Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Tale of Four Cities

like this only pink

I've had my eye on the 4-in-1 winter coats and snowpants, for the girls for next year, since Christmas. As expected, they went on sale in January. 30% off, from $40 down to $28. Since I was in no hurry I decided to wait it out and see if they went lower. Surely, they would go lower.

last night, while the girls were at church, Sam and I went to the Target that's two cities to our west. I found the coats were still at $28, just 30% off, and they didn't have size small left. Oh well. We then had time to stop at one more Target (just one city west of us) since I was still looking for a pair of boots for Sam. I decided to walk by the coats again just to see if they had the girls size. Holy Moly! They had one left and it was $9.98, but size large! That's 75% off!!! Now this was the kind of sale I had been waiting for.

I sped through getting the girls home, feeding the family dinner, and tucking the kids in bed. Then I headed to the Target in my city. Much to my delight they were priced at $9.98. They only had one size small left which I bought. On my way out I asked the girl at customer service if she could tell from my sku what other stores might still have another one just like it. She gave me two options and I headed to the store that's one city southeast of us.

I was thrilled to find that they had a whole rack of the coats and yes a size small in pink. Hold on, slight problem, theirs were marked $19.98. Hmmm...not so great.

I headed back to the Target in my city and walked up to the same girl that had directed me to that last store.

Hi. I just bought the jacket you helped me find. But I was charged twice as much there as I was here. Can you do a price adjustment for me?

No, we can't do price adjustments between stores. The reason it cost more at that store is because there is less competition for their location.

Alright then, I would like to return this jacket.

Finishes the return and hands me back my receipt. that jacket going out on your salesfloor at $9.98?


Then I would like to buy it."

I was so thankful that she didn't try to refuse me, because I was ready to talk to a manager. I hate having to do stuff like that. My palms get sweaty, my face feels hot and prickly and I get butterflies in my stomach. But what do I hate more than the confrontation? Feeling like I'm being taken advantage of simply because I shopped at a store with less competition. I could understand her saying "no" if I was at the store that charged me $19.98. But come on! I did the leg work (to five different stores in one day!) and brought it back to a store that was selling it for $9.98.

I think it's ridiculous that people who live further out from the cities should have to pay more, at the same store, than someone who lives closer in to town. And how annoying that within 15 miles, there are three stores each with a different price for the same item. I guess it pays to shop around, I just didn't think it would all be at Target!

I encourage you to figure out which stores in your area have the best sale prices. It's worth it to know. Makes me wonder how much I've over-spent through the years. And if we ever move out further west, I know I'll be making the trek closer in to shop.

*I never did find boots for Sam. I also bought the girls snow pants to go with the jackets and ended up paying $19 per set. I bought size small which is a girls 6 (they wear 4/5 so they are swimming in these coats right now). But if all goes as planned they could possibly get two winters use out of them making it $9.50 a year per girl. Woo hoo!!!


Jessica said...

I had no idea that 3 different Targets within the same regional district clearanced merchandise out at different rates???!!! CRAZY!

Yea! on finding the coats though! And kudos to you for standing up to them. I, too, hate doing stuff like that, but I hate paying more than necessary even more! {You know about my 'shipping' hang-up :) }

Angel said...

I was dumbfounded too!

Like your shipping hang-up, I hate paying more than I have to for something that gets so little use. Keeping 3 kids in winter clothes that fit each year is a big (and expensive) job. I think that's why I like making dresses so much, we can usually get 2 years of wear out of them.

Kacey said...

We have 2 Targets about 5 miles away from each other, one is a Super Target, the other just a plain Target. I haven't compared prices very much, but they sure do carry different varieties of stuff and the size of each department varies too. One has a big "big girl" section, the other has a big "little girl" section... Good for you for standing up to the cashier! I don't have the strength to do that, I just pay whatever and gripe about it at home ;-)

Colleen/And Baby Makes Five said...

I like you're shopping style, Angel! And I'm proud of you for getting in there and getting the best deal after all of your legwork. I'd have sweaty palms too, but some things are just worth it.

I can't get over the price differentials either! That's a good piece of info to tuck away...

Savor that fabulous deal. It's one for the good gals!