Tag Archives: shopping

Another Invention Idea: Lane Bryant for Small People

This post is one that is coming out of a bit of aggravation/frustration over the last few days. As you may know from one of my previous posts, I got the job that I applied for, and am starting in 13 days. Since I am finally leaving the company that I am at that requires uniforms, I have been going a bit crazy trying to find cute, yet professional outfits that I can wear to this new job. Their atmosphere appears to be business casual, but I still want to look professional.

So, yesterday I started shopping for nice blouses/shirts/blazers/shoes, and I was pretty unsuccessful. First, I went to ShopKo. With how tiny I am, I typically wear a size 2 in dress pants, but I can sometimes be a 3, 4, or 5, depending on whether the designer used even or odd numbering, and depending on the style of the pants. ShopKo had one size two pair of pants, and I couldn’t even get them on. They had no size 4s, so the next biggest size they had from a 2 was a 6. I didn’t even bother trying on a 6, because I knew it would be way too big for me. However, after a bit of perusing, I did manage to find a nice blouse that I can wear to work. It was three-piece, all connected blouse: with a white shirt as the base, a green shrug attached to it, and a nice blue and green scarf attached to that. It looks really nice, and it was marked down from $47 to $17, so I got it, knowing that I was getting a great deal.

When I tried on their (ShopKo’s) shoes, none of the professional flats that I liked fit me properly. Normally, I am a size 9 in shoes, but in dress shoes, I can be an 8, 8 1/2, or 9, just depending on the design of the shoe and whether they run small, large, or true-to-size. Well, the 9s were huge on me, the 8 1/2s were still slipping off the back of my heel, and the 8s were too tight in the toes. Not enjoyable at all. So, after purchasing the shirt, I left ShopKo and went to Target.

Target had two pairs of pants in size 4 that I was willing to try on. The first pair had legs that dragged on the ground, and I knew I would have to hem them, which I don’t have time, desire, or ability to. The second pair had the same issue, but it wasn’t as bad, so I was willing to get them. That was, until I looked at the back of the pants. Despite being black, they were very see-through–to the point that you could tell I was wearing white panties. Needless to say, those would not work for professional purposes. Then, target had one pair of shoes in an 8 that would have worked, but I just didn’t think they would be comfortable long-term, so I just bought some household items that I needed, and then left.

Finally, I made one last stop: Fred Meyer. I was hoping that they would have something that would work for me. Well, the shoes were a complete disappointment. They had no ballet flats whatsoever, and nothing that looked professional, so that was a bust. I then ventured over to their women’s clothing department, and looked for pants. The smallest size they had there was 6, even in the junior’s department. Annoyed and frustrated at this point, I just left.

I have thus come to a conclusion. Stores like Lane Bryant exist exclusively for plus-size women, so why can’t there be a similar store exclusively for petite women? A store that only sold clothes sizes 0-6 would be great. That way, we could still get clothes that looked nice on us, there would be an abundance of styles and sizes to choose from, and we wouldn’t have to worry about the issues I ran into yesterday. However, fashion designers must not recognize that anything smaller than a 6 exists, so that’s frustrating. Maybe one day someone will come up with a Lane Bryant for petite women. We can only hope.

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Shopping in a Timely Manner: The Biggest Ways You Can Help Yourself and Store Associates Everywhere

via Daily Prompt: Timely

Working in retail has taught me many things: namely, what not to do as a customer. One of the biggest things that you should never do as a customer is shop when you are in a hurry. It just creates a huge problem for yourself, the store employees, and everyone involved. Here are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to shopping in a timely manner and not being “that” customer:

Allow Yourself More Time Than You Need, and Set Realistic Expectations

One of the biggest things you should do when shopping, whether that’s grocery shopping, stopping to pick up a snack or small item, or even making a big purchase like a new computer or a car, is to allow yourself significantly more time than you think you will need, especially if you already have an appointment or something planned for later in the day.

