considering the retailer and the website are the same) , he or she would not be interested in buying gifts from the same online retailer.
- Does this have to be true always ?
A customer who already buys gifts ( things for others) from a website , can also continue buying gifts from that website.

To me, option C does not qualify for the best option here because of these confusions.

Please comment on this. Thanks.


Don't bring in outside knowledge while answering GMAT questions. Use the information in the question stem to arrive at the answer.
The only exceptions are universal truths such as Moon revolving around the Earth.

1. "a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory"

- This makes the website and the retailer two different entity.
Even if they are two different entities how does it affect out argument. A website is just a platform to offer things.

As to the 2nd point:

The conclusion is : Such a system would suggest gifts that would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer.
Premise :Because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases.
Linkage : people(Or the ones who get the gifts) would buy things similar to what they receive.
This is all we are concerned with.
Option c states that : People do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts .
what if everyone uses this website primarily to purchase gifts for others but never to themselves.
This would shatter the conclusion .
Hence the correct answer.

Let me know if you have more doubts.


Can you please point out what excess information I've used?

1. Even if they are two different entities how does it affect out argument. A website is just a platform to offer things.
- The problem here is that , two website's can offer different list of items.

2. what if everyone uses this website primarily to purchase gifts for others but never to themselves.
This would shatter the conclusion .
- How this shatters the conclusion ?

everyone uses this website primarily to purchase gifts for others but never to themselves
and the websites is also offering a list of items to buy

- Does this mean that the customer's appeal for the new list of items will decrease ?
The website can very well offer newer items that the hypothetical customers haven't yet bought.
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Re: #Top150 CR: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2017, 06:13
urhowig wrote:
goforgmat wrote:
urhowig wrote:
I understood from previous comments that the assumption here is - the customers who are receiving the gift lists does not purchase gifts from the online retailer.

However, I was confused by two things .

1. "a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory"
- This makes the website and the retailer two different entity.

So , when I saw "retail websites" in option C, I was confused ! Is this the website itself from where you are purchasing such as amazon or the retailers such as the sellers in the amazon. Or are they same ?
If they are same then why would the author write this ?

2. Negating the option C, denotes that as the customer already buys items from the online retailer ( considering the retailer and the website are the same) , he or she would not be interested in buying gifts from the same online retailer.
- Does this have to be true always ?
A customer who already buys gifts ( things for others) from a website , can also continue buying gifts from that website.

To me, option C does not qualify for the best option here because of these confusions.

Please comment on this. Thanks.


Don't bring in outside knowledge while answering GMAT questions. Use the information in the question stem to arrive at the answer.
The only exceptions are universal truths such as Moon revolving around the Earth.

1. "a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory"

- This makes the website and the retailer two different entity.
Even if they are two different entities how does it affect out argument. A website is just a platform to offer things.

As to the 2nd point:

The conclusion is : Such a system would suggest gifts that would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer.
Premise :Because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases.
Linkage : people(Or the ones who get the gifts) would buy things similar to what they receive.
This is all we are concerned with.
Option c states that : People do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts .
what if everyone uses this website primarily to purchase gifts for others but never to themselves.
This would shatter the conclusion .
Hence the correct answer.

Let me know if you have more doubts.




Can you please point out what excess information I've used?

1. Even if they are two different entities how does it affect out argument. A website is just a platform to offer things.
- The problem here is that , two website's can offer different list of items. Suppose that there is one retailer irrespective of which site he uses his own or others. Now According to the argument the website will find out similar things related to what he bought and send it out to the people who were gifted. thats all .

2. what if everyone uses this website primarily to purchase gifts for others but never to themselves.
This would shatter the conclusion .
The main intention is to boost sales . the retailer assumes that people will be interested in buying similar things. So how can that not happen and the retailers conclusion is shattered. If i(who received gift from a friend ) use the retailers website to buy only gifts for others, will i buy the items that the new algorithm sends me? the Answer is No. I wont.
- How this shatters the conclusion ?

everyone uses this website primarily to purchase gifts for others but never to themselves
and the websites is also offering a list of items to buy

- Does this mean that the customer's appeal for the new list of items will decrease ?
The website can very well offer newer items that the hypothetical customers haven't yet bought.


There is no information in the passage that suggests they are two different entities. This i feel you are bringing real world information to deduce.

WE are only concerned with online retailers and the products they offer.

