Retailer Impressions

Rocky's lost Santa gift

Now that the holiday shopping season is winding down, were there any standout retailers, good or bad, in your experience? I shopped plenty of different venues, everywhere from Amazon.com to my local Target. Here were some of my impressions.

First let’s get the bad stuff over with. Just a minor offense by our local Golfsmith store but they allegedly ran out of gift boxes in the first week of December, no doubt due to the swarms of golfers who hit the store so soon before Christmas. Really? You couldn’t estimate better than that? Old Navy lost points in my book because they were charging for their boxes. Even at Christmas time? Here’s the worst of it. Disneystore.com lost my child’s Santa gift before it even got to UPS. It was a Mickey Mouse bean bag chair I know he would like (were any of you lucky enough to get this one?), I ordered it a month before Christmas (just to be safe) and they still botched it up. Worse, they stayed in denial throughout all of my communications with them until it finally came down to the wire and then they had no choice but to fess up. By then the item was out of stock and too bad for me. Grrrrr. But wait, the customer service department, who annoyingly told me they wanted me to have a “magical experience” every time I corresponded with them could only muster enough magic to present me with a $10 voucher on Dec. 21 to be used towards shipping of another item. Do I really want to put myself through this again? I think not, the voucher didn’t even cover the cost of the 2 day shipping I would need. Upon further presenting my case, one sole rep decided I should get more for my trouble. My ears perked at the sound of this, I’ve been sick this week and didn’t particularly want to go out in the rain looking for that last minute item, I was hoping for a Disney pass or at least a decent gift card. I got a $12 plush Mickey to arrive on Christmas Eve. I’m not holding my breath on that one. I also found a couple of other friends who have had bad experiences with the online Disney store so scratch this vendor off my list.

Now the good. The JC Penney store, which, like many stores now, had to do away with their gift wrap department (so sad to see this service go) came through on the boxes, I even got extras just for the asking, no hassles. They put out some great coupons like $10 off anything (yes, you could actually get a $10 item for free) and had decent markdowns and lines that were tolerable. Macy’s had some super sales and huge discounts, boxes included as well. Nordstrom tends to be pricier and the sales less impressive but the customer service is usually right on and everything is so nicely folded in tissue and placed in great sturdy bags. Online stores Sears.com and BarnesandNoble.com came through with my orders in a timely manner, everything packaged nicely and bonus points/special offers were received. Sears has a club that’s free to join and Barnes and Noble has a free kid’s club that allowed us some extra discounts. Free shipping was a plus as well as the ability to return gifts at their local stores.

That’s a wrap for me. Happy Holidays!

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5 Responses

  1. Two horrible experiences one with nordstroms.com they sent me a seven dollar item instead of the 60 dollar item. I was told that my toddler was no longer a baby and that’s not an excuse to not call when using their live chat. The item was out of stock everywhere so couldn’t be resent but when I went to store it was there. They gave me free overnight shipping on something that I would have to pay for again and wouldn’t get re-embersed until the seven dollar item was returned. Lol horrible
    Next was toysrus they had donated toys from toys for tots sitting back on there shelves. Hmm why weren’t they donated?

    • Jeanice,

      So disappointing when the online version of a store doesn’t live up to the physical store. People expect them to be the same but so often they are not. Hope you got all you needed anyway, enjoy the holidays!

  2. I also found some amazing deals at JC Penney and got gift boxes for the asking. Great sale! Nordstroms too. Found some great kid’s clothes at Macy’s this year at great prices, and some fabulous adult gifts at unbelievable prices at Coldwater Creek..and they just started their 50 percent off sale too. Goes on until Jan 3. Nice.

  3. I had great success with Amazon this year. I have free Prime 2-day shipping through Amazon Mom, and was even able to order and receive my gifts right down to the wire. I love their wish lists too. I also had some awesome experiences with sellers at Etsy. All were willing to upgrade me to Priority flat rate for just a dollar or two more than their listed shipping price.

  4. With three kids it’s nearly impossible to get out and do productive shopping unless it’s 10PM – but by then I’m too tired! So I did a lot of shopping online this year. Mostly on Amazon and had a fabulous exprience. No tax and free shipping?! Can’t beat that! I did pay for shipping on See’s candy though – but I thought it was well worth not having to stand in line. Although I did miss out on a free sample…
    Side note: if anyone gets the Entertainment book they were recently selling the OC book for only $15 with free shipping (they are regularly $40). Great deal!

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