A Tale of Two Prices

We decided to move Cassie’s home office from one room to another. Did a little light renovating, paint and carpet, that kind of thing and then moved the desk.

Setting up the computer, the new room doesn’t have a wired network connection so I looked into device manager to enable her wifi card.

She doesn’t have a wifi card. This may constitute a slight problem in receiving wifi signals. I don’t know about you IT professionals out there, but in my world a lack of wifi capability mean internet no workie.

Fine, no problem. The world has changed a great deal since internal wifi cards were ‘a thing’.

A quick search of my two local big box retail stores, Best Buy and Target, showed that if I wanted a USB to WiFi Adapter at Best Buy they had options from $25 on up to $150 or more. Oh, sort by in store availability? Yeah, if you want to spend less than $60, tough shit. Order it.

Okay, well, fuck you too. How about Target?

A simple search for “target usb to wifi adapter” instantly came up with an option for $17.99.

Select store availability, it’s in a store right down the road from me no more than two miles away, and I could buy it now online for free in store same day pickup.

Sold!

Do I choose free in store pickup? No, because then I have to wait for someone to go pick the order and take it to Customer Service. I’ll just drive down, get it off the shelf myself and check out like normal. I just saved myself time driving around hoping someone had something in stock.

I would buy something from Amazon, even fiddle around with Amazon Now which promises 2 hour delivery, but screw it. Target is two miles away, so why bother waiting two hours?

Also, I haven’t tried our new local Amazon Now thing. I find the entire concept creepy. It’s a local brick and mortar location for the Amazon website that is supposed to be saving me money by not having local brick and mortar locations. too surreal.

Drones, now drones are all right. Deliver my shit via drone, I can roll with that. Don’t have a store, man. You’re Amazon, be better than that. I expect Amazon to announce teleportation, or drone delivery, or mole machines. Or pneumatic tubes installed underground to deliver my stuff. Local warehouse delivery by truck is too plebian.

Off I go in my little fuel efficient white vroom vroom to get the part. It ain’t heroic, except when you’re bringing the internet in a sense you’re giving your wife the entire universe as a present, and what can be more heroic than that?

I walk into our local Target in Oakdale, stroll on into the electronic shit aisle, and look for the $17.99 USB to wifi adapter.

Yeah, um, no. Nope. Cheapest adapter they have on the shelf is $29.99.

Wait a minute…..

I take a closer look. That $29.99 adapter on the shelf is the same exact one their website lists as $17.99.

What the fuck, over?

I grab the one off the shelf, walk my happy ass on over to Customer Service and say, “Hi, do you price match yourself?”

Lady behind the counter grabs a tablet that is chained to the counter, NOT using a computer terminal but an actual tablet, and laboriously types in search terms and calls up the Target mobile website, pulls up that item and says “Oh sure, $17.99, right?”

Absolutely she can price match themselves.

I have to stop and look at that sentence again. That sentence is so wrong I can’t even tell if it’s poor grammar or just so stupid it makes my brain hurt.

How fucked up is that? I’m asking them to price match themselves. And she doesn’t even bat an eyelash, no recognition I’m asking a truly stupid question.

I want you to think about this for a moment. This is your current reality. I need you to adapt and adjust to this.

There is one price for people who walk into a store, grab something off the shelf and check out. There is another price for people who check online in advance.

One might say that if you buy off the shelf at a whim, the higher price you may be paying is the fee for being stupid. One might say that, if one were being an asshole.

Or trying to reinforce an idea. We’ll pretend I’m more of the second column than the first, all right? Pretend with me. You probably play an MMO or enjoy superhero movies, you can suspend your disbelief for the 2 minutes this will take.

If you have a mobile device with internet, and you know what it is in general you are looking for before you go shopping, check online. Take the time and check.

Even if you’re already there in the store and you’ve got the thing in your hand, you got a mobile phone? Stop and check. Is it cheaper online? Is it cheaper online at a competitor and you can ask for a price match? Is it cheaper online AT THAT STORE’S VERY OWN WEBSITE?

Is it a pain in the ass? I dunno, $12 is at least a pizza or something, a ticket to see Deadpool in theaters, a copy of Edge of Tomorrow on Blu-ray, so why just flush that money down the shitter?

I’m not saying get a cart full of groceries and spend three hours looking up heads of lettuce and rolls of toilet paper on the internet. Let’s not be stupid.

I am saying, if you’re holding a $60 game in your hand, or a $30 Lego set, or a $20 LED light bulb for your office, take a minute and check. ESPECIALLY if you could wait a day or two if Amazon will deliver it cheaper right to your door.

It’s a strange world out there, my friends. It’s a real strange world.

I am reminded of the time my brilliant wife Cassie worked out some kind of plan where, through price matching against other websites, uses of in-store ads and rebates, we somehow ended up walking out of Target with an Xbox One Master Chief edition and got an extra controller and two games free, and a serious discount on the console on top of it. I felt like the cops were gonna stop us while walking out the door, but it was just a very, very smart woman being meticulous in watching for interlocking deals and taking advantage of them.

The other part of it is to stand in front of someone at a Customer Service counter and not feel embarassed or rude in requesting a price match with a competitor.

If you would feel too embarassed to approach a clerk at the Customer Service counter to request they price match something you’ve found online, I don’t know what I can tell you other than to just encourage you to try, and reassure you that it happens all the time.

In fact, it is now so routine that even Target has tablets with internet access right there for the express purpose of looking up online ads to price match.

Stand strong and stay cool. It’s not rude to ask them to help you save money. In fact, I find most store clerks working that counter enjoy the feeling they’re helping you save money. Don’t forget, just because they work there doesn’t mean they’re rich or get store shit for free. They like finding ways to save money too.

Seriously.

Can you price match yourself?

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

*** I did not include links to the prices, because who knows if the links or prices will be the same tomorrow. If you’re curious the actual adapter with the price difference was a Wireless-N USB to WiFi adapter. And yes, it worked perfect when Cassie plugged it in and set it up. No problems.
Advertisements

One thought on “A Tale of Two Prices

  1. I can one up you on this one. I went to walmart to do the same thing, and when I asked that very same question, I was told no. Haven’t been back since, because that is all sorts of dumb.

    Like

Comments are closed.