Holiday shopping should be fun. I use to love it. I would look through all of the holiday ads in the local newspaper. Then I would make my list. I knew just what I wanted and I had a plan. That was the easy part. You go shopping in a good mood, then you get to the store and that is where the nightmare begins. Many times I have come home from shopping feeling like the victim. Either the customer(s) or the cashier at the checkout turns the shopping trip into a nightmare. In the end I wished I would have stayed home. I have had such a bad experience at some stores that I will not walk in them anymore.
My shopping plan started out right. When I got to Walmart they were out of the GPS that I wanted. The store clerk told me he thought they still had them online. When I got home I was able to order a GPS online for the same price. I did not have to pay for shipping.
I purchased several CDs for Christmas gifts. I made sure to pick CDs with plastic cases that had four perfect corners. When I got home every CD had broken corners. The clerks throw everything in the bags hanging on the bag wheels, merchandise always gets damaged. It is not theirs so they do not care. I like the self-checkouts.
I made some shopping purchases for a friend who had to work. When he got home from work I told him I picked up everything he wanted and he owed me for it. He told me he did not want any of it. I had to return all of the items that I picked up for him. When I returned the computer he wanted to Walmart the clerk ripped open the box and made me feel like a criminal for returning the computer. The lady next to me returned the same computer and the clerk that waited on her never ripped open the box. When I told the clerk I did not open the box, nothing was wrong with the computer; my friend decided he did not want it. The clerk said, “We have to do this with everyone.” I said, “How come the other sales clerk never ripped open the computer box that the lady next to me returned?” She never answered me.
On my way home I stopped at a local gift store, Aim Variety. There was a big poster size picture that I had been wanting for the last couple of months. It was a picture of a little girl sitting on a log. I decided today was the day I was going to pick it up. I took the picture off the wall and brought it up to the cash register. The lady talked me into letting her take the picture into the back room so she could wrap it in plastic bubble wrap. She picked up the picture and walked to the back room bouncing my picture off her right hip. I would have carried the picture with both hands, held in front of me. The sales clerk was wearing a gold chain belt. That made me nervous. I followed the sales clerk and looked in the back room. She was wrapping my $300 picture on the floor. I was sick. I went back to the cash register. When the lady came back she said, “We did not have bubble wrap so I wrapped the picture in paper.” I had blankets in my car so I could wrap the picture. I wrapped the large picture in blankets that were in my clean trunk. I should have carried the picture out of the store as is after the clerk collected the money for it.
When I got home I took the paper off of my beautiful picture. I noticed a big piece of wood missing on the lower left corner of the picture. It was not that way when I made the purchase. The picture hung on the wall in the store and every time I walked up to it I approached the left side. The next day I called and talked to the store owner who responded by saying, “It is hard to find good help.” He never apologized for the damage. He told me I could bring the picture in and he would put a new frame on it. When I got to the store he offered me a cheap frame.
I purchased the picture with a beautiful gold antique frame on it that made the picture look very expensive. I left the store with the picture damaged. I never went back into the store to make another purchase. I was, a regular customer, always in the store spending thousands of dollars on gifts. I still have the damaged framed picture. I keep it wrapped in blankets. I never put the picture on the wall. The local Aim Variety gift store eventually went out of business. I am hoping one day to find an expensive looking picture frame so I can display my beautiful picture. It cannot be displayed as is with the big chunk of wood missing.
Having my beautiful expensive picture frame damaged destroyed my shopping day. I should have stayed home and cleaned my place. When I clean I feel like I accomplish something. I do not feel like I accomplished anything on this shopping day. Every purchase was ruined at the cash register. Customer service is so important.
Did you wait until the last minute?
No, I did not wait until last minute. I made a plan to do something fun. I shop all year round for Christmas. After Christmas I sometimes find out that I missed deals I would have liked to have known about.
Try to track down a hard-to-find gift?
If I cannot find something that I am looking for in a local store I go right to the Internet. Anything can be found on the Internet if you are willing to pay the price. When I shop online I check first with my favorite online websites like Amazon, eBay, and craigslist.org. If I cannot find a lower price on the discount websites I buy the item right from the main dealers’ website. When you buy from the main seller you can be sure that you have an authentic item. If you buy from the discount websites there is a big chance that you might be buying a fake.
Tips to learn from and use in your holiday shopping endeavors.
Buying products online protects you from being forced into purchases that you do not want. I am buying more and more online because a lot of times my purchases are ruined at the cash register. Store owners do not realize how important customer service is. They need to have their top customer service employers at the front of the store waiting on the customer(s), not in the isles stocking shelves. No one wants to wait on the customer. Everyone wants to run in back. The customer is the one who pays their paycheck.