Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Furniture Odyssey.

Yesterday it took me over 2 hours to give people a bunch of money. You’d think they’d be happy about it. But apparently buying furniture is massively difficult. At least, that’s been my experience thus far. Here’s how the story goes:

Monika and I wanted new bedroom furniture upon moving into the new house. Translation: we’d place the bedroom set we were using in the apartment in the guest bedroom of the house and ring up a new bedroom set when we found one we liked.

As you have read, we were going to Sears three to four thousand times per week at that point buying our appliances and other miscellaneous items. While waiting around for help one day, we noticed some furniture in the corner:

We took a closer look. It felt solid, it looked good, and wow – the price was pretty low. Plus if you bought 4 or more pieces (we would need the whole set) you’d get 20% off. This became an absolute no-brainer. “Ring us up!”

“Hmm, that’s weird.” The cashier couldn’t get any of the items to ring up. “Not available for order” became the new mantra. Okay, we’ll try another Sears. No dice. We went home and tried the ‘net. I loaded up the cart. Everything was at the sale price, but no 20% discount on the net. Who cares – it’s still cheap. We completed the order. The next day I got a phone call telling me that the order was canceled because they don’t actually have the items. Are you freaking serious?!

That was in January. Since then I heard various conflicting information and went to Sears another few thousand times to check for availability. Finally, about a month ago, we went to the store nearest to our house and I happened upon the store manager. He told me he’d look into it. About three weeks later he called me, to my surprise, and told me he was still working on it. This Monday I got a call from his soft lines manager telling me they were going to work it out so that I could purchase the floor models at a discount – sounds good to me. A deal was arranged to get some pieces from one store and the rest from another. I’d get the sale price minus 40%.

When I went to the “other” Sears (2) that I had not been speaking with, but my contact at Sears 1 had, Sears 2 Lady told me that she couldn’t sell me her floor models because whereas Sears 1 isn’t going to sell the furniture any more, Sears 2 still does. What?! I ended up going into the back stock room with the Sears 2 Lady because she had a dresser in a box and I wanted to inspect it. Red flag #1 – one of the feet is TAPED to the box. You’ve got to be kidding me. I lowered the box on its side to find that the bottom was undone and parts were falling out of it. I told her I wanted the floor model at a discount. She said she couldn’t sell me that when she can just order me a new one. Wait – a NEW one?! If that were possible, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place! She quickly found that she wasn’t able to order a new piece. I bought the mirror and the dresser there for 40% off.

Now to Sears 1. I stood around for about 20 minutes before I found someone to talk to, and I was about 2 minutes from canceling the entire transaction before I found an associate that could help me. Note that this was because I actually walked around the store to find someone myself since the girl manning the phones was acting completely aloof, and the one manager that had been nearby decided to go upstairs and wander around instead of helping me. Note that this was essentially the perfect storm because she lady I had been talking to, who was great, just happened to be on lunch when I came in (she eventually returned to close it out) and the store manager was on vacation.

At long last, though, I was finally able to buy the other pieces of furniture for 40% off. All-in I was able to get the bedroom set – all floor models – for about $1000. They should be delivered on Friday, and hopefully they will be well-wrapped and won’t be damaged by the Sears shipping crew, or you’re likely to see Scatterbrain replaced by a picture of a nuclear bomb exploding.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 words. GALLERY FURNITURE. Yes, Mac delivers to North Texas.
jwm iii

7:10 PM  

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