Monday, November 25, 2013

Christmas Shopping Coup

Someone got taken to see Thor tonight, and got a slushie. It was thor excthiting! 
Y'all! I have to tell you about my shopping caper. OMG. So if you have a little boy, you have probably heard of Skylanders Swap Force. It is the latest iteration of the Skylanders game, and it's coming to rule us all. For those not in the know, Skylanders is a game that comes with a little portal that plugs into your xbox or whatever, and you put real actual toy Skylanders guys on the portal, and then they appear in your game and you can run them around the virtual world. The people behind this are evil geniuses, because they get you to buy the game and the portal, and then they get you to buy all the different guys. Which causes me to become best friends with the twenty year-old down at Game Stop, because only he can get me the Super Rare and Unobtainable Eye Brawl guy. Thanks Josh.

Whatever. Bear with me.

Okay, so Swap Force necessitates a whole new portal set up. Of course it does. So the "starter kit," which comes with the game, the portal, and a few guys, is $65 or $70 on Amazon. Only lately did Hank start talking about wanting it, and I thought I'd keep an eye out for a deal sometime in December. Then today I was perusing Want Not, and she mentioned that the Starter Kit is $37 on Target's website. They were sold out on there, but I checked store inventory and thought, okay, maybe my local store will price match the website. I left the kids to watch each other and went up there.

The kit was $49.99 on the store shelf. Which if I hadn't known better, I would have thought was a great deal. The kid working in the electronics section seemed frightened to be spoken to. So I carried the box with me up to customer service. Will you price match your website? Sure Ma'am! Oh, but wait...this item is out of stock on the website so we won't price match.

Did you get that? They will match a target.com price only if the item you're holding is still available on target.com. I said, "But, I could go into Walmart and THEY would match the price on Target.com, in stock or not. Why don't you sell it to me here?" I mean, these people don't know that I don't shop at Walmart.

I thought this was so strange and annoying. It's that weird thing where you're holding out money to someone and they can't figure out how to take it. But a manager came over and confirmed, no, the kit is $49.99 because it's sold out online. I thanked them and walked away, but then realized that with my Target debit card, which gives 5% off every purchase, and the little extra 5% off coupon I got from the pharmacy rewards program, the thing would be $40, so okay. Not $37 but close. I went through the checkout and bought it.

Then, THEN, I was home and had stashed the Skylanders in the gift closet. (God forbid the kids ever figure out I don't just keep birthday gifts for other kids in there.) So I'm doing my thing at home, and Hank, who is a natural-born fixer, comes to me with this coupon he has unearthed. It's a coupon for $10 off the very starter kit I'd just bought. He goes, "Hey mom, maybe we can use this!" Then he nudged it onto the edge of the dining room table and backed out of the room. Let me underline: He had no idea I had just made that purchase. It was a total coincidence, or else part of the weird matrix of synchronicity that conditions all of our actions. I vaguely remembered seeing this coupon come out of the multipack of chips I bought for school lunches. Hank probably had it in his tickler file. I swear.

So I thought, "Yes, I would absolutely drive up there and return the kit I just bought and re-buy it with this coupon." I would still have my ten percent off that I'd used earlier, so by the power of Maths I figured the kit would be $32. Then I got busy and made dinner and stuff, and then Hank reminded me that I'd said we could go to a movie, so off we went. Matt met us at Thor, and took Hank away afterwards, so I could do my errand.

Oh my lord, you're not still reading this!

So I roll back into Target at 9:30. I get another starter kit off the shelf and take both up to customer service. I tell the now-different clerk what I'm doing. She says she can take care of it all in one go. So she returns the one I bought. Then she looks it up online, for some reason, and she goes, "Look, it's $37!" I'm like, "Ah KNOW! OMG!" Actually I said, "That's even better!" So she rung it up for $37 and then scanned my $10-off coupon, and then I had my little percentage-off cards, and with tax and junk that thing was $26. When there was a good chance I would have eventually paid $65 for it. An absolute HEIST.

