Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Shopping Superheros

It amazes me to see people shop for electronics like it's 1988. Last night, I was in Target, searching for colored plastic bins with which to organize my daughters' hats and mittens (because I'm JUST that way). As I stood there searching for just the right capacity and opacity, out of the corner of my eye I watched a guy, whom I shall refer to as Shopperdude, standing in front of one of the end racks, looking at Target's sparse selection of GPS systems.

Shopperdude stopped a Target employee and asked for a recommendation. The kid said he had no real idea, but that they were all pretty good.

"Which ones talk to you?" he asked.

"They all do, I think," said Targetboy. At that moment the fur on my spine began to tingle. Targetboy was wrong. Sure, it's likely they all say things like "turn left" but not all of them would say, "turn left on Main Street". That's a big difference.

"Do they come with batteries?" asked Shopperdude.

"Umm, not sure..." Targetboy looked at the package of one, scanning for details, and said, "I think only this one does."

Huh? You moron! They all come with built-in rechargeables! Geezuz.

"Well, do you sell the Tomtom?"

"Umm....yeah....I think this Magellan is a TomTom."

Holy crap. This kid needed to be reduced to dust with a death ray. And fast.

I truly had the urge to stomp down the aisle, hipcheck Targetboy into the plexiglass, and take over. But now Targetboy had flagged down Targetgirl to help him. Targetgirl even arrived with her Superhero utility belt containing a bar code scanner and a remote communicator. Grabbing her remote communicator, she relayed Targetboy's questions to Stockman, the invisible answer-giver stationed in the Hall of Inventory. Stockman at least explained that TomTom and Magellan were two different brands, but as far as I could tell that was the only helpful information he gave.

After another five minutes of staring at packages, flipping them over, and hoping one of them would have "please for god's sake buy me!" written on the back of one, The man decided on the one that was on sale for $399.

That's a lot of frickin money to spend on a gadget without doing any research. As I posted previously, each brand has two dozen different models, and each model does (or doesn't do) specific things. Do your research Shopperdude, you'll be much happier. Never mind that you'll save money buying online.

I really thought about stopping Shopperdude on his way to the checkout counter and setting him straight, telling him the Garmin 260 was $120 cheaper on Amazon than it was at Target, but then I thought against it. If everyone did their research, everyone would buy online rather than Target and save money. Target would fail financially, and I wouldn't have any place to get my colored plastic bins. I'd have to buy the cheap clear ones at the Dollar Store. Instead, I let Shopperdude go, saluted him silently, and thanked him for keeping American consumerism going.

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