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Old 09-11-2016, 01:35 PM
10,720 posts, read 17,775,135 times
Reputation: 9939


I was in one of the big box stores (Lowes) looking for an item. The store was relatively empty. I had a hard time finding any employees on the floor. I find that you almost required to go to the front and page someone to find a rep to help you. Anyway, I run into two sales clerks. The first two sales clerks just blow me off and tells me the aisle of the part I was looking for. Finally, I got a hold of one person and they were nice and showed the part and what I needed but it took me 20 minutes just to track that person down.

I used to feel sorry for these big box stores. I would would prefer if these stores remain successful to keep more Americans employed. But it's hard to feel empathy for them when the service is so lousy now. I mean there is a noticeable decline in service when compared to even 10 years ago.

When you shop at these stores, there is literally no one around at times. I remember going to Best Buy the other day, and it was the same issue. I was at Frye's Electronics, and some 22 year old smart a$# gave me grief because I bothered to ask him a question while he was stocking shelves.

Service is so lousy that I understand why people shop on Amazon. If you are not going to receive any help and essentially waste your time shopping at these stores, you might as well spend that 20 minutes and do a little online research and buy it yourself. I received more info from people putting on youtube videos than any help I can get from people working at these big box stores.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:13 PM
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
4,317 posts, read 3,503,146 times
Reputation: 7987
I shop on Amazon almost exclusively (and eBay, to a lesser extent) because I can find exactly what I want, delivered to my house in 2-3 days (best case), at a reasonable price. Note I don't say "best" price.

I went to the other big box home improvement store Saturday, looking for a sprinkler part. Oddly enough, I found it! That was great, and a little surprising. I didn't and usually don't need any help, but I wouldn't say "never." When I have a specific question, I've never had trouble finding help with just a little patience sometimes.

July 4th, day-of actually, a big box electronics store had what I wanted. I checked their inventory online first, per their website. Their price was reasonable. I dropped in and grabbed a guy in the camera department, he got me the item, we were done in 15 minutes. Great transaction. That, too, was a convenience buy.

If I'd chosen to wait, I'd have waited 2-3 days and bought that on Amazon, too.

So, my conclusion is yes, most retail (for goods, not services) is a waste of my time. Times have changed, for sure.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:46 PM
Location: Glen Burnie, MD
3,401 posts, read 1,013,678 times
Reputation: 9997
I've sometimes found the exact opposite to be true. There are times when I go into a store, know exactly what I want and where it is, and still have 3 or 4 employees ask if I need help.

But overall, service has definitely declined. I've found the cash register to be the absolute worst these days. The stores have their employees push things on you. They can get pushy when I tell them I don't want to sign up for their store's credit card. They can get really pushy when I say I'm not interested in signing up for their rewards program. "But, it's free!" they'll say. Except there are some stores I may only shop in a few times a year, if even that. The program wouldn't benefit me any, and would likely give me even more junk email/postal mail to deal with. And then there's stores that keep trying to get you to make donations or round up the change, and try to make you feel guilty when you say no. I sometimes use self checkouts, but not many of the stores I shop in offer them, and even then, a lot of times something goes wrong, and the frustration just isn't worth it.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:43 PM
Location: Houston, TX
1,297 posts, read 1,116,545 times
Reputation: 4041
I work at the big box store on the weekends and i can understand the frustration. there are never enough people on the floor because not enough people are scheduled, and, of the people that are scheduled, at least 1/3 of them are calling out sick. I am scheduled to work in the Paint department. If I leave the general area, i will get swamped by people in other aisles, leaving my work station and the customers there unattended. then I will get chastised for leaving people stranded at the counter.

Unfortunately, these days there is little time for hand holding, and if there is, with the hundred different types of any one thing, you won't be getting much help or expertise for $12/hr. My suggestions are:

1. check out the store's website. when you browse products you can make sure the item is in stock, and the site will usually tell you what aisle and bay the item is located.

2. Download the store's app from the app store. These apps enable you to input an item (example: WD-40) and it will bring up the price, the number of cans on hand and the exact location of the item.

3. Place an internet order. Browse the site, place your items in the virtual basket, and pay. Your order will be waiting for you at customer service, no more wandering the store.