I didn't even ask her to match the online price, she did that all herself. And a woman behind me was there to pull some maneuver involving the same game--I think she was there to see if they would match the online price, and she goes, "I wish I hadn't met you, because then I wouldn't know there was a coupon!" And I was like, "It's from a bag of chips."

Then I went to the back of the store to get some beer and as I walked back by, that woman was kneeling down rifling the chips. So I strolled over to her and pointed her to the right ones. And I considered that a good night's work. Sisterhood is powerful.

Then I came home and explained it all to Matt in a hushed voice, and I said, "Give me the highest of fives!" And we very solemnly clasped hands over our heads.

And, scene.

20 comments:

Beth said...

OH EM GEE!!!! I am planning on buying this very item for my drooling children. I will never get over it that I won't be able to buy it for $26. GAH!

delaine said...

What a shopping win! Good work digging in and making it happen. Now, was Thor worth the candle? I bet Hank loved it! What did Matt think about it?

AlGalMom said...

That is a pretty wonderful feeling, the shopping coup. Thanks for the vicarious thrill!

Becky said...

Beth, try to run the same game! Go get the 20-pack of Lay's chips that has the Skylanders on the front. Of course, don't buy that unless the chips will get eaten by your family.

Then get to Target and ask if they'll price match! Even if they won't their in-store sale is a good deal.

Elizabeth said...

I'm bewildered.

Amy said...

Nice work! Nate has never really gotten in to Skylanders, but I'm very appreciative of your wiliness and overall moxie!

Becky said...

Elizabeth, I know, it's a lot. Too many things! Or are we talking a more general bewilderment? :)

Kate said...

Reading this leaves me exhausted.

Camp Papa said...

All that AND a bag of chips!

Marsha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marsha said...

I have never heard of Skylanders or Want Not so feel I have a lot of catching up to do. Fingers crossed based on what I've gleaned from this post that my son at 13 will have no interest in the former.

The latter? I'm pretty sure that I will have an interest. Better, faster, easier ways to spend money? All in.

kathy said...

This reminds me of some of the creative Christmas shopping maneuvering I use to do to meet the entertainment needs of two boys. Thank God they are grown and their needs are much simpler. No wonder we end up exhausted when December 25th rolls around, but it is such a satisfactory feeling to have scored a desired gift at such a SUPER price. Well done Mama.

Keely said...

omfg, the Skylanders. We've yet to have to buy any of the physical ones - X just plays it on the iPad. Paul had actually bought the starter kit at a great price, and then realized that it would commit us to spending all the rest of our money on ongoing Skylander purchases. So we returned it, and X was none the wiser.

I'm a terrible parent.

Elle said...

I can't get away from this thought: if he gave you the coupon, and you don't give him the thing, won't he know he is getting it for Christmas? I don't get too much into SURPRISES, because I do believe that receiving the thing you want is surprising in this world, but with the kids I like to be a little more mysterious.

Anyhow, that was just me, having social anxiety on your behalf for a thing you prob do not care about.

Allison said...

I am totally unhooked from my culture, having never heard of Skylanders or Want Not, and only vaguely knowing what an X box is. Color me bewildered, as well.

Lisa Lilienthal said...

It totally hate to ask but could you run back over and get me one? ;)

Becky said...

Re xmas mystery: He might know? Or really, I think he will hope but he won't be sure. As you say, I think the whole wondrous event is as much mystery as his circuitry can handle. I like to give them what they want but also come up with something surprising. For some reason that's often Matt's department. Maybe because he gives them what he wants them to have.

Becky said...

Keely, you are awesome, I think that is the better way. Honestly, the Skylanders Giants set we got last year provided about nine months of fun. Yet we continually bought skylanders during that time. Probably best if I don't add up the $$.

Justine said...

Oh, shop-blogging now, eh? SWEET. It's on. My shopping trip today offered some hella coups to dish on.

M said...

I live for incredible scores like that. I tracked your every word and was elated with the new and improved clerk doing the right thing by price-matching the online version.Yes!
Our recent college grad wants a Threshold bookcase from Target. I am plotting and planning the purchase because it is not on sale...just yet. ; ) I do love the combo of working the deal AND having the universe align just as it did for you.