Saturday, April 14, 2012

Easy target

I just spent an inordinate amount of time listing stuff on eBay and Craigslist. Every time after we move or even just have a yard sale I wind up with some things that I don't want to bring back into the house but I can't just send on to Goodwill like the rest of my rejects.

Sometimes I'm irrationally defensive of it, usually for nostalgic reasons, e.g., I can't believe none of the yard sale crowd couldn't see past the chips in this coffee mug my mom gave me in college! Sometimes I'm trying to make up for spending too much on it myself, e.g., I paid $25 for these extra wet bags because I didn't know I'd only have two kids in cloth diapers for one month, and I am not just going to give them away!

Typically I load everything into a laundry basket in the trunk of my car and, over the next few weeks, make the rounds -- the children's consignment store, the consignment store where I take my clothes, the consignment store where I take my housewares, the used bookstore where I take my books, various stores for returns of unopened merchandise, Amanda's garage for Fed By Faith, friends' houses for their own yard sales and possibly better luck. Anything left after all this is finally given up and away.

Returns: I consider myself to be pretty shameless about them. Matt thinks I'm crazy, and now you all will too, but I have no problem returning something as small as a four-pack of packing tape I ended up not needing. I wouldn't go out of my way to do this, but I always keep my receipts and these items in the trunk of my car so I can hit up customer service next time I'm at the store.

However, I don't return perishable items and personally I don't think stores should even accept returns for them. If someone buys a pack of bacon and then changes her mind, does the store put it back on the shelf? I hope not -- there's no way to know whether it was refrigerated, etc., while the original buyer had it. And if the store just throws it away, that bothers me too, and it makes all of our prices go up.

A couple of months ago our whole family was at Walmart and Matt was taking care of a return while the kids and I got started shopping. The woman in front of Matt at customer service was trying to return meat that had EXPIRED the day before -- and they let her! Matt said they did have to call in a supervisor to approve it, and they only gave her store credit, not cash, but come on. I hate to use "Walmart" and "generous" in the same sentence, but they do have a generous return policy, and it annoys me when people so blatantly take advantage of things like that.

Talking about Walmart reminds me of another good story. I didn't know this post was going to turn into a Walmart-crazies rant; this is fun.

A few weeks ago I went to Walmart (by myself) and when I came out, loaded up the groceries and got ready to leave, I found I couldn't back out because a truck was behind me, waiting for someone else to pull out so they could have their spot. This is another pet peeve of mine, but I waited patiently for a couple of minutes. By that time the cars were starting to line up behind this truck and I was starting to get annoyed. I wasn't in a particular rush (for once), but they were being so inconsiderate.

I was the closest car to them so I got out to talk to them. When I got to their truck I saw they were an elderly couple so, trust me, I was VERY GRACIOUS and totally giving them the benefit of the doubt when I told them there were quite a few cars waiting on them and asked if maybe they could circle around.

They started talking (NOT graciously) at the same time. Husband: "If you're in a hurry, you should have started sooner." Wife: "We're in a hurry too, but we have to park somewhere." I didn't argue, just got back in my car. The whole crowd of us sat there probably at least five more minutes -- the cars on both sides of mine were waiting by this time too -- and I finally escaped when the car parked in front of me left and I pulled through. I don't know how much longer everyone else was there. Ah, the 'mart: bringing out the worst in all of us. I love to hate it.


Amanda said...

I know for a fact that Harris Teeter will accept returns for refrigerated/frozen items but will not put them back on the shelf. Of course, I do not know the answer to what happens to the item after that? I've thought about asking them to see if I could get some goodies donated for FBF... but alas, I don't have the storage space for that either!

Sweet Tea Mama said...

I've returned defective or moldy items to a grocery store. Let's hope those don't go back on the shelf. Also, if you buy meat at Walmart, you get what you pay for. I'd just like to say all of your problems would be solved if we just had a Target like everyone else. Your post should be called 'Easy Target':)

Meg said...

Someone almost made me CRY at Walmart in a similar situation the other day! CRY... in the WALMART PARKING LOT! (Granted, I blame the crying on my hormones, not them, but still...). This lady watched me push Sam, Charli, and my groceries in the mega-cart to my car and just waited for my spot. She waited for me to unload the groceries and then put Sam and Charli in their carseats (by the way, it's kinda nerve-wracking having someone watch you like that!). When I was done, I motioned to her if she would mind pushing the cart back up to the store so that she could go ahead and get my spot (first of all, how do you deal with your cart when you have kids? I still haven't mastered this). She gave me the dirtiest look that you can imagine. I thought maybe she misunderstood, because she was rolling her window down as I started trying to get the cart out of the way. So I asked her the question out loud, and she almost cursed me out with her own 5 year old in the car- "why would you think that I should do something like that for you?" This is when the crying nearly ensued. Fortunately, at the same time, a sweet elderly woman who was also walking to the store said that she would be most happy to take my cart. And I was able to save my hormone tears for the next inconsequential happening of the day. By the way, this is why I don't write on my blog- why should I when I can post essays on yours?

Sallie said...

Oh, Walmart....always good stories. :)