The Exile Files

Raging Against the Outrageous. Laughter and Insanity Abound.

Archive for August, 2019

The Ups and Downs of Shopping

Posted by Exile on August 30, 2019

I don’t often venture into the world of procurement. My wife is the shopper. I only go out if there is something I want or need and, due to the technical nature of what I usually go to buy, it is easier for me to do it myself. I usually spend a little time researching products and venues before sallying forth. That way, I know what I want, where to go and what I can expect to have to pay.

Here’s a tip. Experience tells me that a man will pay a little more for something he needs. A woman will buy anything, needed or not, if there is a minor reduction in the usual price. Remember that if you send her out for something.  She’ll come back with loads of stuff you neither need nor wanted.

Anyhow, my needs this day revolved around a lens for my camera. I had found an outlet or two and the nearest was a large store in the local mall. It’s called “Elgiganten”, and despite the very Danish name it is actually owned by Dixons in the UK. According to their advertising blurb they do price matching. The lens I was looking for was priced at DKK 999.- but I had found one at DKK 850.- on the internet.
Time to test the water then. Off I went.

efs50I found the lens in their display. I contacted the salesman, (or is that salesperson? It was a bloke, so it’s salesman for me. Screw the PC.) and ventured the idea that I should be able to purchase said lens at the reduced price. He looked surprised but agreed to look at the competition. Sure enough, on the website I’d shown him, there was the lens at DKK 850.-
At this point I was fairly confident I would go home with said lens. Also at this point, the chap made his mind up that I wouldn’t. He looked at his version of the lens on the company website. The nomenclature was identical to the one I’d shown him. He then said that he couldn’t be sure it was the same lens. I told him Canon only produce one EF 50mm F 1.8 STM lens. Of course it was the same. He disagreed. Then he found the product EAN number on his own website. He couldn’t find it on the competitor website. He then insisted it was not the same lens or, at least, that he couldn’t be sure it was the same. No EAN, no comparison. I tried again, he refused to budge. I asked him if he knew anything about the products he was selling and how could he not see it was the same lens? At this point he started to get a bit shirty about the whole affair so I told him to forget it. I was going to the other place and screw him. No point in trying to do a deal with a “jobsworth”. Or an idiot, for that matter. I will try to avoid that place in future.

Later I discovered, that if the chap on the floor goes along with a price match, the difference comes out of his or her provision. So much for that then. Any excuse will do. No matter how little or obtuse that excuse may be. Piss poor company policy, if you ask me.

I went to the nearest competitor, where the cheaper lens was to be found. A dedicated camera business called “Kamerahuset”. Yes they had the lens. Or, rather, they did have, but the last one from that particular store was sold just an hour ago. They could have one for me by the following day. The chap took my telephone number, offered me a coffee and chatted about his stock. What camera was I using? What else did I need? Or want? All in all, a pleasant interlude. I left as a happy man.

He rang me up the following day. “Your lens is here.” Service with a smile. I now have the lens and have found a place that will be receiving my patronage in the future, even if it is a little further away. And the free coffee was OK.

My next experience was simply serendipity. My mother-in-law has reached the age of 92. A spry old bird she is too. Unfortunately she can’t get about as well as she could so we need to help her out with the weekly shopping. She enjoys doing it herself so we simply collect her with the car and take her to the local supermarket. They know her, she knows them and she enjoys the expedition. I usually set her free and go and wander about the store comparing the provincial prices to our local prices. I keep an eye on her but I don’t interfere. They have a huge wine selection. They also have some big, well made, wooden wine crates. Transport crates.

Some of these empty crates, with the lids, lay discarded at the back of the wine department. I thought, “rubbish?” An idea was forming in the darker recesses of my mind…
I asked the shop assistant. Yes, he said, we throw them out. They get crushed. We pay a man to collect them.
Could I take a few of them and what would it cost? Take all you want, he said. Saves me having to carry them out. Free.
Thanks, I said with a huge smile and removed the three crates and lids to my car. They will be ideal for storing my root vegetables for the coming winter!

See? You have to be a bit cheeky. If you never ask, you’ll never get something for nothing…!

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