Monday, May 4, 2015

...All That, Plus the Kitchen Sink

Friday, after work, I stopped at my local Best Buy to get a best buy on a kitchen.  I've spent much of the past decade arguing with my appliances, putting up with a variety of issues with each of them, and I just have to replace before losing my mind.  For example, the ice maker in my 9-year old refrigerator stopped working about 6 years ago.  My dishwasher, only three years old, stopped working last year.  My microwave oven, which is the original unit and came with the house, as far as I know, making it over 20 years old, is getting finicky.  The door doesn't always shut correctly, keeping the microwave from starting and requiring a couple of maddening open-and-shuts before it works.  The range, also the original, is a mess, with knobs that don't work, and an oven handle that is broken.  I know I need to get new appliances anyway if I ever decide to move, and since I'm thinking about it, it made sense to start looking now.  And, if it takes at least a year or so before we actually DO move, I will at least have a few really nice new appliances to use.

When I first looked online at what was available, I was surprised that there really wasn't much else to choose from except the stainless steel models, which are anything but stainless, given all of the fingerprints on the store display models.  I have "bisque" yellow appliances, which are, apparently, not in style anymore.  So, after looking at the displays at the store, I decided that the black appliances really looked cool and were actually cheaper than stainless steel, so that's what I wanted.  The two young ladies who assisted us in finding the appliances in their computer and initiate the purchase were awesome, helpful, and beyond nice.  However, it was quickly determined that none of the items I wanted were available.  This meant that I would have to either:
  1. ...get stainless steel models of the ones I wanted;
  2. ...go to a different store;
  3. ...look at a different brand;
  4. a lot more for "better" models;
  5. ...or just give up.
I have very little patience for shopping, and when I'm not able to get what I've already decided I want, I'm very ready to give up, at least for a while, to think things out.  I don't do well with impulse buys.  So I was ready to walk.  The two employees who were helping me insisted that they could find me alternatives, and they quickly found comparable models in stainless steel....except for the range.  They found one that was almost double in price to what I wanted.  The "senior" employee insisted she could get me a discount on it, and she disappeared for 15 minutes to talk to her manager.  When she finally came back, she offered $200 off, which was still $300 more than the original one I picked out.  I balked, but after a few minutes of chatting, we decided to see what the final price would be.  Since the total price for the four items was about $300 more than the black appliances, it was still a good enough deal, so I said okay.  They began to process the deal and it became clear there was still a lot to consider.  I needed to get them delivered and the old appliances hauled away, and while that was all included, the installation was not.  That, along with all of the extra parts, like power cords and hoses and installation kits, cost a lot more.  Then there is labor.  And tax.  And warranties.  When all was said and done, my original $2100 package deal was $3600!!!  I was really disappointed.  My first instinct was to just walk away.

I should have considered these other items, but I could never have imagined just how much they would increase the total price.  I was ready to walk away.  It was especially disappointing because it had taken over and hour and a half to get to this point, with the two employees working on the deal to make it right for me.  My biggest issue was that I didn't feel like I was getting what I really wanted.  None of the appliances were the color I wanted, and the range was significantly more than what I needed.  And there was no way to know how much more it was going to cost, even while researching it online, until you're ready to purchase.

So you're probably thinking that I walked away.  I didn't.  I actually bought it, though I still wasn't comfortable with the deal.  The store was offering 0% financing for 18 months, which was a nice alternative, and I really did need to upgrade my appliances.  I've been putting up with lots of frustration for years, and it just made sense.  If I had walked, I would've lost my nerve and given up on buying anything for several months, because that's what I always do.  I'm still disappointed I didn't get exactly what I wanted.  This seems to happen a lot, whether it's a new car, or any major purchase, for that matter.  But I settled.

Props go out to the the two Best Buy employees who worked with me, though.  The senior member gave me a $25 giftcard because of how long it took to get the deal worked out, something that I had no control over.  It was really nice of her, and I will pay it forward.  And I should have some new appliances in the next week or so.

Have a great evening, everyone!

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