Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Buying Local

I thought I'd try to buy something local. It is out of the ordinary for me as I've really jumped on the bandwagon the last couple of years. I have never been let down. But I figured with the local economy like it is I'd try and find my toaster oven locally. But, really, it was because I didn't want to wait.

I have learned never to buy appliances that looked like the box may have been opened. Especially at the big **mart stores and I've been burned at Lowes and Home Depot a couple of times, too. People get things for Christmas, take some of the parts they want, and return the item and the stores don't check the parts list and stick the item back on the shelf. You need a new 18 V battery to replace the dead one for your drill/driver? Buy an identical drill/driver, take the new battery and make your old one look nice and clean and put it back in the box, return it and let me buy it. I get the pleasure making two trips to the store and the aggravation that goes with it.

I went to just about every store that I thought would carry a good selection of toaster ovens. I did my research, printed out the models that ranked high on the consumer reviews and headed to the stores. I only found one store that had one of the models that I was looking for. Bon Ton. The George Foreman 8 in 1 toaster oven got great reviews and was of the right size. It even had a rotisserie. The sales lady grabbed one of the boxes of the model I had decided on. I told her, "No, not that box because there is a red sold label that was ripped off. I don't want a box that has been opened." She lifted another one but I hesitated, it looked like perhaps it had been opened, the tape a bit wrinkly. She said the paper on the box would have looked ripped and it didn't. Ok, I'll take it.

I carried that big box all the way to the other side of the mall, having to stop and rest several times as my arms were starting to quiver. But I got my toaster oven and was so happy I found one that I liked.

Upon unpacking the box and washing the parts as directed before use I noticed that there were parts in the picture on the box that I didn't get. I did a parts list check and I was missing 4 parts. I can't believe it! I called Bon Ton and they told me to bring it back. The other parts were already in the dishwasher being washed and my arms couldn't carry that box back, they had turned to rubber. Luckily, the Bon Ton representative was nice and allowed me to bring in the list of the missing parts with my receipt and they broke into another box and gave me those. I just hope that other box gets sent back, not put back on the display floor. I really think there should be a law that makes the sellers identify an item that had been returned. Perhaps identify it and put it on a bigger discount to cover the cost of time and fuel to return it if things aren't right.

I just know that I will buy appliances and power tools from Amazon from now on. They have been good to me.


Julie said...

I was totally clueless that people did that! I like to buy local too but now I will look at the boxes more carefully. It is amazing what people do to get something for nothing.

ron said...

i got burned at home depot with some light fixtures i bought for my bathroom remodel. the boxes looked just fine, but when i opened it up, half the product was missing (the screws and wire caps). i shook the box and found one screw bouncing around. they gave me odd looks when i asked for a replacement.

Dittman said...

It happens everywhere - the guy who owns the Leesburg, PA antique store where I bought my wife's Victrola told me he has a constant problem with people coming in and stealing hinge pins, drawer pulls, anything small that their own pieces might be missing.

Eden said...

I've had problems with small yarn stores of all things. They're never open at convenient times (one at Colony Plaza is only open a few days a week and then from 11-3), they never pay any attention to the fact that I'm there and the parking is atrocious. So I end up going to big chains or ordering online.

I felt bad at first but my thought now is that if you want me to support the local economy, the local econmy has to want my business.