This is a rant about Home Hardware, a chain of Home depot-style stores in Canada but smaller, but first I need to explain why I hate car salesmen, furniture salespeople, and fitness club salespeople.
I hate, hate, hate having to bargain to get the best price on something. I can do it; it’s not that I’m one of those people too embarassed to bargain. My wife and I have become a pretty good bargaining team. But I hate doing it; it’s exhausting, a waste of my valuable time, breeds mistrust, and leave everyone wondering if they got ripped.
I hate shopping for cars at the dealership because it’s impossible to tell precisely what the price of the car REALLY is, and of course they do everything in their power to hide the real numbers. I hate signing up at fitness clubs (it doesn’t help that we keep moving and so I have to keep doing this) because no gym has any real price at all; it’s purely a contest of wills between you and the salesperson as to what you’ll end up paying. And many furniture stores are almost as bad as car dealers. I even get this shit from my goddamned bank. We just bought a new house and first the bank offered rate X, and then suddenly it was rate Y, and when I said I wasn’t paying a penalty to extend my mortgage with the same bank well, all of a sudden the incentives come out of the woodwork. So you would have robbed me of $2000 if I hadn’t said I was shopping around? Fucking thieves.
What I want is your best price, period. Tell me what you want to sell it for and I’ll decide if I want to buy it. If your price isn’t good enough, well, that’s okay, we won’t do business today. If it is, we will.
So my parents give us a $50 gift certificate to Home Hardware for some occasion - it was so long ago I can’t remember what it was for. I had asked for Home Depot, but oh well. We need a small compound saw for doing trim and such in our new house. Yesterday I went to my fourth Home Hardware in an effort to find one that sold compound saws; because they’re all owner-operated, they have completely random inventory choices and the Web site doesn’t tell you who stocks what.
Well, wonder of fucking wonders, the Waterdown Home Hardware has compound saws. But the cheapie one I wanted was not in stock.
So the salesperson offers me one for $179.99. I did not want to spend $179.99, I explain to him, and he says well, it’s not really $179.99. It’s actually $139.99. But maybe he can sell it for $134.99 iif he “has one in a box out back.” (What else would it come in.) And this $139 model is probably $129, and the $209 one might be $169 but maybe if I wanted that I should instead buy the $189 model, which doesn’t bevel both ways but he can give it to me for $149 if he’s got one in a box out back, but really I should buy this sliding saw for $229, although really it’s $179 and they’ll take Barbados currency for 30% of the cost as long as it was printed after 2004.
This is a RETAIL STORE. I’m not even buying a big ticket item; I want a little saw. I want to see items on the shelves with price stickers, compare their merits, pick one up, and have a cashier charge me the price. I do not want to engage in a complicated, spaghetti-like conversation where I’m whittling away $20 or maybe it’s $30 in a negotiation for every single fucking one of 15 options. If the price tags aren’t relevant, why did you bother printing them? Had I walked in while he was “Helping” someone else and just picked up a box and gone to the cahier does that mean I’d have been ripped off to the tune of $30?
Give me your best price.
Fuck, now I have to go to Home Depot.