I know it sucks not having that personal service from the time you walk into the store until you leave. That model is more the exception rather than the rule. Not only do I work that environment, I'm a store shopper too. Instead of blustering myself out trying to locate humans, I try to make myself as un-frustrated as possible by taking advantage of the online tools the business offers to be able to get in and out as quickly as possible.

BTW i'm also an advocate for Amazon, Zappos, Swanson Vitamins, etc for this very reason. I can take my time, browse, get reviews on items and have them delivered to my door without wasting gas and time. Good luck OP.
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Old 09-16-2016, 08:57 PM
Location: ohio
2,915 posts, read 1,442,359 times
Reputation: 3311
I never get left alone at stores. Food store, department store, electronics, home store, I get assaulted by every employee asking if I need help. Sometimes they shout at me from 50 feet away to the back of my head. I realize they have to do it to conform with company poilcy, but it gets extremely annoying.

Other than that I have no problem with Lowes or Home Depot, been able to find what I need at each and get help if I need it. However I prefer Menards, they tend to have more selection, and less verbal assaults from store employees.

The worst store for too many questions at the register, pushing store credit and wanting your personal info email and phone - Sears.
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:11 AM
2,951 posts, read 1,759,336 times
Reputation: 3053
For me, Amazon has several aspects:

- the reviews are helpful in avoiding junk. I pay most attention the negative ones, since the positive ones are often faked. I like it when the negative stuff is not all that negative, at least from my POV - too big, even though dimensions are in the product description, for example.

- you can find all sorts of obscure repair parts, and other uncommon things that would be impossible to find in retail channels.

- you must cross shop. Sometimes Amazon is quite a bit more expensive.

- Prime is awsome. Have only had a few shipping failures, one after a major snowstorm, the past few years.
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Old 09-17-2016, 12:34 PM
7,264 posts, read 7,702,860 times
Reputation: 10320
As for store help….sometimes I have to look for a clerk, sometimes I don't. Sometimes its frustrating, sometimes it isn't. It's
not that much of an issue that I'm going to now make all purchases online.

I still prefer an in store purchase. I want to see it, touch it, FEEL what it's like…how strong or sturdy -- or not. See the color in person. See EXACTLY what size it is with my own eyes now a picture with measurements. I also may want to compare it to another item or size. Or need to buys something else that goes with it…be it in a big box home improvement store or a clothing store. I want to SEE how a top goes with another apparel item or jewelry, etc.

The only purchases I make on line are the one's I can NOT make at a store, or things like gifts being sent to someone elsie.
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:55 AM
2,769 posts, read 2,282,192 times
Reputation: 4266
I find with both HD and Lowe's the employees are falling over themselves to greet me but once I get into the aisles and might really want some information or clarification (like to compare 2 products for example) that is when it gets frustrating.
I think unfortunately sevice/experience/knowledge is a bygone feature of retail.
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Old 09-19-2016, 01:37 PM
15,350 posts, read 20,371,322 times
Reputation: 22043
Since my stroke 10 years ago, I do all my buying (except for fresh fruits, meats and vegetables) online. I used to use Amazon exclusively, but lately I've been checking other sites -- and finding that Amazon is sometimes not the cheapest by far.

For example, this morning I priced a toaster I wanted to buy -- on Amazon it was $98.00 and on Overstock the exact same toaster was $49.00 with free shipping. Most price differences arent that drastic but they're still large enough to make me think twice about just going straight to the Amazon site like I used to do.
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Old 09-23-2016, 03:32 PM
13,208 posts, read 8,075,472 times
Reputation: 25510
Originally Posted by Arianator View Post
I've sometimes found the exact opposite to be true. There are times when I go into a store, know exactly what I want and where it is, and still have 3 or 4 employees ask if I need help.
I was at Old Navy today, and had the same person ask me 3 times if I needed any help, all within one minute. I gave a polite "No thanks, I'm good" the first two times, but by the third time I had to be a bit more stern telling her "No, really, I'm good. If I need help, I'll ask." She gave me a dirty look and then walked off. It was obvious she wasn't even looking at who she was asking and just continuelly asked people as they walked by. It's bad enough when 3 different people all ask you within a few minutes, but one person doing it was ridiculous.

I really wish stores would get rid of their policy of having to ask customers if they need anything if they are within so many feet. Some take the policy to literally and end up being annoying. I've left stores before without making a purchase because the employees were so obnoxious constantly asking if I was okay. Have employees visable, so if a customer needs something, they can be the ones to ask.
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