Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Clearance Capers

Yeah, I know the bottom picture isn't rotated but after an almost-six-hour Operation Christmas Child shopping trip with very little to show for it--I deserve some grace.

The bottom photo shows a sample of what I got at our Target this morning.  They had 70% off on the dollar spot items with yellow circles on the tags.  I got about 10 little fleece blankets and 12 bags of building blocks for .75 each.  I got a few other items like this ping pong set but, all in all, not more than 30 items.  Not stellar by a long shot.

Then I decided to check Wal-Mart and found they had 75% off on Christmas items, except not all Christmas items were ringing up at 75% off--some of them were at 50%--but the associates said they were all supposed to be 75% off and the cashiers were overriding the prices so all Christmas (except for apparel) had the 75% reduction.

I got that fluffy blanket for $1.25, the sock money for .75, Christmas plastic cups for .37 and a few little hairbrushes and sets of nail clippers for .25 each.

I was so excited I decided to make the 11 mile drive to the Edinboro Wal-Mart. The only problem was that I forgot to get off I-90 and onto I-79 so before I knew it I was at the Ohio state line trying to figure out how to get to where I needed to go.  I pulled over and tried to figure out how to use the direction capability on my new iPhone but I wasn't even successful at that.

So I ended up backtracking and never did get to the Edinboro Wal-Mart.  Instead, I went to the Wal-Mart store at 23rd and Asbury.  I found a great amount of plastic Christmas cups, blankets, and stocking stuffer toys.  When I checked the prices, though, they were still coming up at only 50% off.  So I took my full cart to the cash register, waited in line, and then explained to the cashier that at the Peach St. store they were overriding the prices because all Christmas items were 75% off.

The cashier called the customer service rep who said, "All Christmas is 50% off."  I got out of line and waited in another line at the customer service desk to see if I could talk with a manger.

After 15 minutes I got to the customer service desk and  I politely told them that there were signs up indicating 75% off and the clerk said she'd check with the manager.   After waiting for a call from the manager, she nodded at me and said, "Yes, all the Christmas items except for candy and apparel are 75% off.  Just go through the cash register line and tell the cashier that."

As I turned to go I was approached by a woman I recognized as a project leader of Operation Christmas Child at a small church near my home.  They did the project for the first time in 2010 but I'd noticed they didn't bring any boxes in to the collection center this year.  She apologized and said, "Our church board wouldn't let us do shoeboxes this year because OCC is associated with Sarah Palin."  She insisted on giving me a $20 bill to help buy items for shoeboxes and I thanked her.

So I pushed my cart to a line and waited another 15 minutes.  I had just finished putting my 200 plastic cups on the belt and had given my tax exempt info to the cashier when the customer service manager rushed over and said, "I got another call from the manager and he says only certain ornaments and decorations are 75% off so the stuff you have there is only 50% off."

I took my cart and dutifully put away most of its contents.  I'll be patient and wait to see what's left when they eventually go to 75% off.  Meanwhile, I did get about 100 more nail clippers and brushes at that store for .25 each so it wasn't a total waste.

6 hours/ $100/ Lessons in patience--priceless

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