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Mon, Nov. 18

Buying locally isn’t worth the hassle sometimes

I mentioned to my wife, Chris, a while back that I thought it was time for me to invest in a new chair for my computer desk.

The one I currently have isn’t comfortable and, honestly, if I am sitting at my computer for a long period of time writing an article for the newspaper, my derriere starts aching. That in itself makes it extremely hard to concentrate on my prose.

Well, as it happened, my wife was reading the local newspaper and saw an advertisement insert that was included in the paper. She turned to me as I was watching one of my favorite DIY programs on TV and said, “Check this out. There’s a desk chair for sale at a Kingman office supply (she actually told me the store name, but I’ve decided not to mention it) for $79 and is on sale for only three days - Sunday through Tuesday.” At the end of the sale, the price was going to jump back up to $169.99.

I have always thought it is best to support local businesses; I am a true believer buying locally helps our economy. Through taxes garnered by local sales, our county’s infrastructure such as maintaining roads benefit.

Since it was a chilly Sunday morning, I suggested we “jump” into our trusty Jeep and drive the 30 miles to Kingman to check out my possible purchase. To me, the goal of our trip to Kingman was multifaceted. I got out of working on a “honey do” project, and I would get a new computer desk chair.

Upon arrival in Kingman with the advertisement in hand, we entered the office supply store and proceeded to where the chairs were located. We quickly found they had five of the chairs advertised for the $79. There were two brown and three black ones sitting on the showroom floor, but none were in a box.

Even though the chairs were identical, except in color, I decided to sit in each of them to determine which one was most comfortable. What I noticed was three of the chairs leaned back further than I wanted (there was not an adjustment for the back of the chairs), but a brown one and black one felt very comfortable.

A sales associate happened to walk by and I explained to him I wanted to purchase one of the $79 chairs, but wanted one in a box because it would make it easier to transport it.

He told me he would check in the back storeroom to get one in a box for me. A short time later he returned and informed me they didn’t have one in a box, and I then told him I would go ahead and purchase one that was on the showroom floor.

At that point, the employee informed me they’re not allowed to sale display models. That was confusing to me because they had five of them on the showroom floor.

I may not be the sharpest tack in the box, so I wondered why they didn’t just place two of the identical chairs (one brown and the other black) on display and keep the other three in boxes.

Upon the clerk informing me they couldn’t sell a display chair, I asked to speak to the store manager. The employee pointed toward the front of the store and said, “He is the tall guy standing near the register.”

I walked up to the manager and explained I was interested in purchasing one of the chairs on sale for $79. I also informed him the clerk had already checked the rear storage area and there weren’t any in a box.

The manager proceeded to say he could order me one, and it would be shipped to my home for free. I explained that only two of the five chairs on display felt comfortable, and I didn’t want to purchase one that I had not tried.

When asked by me about buying one of the display models, he originally stated they won’t sell a display model. He went on to explain he had to pay someone to assemble the chairs. However, just a second later, he said that if I wanted one of the display chairs, he would charge me $15 extra for it.

Believing it was a scam to just boost his sales profits and get more money out of a customer, I told him I would not buy a floor model for $15 extra.

I then looked at my wife and we both decided to leave the store without purchasing the chair at an inflated price.

This wasn’t the first time I had utilized the store’s resources for my needs.

I had previously purchased numerous computers and printers, and had most of my other printing needs completed there.

Leaving without buying the chair and the cavalier attitude of the employees, the store lost a sale that day and a future-returning customer.

I have now come to the realization that having to deal with the small-town attitude of some local business people and the mental anguish that comes with it isn’t worth the hassle.

If I need office supplies, I’ve decided to visit the local Walmart or make an adventure of driving to Bullhead City, Lake Havasu City, and Henderson, Nevada, or even purchase online to take care of my office supply needs.

No wonder why so many businesses open up in Kingman and a few years later close.

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