How many of you bought your mother, grandmother, auntie or anyone in general a cosmetics or bath gift set from Wal-Mart for Christmas? Not too many apparently, because there were STACKS of that crap still lying around this weekend.
Well, the day after Christmas, all that junk was marked down 50%. By Dec. 28, it was 75% off and by Saturday, it was 90% off and so were whatever decoration items we had left.
Now, it's all junk. Ohh, a tube of body scrup and a sponge! Ohh, it's marked down from $18.88 to $1.89. Let's get fifteen of them and give as gifts for next year! You'd have thought that junk was solid gold the way people were buying it.
One woman spent more than $120 (I heard her bragging about it on her cell phone - she was a phone yeller and I got the whole conversation) even with the stuff on discount. I saw her on my break with a buggy full of the cosmetics sets and looking for more. Two hours later, just before I went for lunch, she was finally checking out. She had stacked probably 100 of those little gift cases in that buggy and was ready to go to town.
She claimed it was a "business expense" because she sends them as thank-you gifts to her clients. And you don't think they don't know where and when you bought it? Odds are they saw the same junk at their Wal-Mart too!
And the associates who bought the junk when it was 50% off all stood in line at Customer Service to get price adjustments now that the crap was cheaper. If it were up to me, I'd tell the associates "NO" and make them lump it or leave it. I spent all weekend typing in ten-digit UPC codes to refund the item (because of course all they had was the receipt) and then having to type the same code in one more time to give the whatever the markdown was!
And then there was the one old battle-axe who totally made my day! Not. Snark!
Now if you don't have a receipt, you get the current sales price of the item. Period. End of discussion. This boozy old hag had one of the HUGE gift sets, with sponges, brushes, lotions, potions and soap in a big basket. It was around $36 when purchased at full price. Obviously, whoever bought it for her was trying — just not real hard.
So now it's five days after Christmas and Granny Mean drags herself to Wal-Mart to return the gift set. (Why do old people shop on Saturday? It's not like they're working during the week - and they always complain about the lines. WELL THEN DON'T COME ON THE WEEKEND!)
So Granny Mean pulls the gift set out of a white hefty bag (yes, it was that big) and sets it on the counter. "I'd like to return this," she said.
I cringe inside because I can tell that she doesn't have a receipt - and it's never a good conversation to have when you tell them they won't get full price back - especially not what on that stuff.
And sure enough, she doesn't have a receipt. And they've torn the price tag off too. At least she doesn't know what it really cost. So I scan it and it says she can get $3 and change back. She barks out "WHAT! I KNOW THEY PAID SO MUCH MORE FOR IT!" (How? Are you psychic? Or do you just assume that their love for you is priceless?)
I explain the policy about "No receipt - current sale price" in as patient and understanding a tone as I can. It's at least the fifteenth such time I've done so since 7 a.m. and it's not even noon yet.
Her answer? "But I know they paid so much more for it!" (Well, I know they did too, but THEY'RE the ones who didn't give you a gift receipt, and probably don't know you're returning it!)
I try to keep from sighing right in her face and tell her "Ma'am, do you think you can get the receipt from them? If you have the receipt, you can get the full value back."
Her next move? "Oh, they're traveling back home by now." And she waves her hand in the air as if to dismiss that suggestion. And the fact that they're traveling matters how exactly? You just don't want them to know you're returning it!
I give her my "you're really not going to win this one" look and go "Ma'am, you can keep the item and try to have them send you the receipt. Or you can return the item and get $3.65 back. That's all we're going to be able to do for you."
And I get another round of "But I know they paid so much more for it!" Yes, and I'm paying for some unpardonable sin by having to sit her and listen to you whine and wheeze, but that's my lot in life. I'm dealing with mine. Deal with yours!
"Ma'am, you can't get full price back on the item without a receipt."
Her next tactic? "Well what about store credit?" As if "store credit" were the "open sesame" to crack my bitter exterior. Yeah. No.
"Ma'am, you can't return the item for full price unless you have a receipt. What do you want to do?" I'm trying not to be rude, but the line is like ten people long by now and I'm still arguing with this crone.
I might as well have been rude, because she hits me with ANOTHER round of "But I know they paid so much more for it!"
I finally just lose the polite yet sultry low-voiced purr I try to cultivate for dealing with people and just talk louder. It's obviously the only thing she's going to understand — and Shiva knows, I've been more than patient with this woman.
"Ma'am, if you want more than $3.65 back for that, you're going to have to have a receipt. Otherwise, we're going to refund it at the current sales price. Do you want to return it or would you like me to put it back in a bag for you?"
She sort of hem-haws around, like she's trying to figure out if she dares admit to whoever bought her the thing that she's trying to return it or to take the money and leave. She finally says "Well, it's worth more than that, so I'll keep it."
Thank you. Now could you please stop polluting my counter with your bad aura?