Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Let's review shopping etiquette!

Thanks to the outgrown shoe fiasco of two weeks ago, I have had to make more trips than I care to remember to The Children's Place to return, buy, exchange, and buy just one pair of dress shoes for Madeline to wear with her Easter dress. I sure hope people are looking at her feet during the Easter Vigil! (Not really, but I've gone through a lot of trouble for these shoes.) During my many shopping trips (Not just to Children's Place, but other places, too.) I have encountered a few strange shopping scenarios.

Let's discuss the woman who wanted to split her purchases in The Children's Place on Saturday morning, shall we? She wanted to do two separate orders. (Same payment method, just so we're clear.) Why? Well, she wanted to maximize her discount. As a bargain hunter, I can understand that. So what was the problem? Well, one coupon was 15% off your total order that expires this month. The other coupon was 15% off your total order that expires next month. Same discount, different expiration. The manager explained to her that it was the same discount and she politely asked why she wanted two transactions. Well, the customer wanted a gift receipt for one item. The manager told her she could do that in one transaction and she could keep the other 15% off coupon for later. (Makes sense to me!) Well, the woman proceeded to tell her that she had to do the two transactions because that's how she could maximize her savings. (Picture me standing there in total disbelief at the idiocy of this logic.) Just so we're clear, if you have two coupons that have the same discount off your total order, you WILL NOT save any more money if you make the sales clerk do two separate orders. Save the coupon with the later expiration and don't make yourself look foolish. Now, if you have 25% off one item and 15% off your total purchase, go ahead with your bad self and do two separate orders. Just make sure you take the highest priced item to get the 25% off.

Let's move on to shopping cart etiquette. If you bring a cart into a store and use it your entire trip, DO NOT leave your cart at the register when you are done checking out. For one, it's a very odd thing to do. It's also rude, and it will likely make the people standing behind you angry. This happened at the craft store yesterday. I thought the woman ahead of me was acting odd. (She's also my next coupon story.) She confirmed my suspicions when she and her son took their bags and abandoned their cart right in front of the register. I've never seen anything like it. The cashier tried to get her attention and the two older women behind me were seething. (The woman behind me told she would have punched the woman if I were her. Not sure assaulting someone over an abandoned shopping cart would have been a smart move yesterday. I like to keep Mondays low key.) I simply made light of the situation, remarking to the ladies that I'd take care of the cart, but I would be leaving my children behind after checking out. They were pretty vocal about not wanting to take my kids home, but never worry, I would never just leave my kids in the store. They know my name, address, and phone number. Those kids would dime me out in the blink of an eye. Anyway, the bottom line is this: If you have a cart please be respectful of those around you and be responsible for putting your cart back when you are done. They have cart returns for a reason.

And finally, if you have a coupon for 50% off one item, don't harass the poor clerk about the price of every item you are buying trying to figure out which item will get the 50% discount. The computer on the register will take the discount off the highest priced eligible item. I didn't pester the clerk at the craft store to make sure she took the 50% off my $1.99 glue. I knew it would come off the glue because it was $.99 more than the popsicle sticks that were also in my order. And yes, I realize it was ridiculous of me to use a 50% off coupon on a $1.99 item, but when you are using a gift card that was generously given to you by the parent of two of your CCD students to buy crafts for the class, you do what you can to get the best possible price for everything. I'm still shocked that I have over $10 left on the $50 gift card the mother gave me back in October. I have purchased a lot of supplies with that gift card and 40-50% off coupons.

Karen's shopping etiquette class is now finished. I hope you all took notes.


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