I have tried to address your doubts . See above.

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Re: #Top150 CR: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2017, 09:10
souvik101990 wrote:
Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers to create “wish lists” of items they would like to receive as gifts. Such lists are certainly useful, but these retailers should also explore other ways to suggest gift purchases for these customers. In particular, without revealing the specifics of a customer's purchase history, a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory, select a list of items similar to those the customer has already purchased, and then e-mail that list to a group of contacts specified by the customer. Such a system would suggest gifts that, because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases, would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer.

In the argument, Joanne assumes that the hypothetical customers

A. are familiar with most or all of the items in stock on the websites where they shop

B. would prefer novel gifts that are unlike the items they currently own

C. do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts

D. would be relatively unconcerned if their retail purchase histories were available to others

E. prefer online shopping to shopping in physical retail stores


(1) Identify the Question Type
The problem asks what is assumed by Joanne, so this is a Find Assumption question.

(2) Deconstruct the Argument
Joanne sees the introduction of “wish lists” on retail websites as a positive development. As an additional way to suggest gifts for customers, she says, retail websites should analyze those customers' previous purchases and generate gift ideas that are similar to those purchases. Because these items would be similar to things that the customer has already bought, Joanne reasons, they would be ideal gifts.

(3) State the Goal
We need to find what is taken for granted by Joanne in the argument. Her fundamental point is that a list of items similar to the customer's prior purchases should accurately reflect things that the customer would like for himself or herself (and would therefore make good gift ideas). To justify the premise that a customer's purchase history should reflect what that customer wants for himself or herself, Joanne must assume that the purchase history does not consist mostly of items bought for other people. It must also assume that a customer wants things similar to what they already own. If a person bought a toaster, does that necessarily mean that they want another toaster? As there are a few assumptions made, we will have to see how the answer choices are phrased before making a decision.

(4) Work from Wrong to Right

(A) Whether the customer is familiar with most of a retailer's inventory is irrelevant to Joanne's suggestion. Her proposed system would scan a retailer's entire catalog, whether the target customer is familiar with most of the products or not.

(B) In fact, Joanne assumes precisely the opposite: Her system is based on the idea that things similar to what a customer already owns will make good gifts.

(C) CORRECT: For the argument to work, Joanne must assume that customers use retail websites primarily to purchase things for themselves. More specifically, Joanne must assume that customers do not use these websites primarily to purchase items for other people, such as gifts or resale items. Therefore, this statement is an assumption.

We can also use the negation method. If this statement is false, then the hypothetical customer uses retail websites primarily to purchase gifts for other people. In that case, the customer's purchase history will reflect the desires of the people to whom the customer gives gifts, rather than those of the customer him- or herself -- thus destroying the effectiveness of Joanne's argument.

(D) Joanne's proposed system would not reveal customers' purchase histories, so this consideration is irrelevant.

(E) While Joanne does assume that customers have built up a purchase history with online retailers, she makes no assumptions about their preferences between online shopping and shopping in stores.
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Re: #Top150 CR: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2017, 06:35
souvik101990 wrote:
Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow customers to create “wish lists” of items they would like to receive as gifts. Such lists are certainly useful, but these retailers should also explore other ways to suggest gift purchases for these customers. In particular, without revealing the specifics of a customer's purchase history, a website could quickly analyze a retailer's entire inventory, select a list of items similar to those the customer has already purchased, and then e-mail that list to a group of contacts specified by the customer. Such a system would suggest gifts that, because of their similarity to the customer's prior purchases, would be extremely likely to appeal to the customer.

In the argument, Joanne assumes that the hypothetical customers

A. are familiar with most or all of the items in stock on the websites where they shop

B. would prefer novel gifts that are unlike the items they currently own

C. do not use retail websites primarily to purchase gifts

D. would be relatively unconcerned if their retail purchase histories were available to others

E. prefer online shopping to shopping in physical retail stores


The answer is C

A is irrelevant to the argument
B Out of scope
C Correct if the consumers do not purchase any item for themselves but for the gift then the history of purchase would give the wrong idea about the preference and the people would get gifts unsuitable to their wish.
D argument mentions that customers are not aware about the use of their purchase history so this information is redundant
E Out of scope
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Re: #Top150 CR: Joanne: An increasing number of online retailers now allow   [#permalink] 11 Sep 2017, 06:35
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