If you are planning on buying a car, and you expect the process to take only an hour, you may want to come in when you have more time. Even if you are paying cash, you still have to test drive the car, do some paperwork, etc. On a good day, with cash, you can expect the car buying process to take about an hour from start to finish, but even then, you must prepare for the worst: technical difficulties in the computer system (they happen), your own failure to sign the documents correctly, thus generating reprints (again, it happens), or simply a delay because a manager is taking a few minutes to get another employee what they need. It happens. And planning your car shopping around your schedule is unrealistic if you don’t have realistic expectations. If you know that you have somewhere to be in an hour, don’t come in an hour before that thing. Come in either three to four hours before the event, or come in after the event is over. That way, no one is on a time crunch, and you can be sure you are getting exactly what you want/need, with the best service possible, without stressing out the employees around you.

Even if you are buying something small, like a snack or a CD, you should still go in earlier than you need to. If you are heading to an appointment after you run your errand, try to make your errand for at least two hours before the appointment, if possible. That way, should the computer crash, you get stuck in a long line of people with only one cashier, or the customer in front of you wants to talk to the cashier for a long time, you won’t be late.

Don’t Shop With Less than Half an Hour to Be At Work

While I mentioned above that you should typically allow yourself two to three hours of shopping time in advance of any appointment, there is an exception to this rule. You can shop up to half an hour before you have to be at work, as long as the place that you are shopping at is less than ten minutes away from your place of work. If it’s not, you’re better off waiting to get that item until you get off work, or picking it up on your lunch break, if you’re able to, if it’s truly that important.

At many car dealerships that I’ve been to, I’ve seen people come in with a trade-in vehicle, they want to test drive the car, get financing, sign the paperwork, and be out the door in fifteen minutes, because they have to be to work in fifteen minutes. Ok, if you’re going to do that, come back later. With everything that you’re needing to do, the process is going to take a MINIMUM of forty minutes. Ask the dealership to put a hold on the car for you until you can get off work or have a day off. Just because you see something doesn’t mean you have to buy it right that second. If you want to make sure it will still be there on a day that is more convenient for you to go buy it, ask the store or dealership if you can put a deposit down to hold the item or vehicle. Nine times out of ten, the answer is yes, and many times, it either won’t require a deposit at all, or won’t be a very large deposit. If you do put an item or vehicle on hold, however, please make sure you ask how long the hold is good for. Most stores will only hold items for 24 hours, and most car dealerships will only hold vehicles for a week, so it’s good to know what their policy is so the item doesn’t get returned to inventory and sold out from under you.

Don’t Create A Complex Transaction Or Be A Difficult Customer When On A Time Crunch

When I was a cashier for a big box electronics retailer, we had customers who would come up to the register with over $200 of small items, would ask me to verify the price of every single item as it was being scanned, then wanted to pay with cash, debit card, a gift card, and an in-store coupon. If an item’s price came up higher than what was listed, they would then ask me to go verify the price and correct it. They also would want to price-match an item to one of our competitors, would have no sort of ad with them from said competitor stating the price, so we would then have to look the price up online or call the store to verify inventory and pricing. OR, they would be tax-exempt and not tell us until halfway through the transaction, or would refuse to let us see their ID or credit card as necessary for processing the transaction. Then, of course, there would be some sort of issue with the machine, or the customer would request a manager for something, and then complain because of how long everything was taking, stating, “you know, I do have places to be,” or “can we hurry this along somehow? I have to be to work in X amount of time.” Then for Pete’s sake, please! I can’t stress this enough, if shopping before work or when on a time crunch, keep the amount of complexity in your transaction to a minimum. If you MUST get that price match or extremely expensive item, and you MUST use three or more forms of payment, PLEASE shop when you have more time.

If Making A Big Purchase On A Debit Card, Do it During Normal Business Hours, and Call Ahead to Verify That Your Card Limit is High Enough for This

This is perhaps the one thing that I must stress, because I see it all the time. Whether you are purchasing $2000+ worth of computer products, or if you are trying to pay a down payment on your vehicle, if you’re doing it on a debit card, please do so during normal business hours, if at all possible. It is crucial to keep in mind that, at least in the United States, banks typically close at 5:00 PM, so if you’re shopping after 5:00 PM and making a big purchase, if you have to raise your card limit with your bank to get the transaction to go through, the odds of you being able to reach a representative who can help you are fairly limited.

