December 7 2008

A Fun Day At Hastings

Ever gotten to spend an hour in a store just watching how it operates? It can be interesting.

I’ve been cleaning my house lately, and decided to get a large chunk of DVDs out of my life, along with some older video games. Seeing as I wasn’t interested in spending a lot of time putting them on eBay, I decided to take them to the local Hastings to sell them. Let’s just say I got the distinct feeling they would have much rather not seen me come in.

Before I say anything else, I need to mention that Hastings has a large banner outside their store saying you should sell your used items to be able to afford gifts for Christmas.  This says to me that they are still welcoming used items during the month of December, and I honestly did take into consideration if this was the best month to do this trade-in, but with the banner there I figured why not.

So, I walk in with my two boxes and some loose DVDs and set them on the trade-in counter.  The woman was checkign out some customers, no problem, and she finally turned to look at me when done.  She scanned the stack with her eyes and went “Oh… a buyback” and she starts looking around for another employee immediately.  I told her I was sorry for the hassle, “Ohhh… that’s fine… let me find you someone.”  She pawns me off on to another employee who also goes, “Oh… I love buy backs” and rolls her eyes.  Again, I aplogized for the hassle, “Oh, that’s fine…”

Okay, look, I get the point, you don’t want to do it, fine, but you have a banner up saying you will, so suck it up and do your job and don’t make me feel like an ass for making you do it.  Yeesh.  They told me it would take a while process, that I should look around or do whatever.

As I wandered around the store for the next hour, stopping only once so they could ask if I wanted store credit or cash, I was amazed by not only their pricing, but how busy they were.  I mentioned this on StarterTech today, but I saw the newest version of The Nightmare Before Christmas marked at $29.99. If you go over to Amazon, it is $20.99.  This is just one of many examples of the pricing I saw, but yet if you went up to the check out, it was ten people deep almost the entire time I was in there.


How is it people can not be aware of much lower pricing out there in the world?  Heck, even Walmart is cheaper and it’s only a few blocks away!  Here’s another great example, Gilmore Girls season 1 is $14.99 just about everywhere now.  Amazon, Walmart, Target all have it at that price.  Hastings had it at $45.99.  Admittedly that is below the original suggested retail price of $59.98, but still, it’s insane.

After my walking around for an hour, shaking my head, I finally got called back up to the register and was informed they couldn’t take everything I brought in, but they would give me $223.08 in store credit for what they would take. Believe me, you don’t want to know how much stuff that covered.  I agreed to it, used every cent of my store credit (mostly on sale items so I didn’t feel like I was being take advantage of), and left.

I think my days with shopping at Hastings are over.  If this was an isolated day of snarly customer service, I would excuse it as the season, but I don’t think I have ever been in there that the staff didn’t snarl at least once.  Think it’s just me?  Wish it was, but it isn’t.  The Kirksville store has a horrible reputation in town, and just about everyone has similar stories of the service from them.

Oh well, just another place I don’t have to worry about wasting my money in.

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  • Unfortunate worker
  • Unfortunate worker 2

    You have to keep in mind those employees are working for about $7 /hour. A store like Hastings can be very busy and chaotic, most of the customers are extremely unpleasant and buybacks take a long time to look through and process. Corporate is the one who makes the decisions to keep those banners up, etc. not the employees.

    • Crying a River

      Your kidding right? Employees should know what they are in for when they apply, interview and accept employment at a place like this. They willingly accepted the "$7 /hour" and should know that customers are "extremely unpleasant" especially when you are being a bitch to them from the get-go. Corporate, the people that give these hourly wage employees their pay checks, get to decide how things work in the stores. Not the stick-up-the-ass, "i'm such a victim", hourly employees.

      • Ben

        fascist. I work for hastings. we're not all assholes. Have you ever worked retail? You're probablly one of those assholes that like to make a scene and yell at employees because you think they won't do anything about it. If so, then fuck you. It's assholes like you that make retail employees disgruntled.

  • Lorien Penn

    You said “assholes” three times, “fuck” once, and called a person a “fascist.” You do not speak well for Hastings’ employers.

    • I didn’t have the heart to tell that idiot I had run a retail store for 15 & 1/2 years…