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WalMart and the illusion of low prices

John Harrison (223649) writes | more than 8 years ago

User Journal 7

I have now entered WalMart three times in my life.

Before I go on I should mention that I really don't have time to be shopping today. I am moving today and tomorrow. I have other things to do.

Yet I was a WalMart today at 4:10 am. The prospect of a $378 laptop was too much to resist. There were about a hundred people in line in front of me. Assuming that they didn't all want a laptop I figured that I would be ok.

Wrong.

I have now entered WalMart three times in my life.

Before I go on I should mention that I really don't have time to be shopping today. I am moving today and tomorrow. I have other things to do.

Yet I was a WalMart today at 4:10 am. The prospect of a $378 laptop was too much to resist. There were about a hundred people in line in front of me. Assuming that they didn't all want a laptop I figured that I would be ok.

Wrong.

First, the line got mysteriously thicker as time went on. There were easily 300 people in front of me when the doors opened at 5:00 am. This does not include the people that stood in the parking lot and simply sprinted at the door when it opened. What kind of jerk do you have to be to do that?

Second, they put the laptops in the grocery area. At least this is what I was told. I never saw a laptop box. I went to the electronics area which was a mob scene but lacked laptops for some reason. According to a helpful WalMart employee, the laptops were gone from the grocery area before I got into the store anyhow.

Now if you claim to be selling a sub-$400 laptop but can't/won't sell anywhere near as many as people want then you really aren't selling such laptops. You are simply claiming to. Maybe if they offered rainchecks I would believe them, but they don't and thus I am convinced that it is a scam. Classic bait and switch.

I walked out of WalMart at 5:10 am vowing to never return. Unless they will give me a raincheck, which isn't going to happen.

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I hate to kick you while your down but... (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14112531)

what are you, some kinda rube? If you want a cheap laptop look for sales the saturday before/after X-mas while stores are trying to get rid of their stock, and look for deals online as laptops go end-of-life, or buy used. Those deals that are too good to be true are infact too good to be true, and most likely are sub-standard pieces of equipment that will break/malfunction shortly there-after. Do you really want a $400 paper weight?

Day after thanksgiving is the wrong time to go to a store. I need to go to Target to get some q-tips and I refuse to enter the store today at all. EVAR.

I'm glad you didn't get shivved.
Good luck moving!

Re:I hate to kick you while your down but... (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14112643)

Actually, I am hoping that the rumours of a new iBook in January are true and that it will cost significantly less than the current model and run Windows/x86 Linux easily.

Also, I have a nice laptop (Thinkpad T40) from work and an reasonable Mac desktop. This was to be a 3rd computer that my wife could use to access her Windows-only intranet (yes, stupid I know) when I am gone/busy. It didn't have to stand up to heavy use.

I am also glad I didn't get shivved. There was a fight up ahead in the line. I wasn't close enough to tell what was going on.

Finally, but you Q-Tips in bulk at Costco. You spend $7 there and get a lifetime supply.

Re:I hate to kick you while your down but... (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119755)

Actually, I am hoping that the rumours of a new iBook in January are true
The new iBook is nothing. I heard the Osbourne 2 is finally coming out in February!

Re:I hate to kick you while your down but... (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126924)

Does that mean I'll be able to run my 8 bit apps and my 16 bit apps on the same machine????

Re:I hate to kick you while your down but... (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 8 years ago | (#14113120)

If it's a SuperTarget, you might be okay, due to the fact that A) they're having a 2-day sale and not specials and B) the grocery side is off to one side of the store, on the opposite side of Electronics & toys, where most of the crazies would be. Q-tips are in health and beauty, next to grocery. About...E28 or so. ;)

And yeah, get your queue-teeps at Costco. (Not Sam's Club, they 0wnz0red by Wal-Mart) We have enough right now to clean the ears of everyone in our suburb and still have some left over to wipe up glue from the kids' art projects.

Oh, John, mekkas kicking whilst thine was down...totally justified. Sorry. :) I was getting back into bed at something like 4 am this morning (bathroom break), thinking about the poor people lined up at some of these special deal things and thinking that there's nothing out there that could possibly make me line up at friggin' 5 am. Especially after seeing the news footage of the fights and craziness. I hate crowds as it is, and the crowd mentality, too. It's just worse with 5 am bargain hunters.

Re:I hate to kick you while your down but... (1)

Some Woman (250267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14118670)

Kind of offtopic, but I thought you might feel her pain... my roommate's mom is a cashier at Target. Her store is 36 cashiers short for this buying-frenzy season. Nobody got yesterday off.

Re:I hate to kick you while you're down but... (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119344)

Yowtch. Well, my availability is only Tues, Thurs & Sat, so I wasn't scheduled to work yesterday. Not only that, but I haven't been properly trained on cashier yet.

In other words...gotta go get ready. I'm on 1-10 today. :)

When you see your friend's mom next, hold up a clenched fist and shout "Solidarity" from me. ;)

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