If you cannot avoid shopping outside of normal business hours, then what you should do while the banks are still open is call and let them know that you will be making a larger-than-normal purchase later in the day. For example, if you typically only spend about $20-$100 per day on your debit card, and you are suddenly making a $500+ transaction, you need to call your bank and have them temporarily raise your daily spending limit. Most debit cards will only allow you to spend about $500-$1000 per day, regardless of how much you actually have in the bank. Therefore, if you know you will be making a big purchase, it is best to call the bank and have it raised at least $200 above what you actually need to spend, that way, you can have confidence that your transaction will go through smoothly, even if you’re purchasing the item at 8:00 at night, and you won’t have to worry about being locked out of your card should you also need to purchase groceries or additional, smaller items, later that night.

Shopping can be a daunting task, and shopping when in a hurry can be frustrating for both customers and employees alike. Should you ever find yourself contemplating shopping in a hurry, please consider the tips mentioned above. If you follow all of these guidelines, everything should go according to plan, and will be stress-free for everyone involved.

 

Three New Inventions We Need in the Next Ten Years

Technology is an amazing, innovative thing. Always changing, always moving, always getting better and faster than before. We live in a world saturated by technology, and while we certainly could live with out it, for the most part, it makes much of our lives easier. For convenience’ sake alone, there are three inventions that someone must make within the next ten years in order to bring order to our world, and help make certain aspects of our lives even more convenient than they already are. Let’s take a look at what these three inventions ought to be:

1. Animal Communicator Collar

dug

Everyone needs an animal communicator collar in their life, because who doesn’t want to talk to animals? I think this would be a fantastic invention, especially because it would help give me a little insight as to what goes on in my cat’s head. She’s sweet, but sometimes, she’s a bit of an oddball. One moment, she’ll walk up and bite me for no reason at all, and the next minute, she’s running around the apartment like mad. Who knows what she’s thinking sometimes? I sure don’t, but I know I would like to.

2. Shopping Carts with Brake Lights and Turn Signals

narrow aisles

Superstores give me anxiety, especially the large-scale ones that are national chains. The aisles are so narrow, and the shoppers always cluster so tightly together, that it’s often hard to move. With my social-awkwardness, I always feel like I would be considered “rude” if I asked someone to move so I could grab the item I needed, and because I’m more of a “get in, get what I need, pay, get out” type of person, I often walk much faster than the other shoppers. As a result of this, coupled with the narrow aisles, I often end up almost running into someone coming around the corner when I’m pushing my shopping cart? Why? Because nine times out of ten, you can’t see if anyone is coming, with the way the aisles are designed, or because the person in front of you will stop directly in the middle of the aisle without warning. Therefore, I think if we had brake lights we could activate on our shopping carts, as well as turn signals that make noise to indicate when someone in front of you or near you is turning, that would reduce the number of superstore accidents to virtually zero.

3. A Belt Wallet for Dresses

dress belt

Women often wear belts with their dresses for added fashion, but when we’re going somewhere like a concert, the club, or anywhere that doesn’t involve a lot of sitting, we don’t really want to bring our purses with us. A huge dilemma that I often run into is what to do with all my stuff that I need to bring with me when wearing a dress. I don’t want to bring my purse and have to leave it in the car, nor do I want to set it down somewhere and have someone walk off with it. Therefore, it would be extremely convenient if someone invented a belt or something similar to a fanny pack (yet fashionable) that could be worn with dresses of all styles and not look weird. It would need to have a concealed zipper or easily sealable pouch on the inside or outside of the belt for easy, discreet access. The pouch would have to be big enough to hold a woman’s cell phone, credit cards, ID, and one or two tampons or pads, yet it would also have to fit comfortably against her body without making her feel any of those items while she wears it. In other words, it would need a lot of padding. This design is fairly complex, so it probably won’t be designed any time soon, but a girl can dream, right? I know I would buy one if it were a thing! Heck, I’d probably buy all the different styles if they existed.

While there are many other wonderful things that need to be invented in the next ten years, I think these three are some of the best that would at least help us with adding a little bit of convenience to the world around us. Of course, this article is mostly satire, but I do think it would be fun to see some of these things actually get created. So, readers, what do you think are some much-needed inventions that we need to see in the next ten years? Leave your comments below!