Holiday Shopping Woes

By December 16, 2013Uncategorized

Shut-up-and-take-my-money

Why do stores make it so painful for me to give them my money?

It seems to be a recurring issue this holiday season. It is too hard to just give stores your money and run.

I’ll admit, I made a selfish trip to Best Buy today. Daddy needed a headset for the home office so he can jam out while mini-me sleeps. First issue of course is finding what you want. There is no “headset” section. They’re scattered among iPhone accessories, PC accessories, XBox accessories, PS4 accessories, etc. I’m familiar with this logic though, and no, it has nothing to do with actual connectivity. Anything stylish enough for a yuppie to wear(like “Beats”) will be by the iPhones. Crappy little logitech headsets will be by the PC stuff. Anything decent will likely be by the video game consoles. So I make my way over there, dodge the “Geek Squad”, find what I want, and then head to toward the giant “checkout” sign.

They put a giant sign up because you need to work your way through an engineered maze just to make it to a counter. Pretty sure I smelled cheese as I made my way through. Does anyone really buy the misc. junk on those racks? Anyways, I digress. I make it to the counter, card already in hand.

Clerk: Hello and welcome to Best Buy. Did you find everything you were looking for today?

Me: Hi. Yup, found everything.

Clerk: Do you have a Best Buy points card?

Me: No, and no thank you.

Clerk: If you sign up today you could save an insignificant amount off your purchase and we could spam you with constant offers you don’t care about because everything we have is cheaper on Amazon.

Me: No thanks. I’m good.

Clerk: [scans product] Would you like our rip-off insurance plan?

Me: No thanks.

Clerk: Would you like to donate to [insert name of whichever non-profit is constantly nagging for donations this time of year]?

Me: Not today.

Clerk: [handing me a packet] If you sign up for this you could win…

Me: I’d really just like to check out.

Clerk: Would you like a bag?

Me: Yes, please.

Clerk: Did you need a gift receipt?

Me: No.

I’m too tired to even finish typing that exchange. As you can see, the shopping experience here is totally broken. If anyone at Best Buy HQ is wondering why physical stores are floundering, this is why. You should take a close look at amazon.com’s one-click shopping. This works for physical stores as well. I’m parting with money (usually a significant amount at Best Buy) and I don’t want to answer 20 questions for the privilege. After all, the only reason I’m in your store vs having the product shipped to my house is because I want it now. The quicker I can be in and out of your store with what I want, the better.

Maybe I’m just anti-social? Maybe this is a problem unique to me? I mean, I don’t want to be “sold” anything in stores like Best Buy. I’ve already done my research, read the hundreds of reviews online, and just want the product. Isn’t that how everyone shops these days?

On a side note, I think our society needs to find a way to communicate expertise. In feudal Japan if you had the top-knot and wore a sword, you were obviously a samurai. You had a certain standing and clearly communicated “I know how to kill people”. I want something like that for techies. I want something that communicates to “Geek Squad” employees, “I know more than you. Leave me alone.” Even better would be something that allowed me to skip to tier 3 when I have to call tech support.

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