Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hitting The Target

I've been praying for more fillers for our Operation Christmas Child packing party boxes and asking God to provide enough items to make them adequately full to bless children in His name.

Yesterday I went to Target to scope out the clearance prices on back-to-school items.  They were at 70% off which isn't bad, but I was hoping for cheaper prices.

Last year I got 2900 composition books at the end of the season for only 4 cents each.  But this year the original prices were higher (50 cents instead of 40 cents for those with firm covers and 75 cents for the nicer ones with vinyl covers) so I didn't expect prices as good as last year's.

As I scanned the sale prices (15 cents for the hard cover and 22 cents for the vinyl cover) I thought I'd be really happy if I could get them for 10 cents each.

I never like to talk to managers and ask for price deals but I'm getting better at praying and asking.  So they called the manager for me yesterday and he checked the computer and told me they had nearly 400 notebooks.  I knew they had more than that but he insisted the computer was right.

He told me the sale price for the total was $72.00 but if I came back today to pick them all up he'd knock it down to $50.00.  That wasn't the reduction I'd hoped for, but I went for the deal anyway.

Today when I got to Target after work two cashiers were feverishly sorting and ringing up the notebooks.  And there were more than 400.  They had to sort them by color and type and ring them all up individually.

They were ringing up at the regular sale price and I reminded the cashier that the manager said he'd give me a deal on them.  She told me she'd do the reduction later.  I asked her what the price reduction would be, but she said she didn't know.

I went back to the school supply section and found LOTS more of the same notebooks and loaded another cart.  And then half of another.

I was getting nervous as I helped them sort and count the notebooks.  What if the manager only gave me a 10% discount or something?  I couldn't very well tell them I didn't want them when they were all rung up.  I was praying fervently while I wished I'd been more assertive about sealing the price down before we rang all these up.

Just then the manager showed up and said, "I told them to give you 50% off the sale price.  Is that okay?"  I smiled wide and breathed a prayer of thanks as I did the mental math and figured that would make them 85% off.  I told him that was great.

It took over an hour to ring up all the notebooks and then I started worrying about whether they'd all fit in my minivan.  But they did.  And the back end of the car wasn't even near the ground (flashback to the time I loaded 3/4 ton of crayons in my poor vehicle.)

I dreaded the thought of unloading them into the container at Grace Church but then I thought to call Nikki--one of my team members who lives across the street from the church.

Not only was she home and happy to help me, but she's a superb organizer who helped me make room when I was worried there wouldn't be enough.   Together we got them loaded just fine.

"Do you know how many you bought," Nikki asked.  I scanned the receipt and added the various number and guessed at 1700.

When I got home and did a final tally it turned out to be 1686 notebooks for just over $170.00--just a smidge over 10 cents each.

Thank you, God, for once again hitting the Target.

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