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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?

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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