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Monday, April 30, 2012

The Demise of Brick and Mortar Stores For A Reason

We're Closed
Brick and mortar stores are closing down all over the place. One of the reasons they are providing for this is the increase in competition with online retailers. Yes, I'm sure prices having something to do with it, but with the added cost of shipping and most places charging tax now, the prices aren't always that much better.

Customer Service: By going to a website, searching for what I want, and placing my order virtually, I don't have to deal with waiting in line or dealing with rude or unknowledgeable sales people.

I recently took a trip to my local Sears in search of a new microwave. I specifically stopped at Sears first as I know they aren't doing well financially, and I wanted to help them out. After looking at the microwaves and not having anyone offer assistance, I tracked someone down. That someone then called someone else to help who was supposed to be knowledgeable on the products. She was not knowledgeable. So I went to Best Buy and bought one.

Availability of Products: When going to a retail location, I try to choose a local business instead of a chain. This can be difficult to do at times, but can be accomplished.

Besides blogging, I have a few other hobbies, such as collecting coins. My collection isn't fancy, my coins are worth face value as they are circulated, but it's still a hobby. I decided to start collecting state quarters and presidential dollars. So, I went to a local coin shop to get a couple of albums for these collections. The proprietor of the shop had the presidential dollars for sale, at 3 bucks each, but he didn't have any albums available to put them in. And the one album he had for the quarters was lame, leaving me to do the thing I usually have to do, I went online and ordered the albums I wanted. Never to shop at his store again.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Impatience at the Trolley Stop

Image Source

Most mornings my bus is late or early when dropping me off so that I end up doing the 12 minute walk to work. But, on some days I get in around the right time so that I can take the trolley down the street to my office.

One of the many things that irritate me in life, are people like the guy this morning. He wasn't unique as I encounter people like him all the time. We were all crammed on the trolley because it is free to ride and raining. As it gets closer to the stop that I and quite a few other people also get off on, some guy tries to work his way past me in the crowd. He was polite about it, said "excuse me."

Feeling cranky today, and knowing half the people on the trolley were getting off at that same stop, I respond, "we aren't even at the stop yet. Relax you'll make it off."

You could see the look of not knowing how to respond in his eyes, the slight nervous smile, and of course the looks from the other people on the trolley. Of course no one saying anything, like "yeah, chill."

A couple of seconds later, the trolley stopped, the doors opened, and everyone managed to make it off the trolley including that guy. One of these days, when I create my list of things about people I hate, on the list will be impatience. Because really, is getting to work a few seconds earlier that important!

Friday, April 13, 2012

EGL Certified Customers

Todays cranky contribution from my super sexy gal pal Chiwi!

Dealing with people in retail is frustrating, no matter what business you’re in.  Yeah, I know…“the customer is always right” but that assumes the customer isn’t an idiot!

It seems like those are the only people I deal with…and today, I got cranky and had to leave.  Some industries are specialized and sometimes you are tasked with the chore of teaching customers the ins and outs of the industry before they can make a pricey purchase.  Of course, some customers do their own research on the internet and think they know it all.

Take for example something as simple and inexpensive as buying chicken.  We all know that buying free-range chicken is better than the typical hormone-induced chicken that many grocery stores sell.  They both look the same but clearly, for many reasons, the free-range chickens are better…reasons that might not be visible to the naked eye BUT they’re better!

So in trying to explain to a customer why it is better to buy a GIA certified diamond versus an EGL certified diamond, I got absolutely no where!!  GIA is the laboratory of all laboratories.  If you have a GIA certified diamond, they are the last word as to color, clarity, cut, etc. etc.  Thus when you buy a diamond that is GIA certified, you know you’re getting what you’ve been told.  Experience has shown that EGL certified diamonds are not as accurately graded and therefore, not as well liked in the industry because it could cause ill-will between the retailer and the consumer.  But all I kept hearing in reply was “but I got to see the actual stone and it looked nice”.  It’s a diamond.  Diamonds are generally pretty.  I give up!  Go buy your EGL certified stone dummy!