Over the last 6 months, I've become a frequent thrift shopper. Some of these places are chain thrift stores, but about half of them are mom-and-pop private owner shops.
In the chain stores, the employees know us, at least by face, smile and speak to us warmly.
In the mom-and-pop places, same treatment. We get good deals and are treated well. We've been given small items just because we've shown interest in them. We've even been trusted to 'mind the store' for a few minutes while the owner ran down the road to the Dollar General to buy some tape.
We've been thanked, out of the blue, just for being regular customers, despite the fact we never really spend much money.
And I'm finding that these things are truly effecting my shopping habits. I've found myself putting off shopping for the stupid little things, like hair conditioner, razors, paper towels, etc. Or find myself picking them up at the grocery store because I don't want to have to go to a separate store to get them.
Last night, I decided that I wanted to get some of my Christmas shopping out of the way. I've gotten specific requests for some of those pre-fab gift sets that are all over the place this time of year, so I wanted to go ahead and get those out of the way, figuring that doing it midweek when it was slow in the stores might save me some trouble. I also opted to shop at Kmart, thinking I would deal with even fewer people.
The trouble is, I was overtly treated like a shoplifter. In a very short period of time, I was followed, and there was not just one, but two separate pages over the PA system of the "scan and record" variety. Was it because I was wearing a coat? (Sorry, Kmart, I was wearing a coat because it's mid-November, NOT because I'm trying to yoink Rock Band 3)
-The following paragraph should be read with sarcasm dripping like a black, oozing heart made of maple syrup:
Or was it because I had a *GASP* 10 dollar Stetson gift set in my shopping basket? Because, you know, NOBODY actually pays for cologne. It all gets STOLEN and that's the REAL REASON why your chain is always BANKRUPT.
-My apologies, dear reader. I had to get that off my chest.-
So with this concludes my Christmas shopping at all stores chain and box. I will order online from now on, even if it makes me feel stupid paying shipping on something I can readily get in store. And there will be no more shopping at this particular Kmart, ever again.
Oh, and did I mention that even though I was overtly treated as a shoplifter, I was solicited for a charitable donation 3 times in that one very short trip? Nice, huh?
I'm entering into this holiday season with renewed dedication to buy local whenever possible. And not just local, but handmade and vintage as well.
Watched this documentary last year. It's funny, sad, poignant & crazy. Definitely recommend it if you are feeling the pressure to overspend this year.