Recon at You-Know-WhatMart

There is nothing like a little middle of the night recon to help you shop more sanely and savvily. Get you insulated container of coffee and let’s go. Oh yeah, and grab your best friend. It’s more fun that way.

On NPR today, I heard that something like 94% of Americans live with in 15 miles of a You-know-whatMart.

There seem to be basically two kinds of shoppers. Those who buy everything there and those who buy nothing there. This is for the reader that is considering leaving the department store and trying You-know-whatMart. Or the regular shopper who simply hates the experience.

If you have never been to one, it can be an overwhelming experience. It’s huge, lighted oddly and smells a bit like dirty movie theater.

However, you can find good deals there.

Here’s how:

1. Never, ever, ever! shop on a Saturaday afternoon.
You will land in jail for murdering someone. Plus, you will rush to leave and just grab whatever, thereby not saving any money.

2. Do a recon mission.
Get a sitter. Send the kids to Granny’s. Go in the middle of the night, ideally 3:30 am. Yes, there are palates of merchandise everywhere, but that is definately better than people. The store is yours alone.

3. If you want service, ask for it.
Unlike the department stores or boutiques, no one will help you unless you ask for it. In the middle of the night, the people who stock the shelves are there. These are the people you want to ask for help. They know where the item is, if there is more in the back, when the next shipment is coming, and wether or not it is on sale.

4. Remeber you manners.
For some reason, everyone thinks that because you are in a cheapy store you can behave badly. You can not! Treat workers kindly. The worker that likes third shift is an odd duck, indeed.

5. Fondle the clothes.
Feel the fabric, check the stitching, try the zippers and buttons. Will it last? Check the fabric. For example, I won’t buy an acrylic sweater for two reasons. It usually feels better to the fingertip than against the skin and it pills when you wash it.

You found something you like? Check the label.Write it down. Look for other things made under that label. How do they seem? In boys clothing, there is one particular brand I know I can count on. My son can beat the tar out of them and this brand can take it.

6. Check out other items in which you are interested.
Same idea as above. Don’t forget to check the prescription policy at the pharmacy, especially if you have lousy or no insurance.

7. Ask about site-to-store shipping.
This is my favorite part. Free site-to-store shipping.

Now that you know what brands you like you can shop with knowledge and confidence in your pjs from your pc. They let you know when it is ready. At your convenience, you march straight to that counter, avoiding the general shopping mob and get your stuff. All still in the package, untouched by the masses. They even load it into your car. Nice.

The grocery section? Dunno, guess your on your own there. I do this.

Leave a comment about your adventures.

Good luck, soldier.

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 11:25 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Fantastic! Global shopping advice. I feel so wise. BTW, love the avatar

  2. walmart is destroying retailing. We have the same phenomena here in Australia; just one manager running the store, and a bunch of clueless, dis-empowered assistants. Horrible horrible shopping experience.

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