I used to love the thought of going to the local wholesale warehouse club, where the products are stacked up to the warehouse ceiling and the shopping carts are brimming wholesale toilet paper with rolls of toilet paper and cases of cheese snacks. Where else could you pay a memberbership fee of a thirty or forty dollars per year and have access to products by the caseload at a discount?
After joining such a club I realized that not all the prices were cheaper than the non-membership store just across the street. So we decided to shop carefully and only buy those items that were cheaper. Of course, we also ended up buying in quantities that we didn’t need. So, when we did find bargains, we ended up with a supply that would last us a couple years.
After adjusting our shopping strategy at the warehouse club to take into account our need to be aware of the higher prices and inconvenient packagaging, we realized another thing. It’s not convenient to stand in line with three items, when everyone else ahead of you has their carts overflowing with merchandise. It’s clear that not everyone cares about actual value and some folks only want perceived value (you know, a case of maple syrup at a 3 cent discount). So, we soon tired of standing in lines for our handful of items.
We decided that if we were going to get only the best value items in the quantities that suited our lifestyle, that we would only need to make a few trips every couple of months so that we could get everything we wanted without spending all that time standing in line several times per month. But guess what happened? We noticed that each time we’d go in for items on our list that the items sometimes wouldn’t be carried anymore. We’re not talking about items being out with an empty space on a shelf. We’re talking about something else is placed where that item was and the store employees telling us they don’t carry it right now, and that we should fill out a comment card if we want to get the items back in stock.
With items on our list not being in stock, we still found ourselves standing in line with a handful of items – instead of the cartful we’d planned on.
It’sfrustrating enough realizing our membership wasn’t buying us much more a few well-packaged, well discounted products – combined with long lines and a parking lot that would make most race car pit crews shudder in fear.