29 April 2009

Baking bug bites billfold

It all started as an innocent trip to Best Buy to procure a birthday present for Kevin. On our way to the back of the store, I stopped with Ari so he could play the Wii on display and Valerie and Emilie went on to find the gift. After playing for about five minutes, Ari and I went to find our counterparts. There they were, still waiting for service as two employees were helping another customer with his faulty Garmin. After their riveting conversation came to a merciful end, Valerie went to get one of the workers and asked him about the product we were in search of. Alas, they were sold out and the friendly staffer instructed Valerie to go to the service counter and obtain a rain check.

Not wanting to wait in line for the rain check, Ari and I decided to traipse around the store in order to keep us entertained. Ari wanted to play the Wii again, but the games they had on display were a little too advanced for him. I was able to persuade him to look at other things with me, and to my surprise, I was able to do so without him having a major melt town. Top notch parenting skills, I know. We made our way through the computer section and headed back towards the kitchen appliances. All the while, Ari was still relentlessly bugging me about playing the Wii. Just as I was about to stuff him into one of the display refrigerators, I noticed a yellow tag on the range I have had my eye on for some time. Taking Ari by the hand, we headed over to the range and noticed that it was the floor display model that they were selling at a reduced price. Unfortunately, it was still out of our price range, but a seed was planted nonetheless.

I told Valerie about my find on our way home; needless to say she was less than thrilled. Spending money is not something she is very fond of and I had to choose my words carefully. I knew that if I was to win this battle, I would have to make my moves with the kind of strategy and precision I feared I was not capable of. For the first time in my life, I regretted having never played Risk. Once home, I spent my evening scouring the Internet for a better price on the range that had captured my undying attention. To my dismay, the Best Buy price was the best after all, yet it was still too much. I was defeated, and I begged Valerie for leniency for even mentioning the thought of purchasing the range at that price. In a moment of apparent weakness, her mercy was reluctantly granted and I lived to see another day.

The next day I was on the phone with my mom and I mentioned to her my hard luck range story. Being the thrifty and cunning shopper that she is, she told me that I should go back to Best Buy and haggle with them over the price; especially since it was the floor model they were selling. Not one for haggling, I sat silently and digested her words of maternal wisdom; and figured if it was something I really wanted, I would have to indeed haggle. I mulled it over for a couple of days and talked price with Valerie. We decided on a price we wanted them to go down to, and with zero confidence whatsoever, I walked through those large sliding glass doors for my date with destiny.

I went alone on that unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon; armed with only a few Best Buy gift cards and a quadruple Reward Zone coupon they send me for my birthday. "Happy Birthday Like" the coupon read; the personal touch was so nice. I went back to the range and stood right in front of it, hoping the price would magically drop as I was staring at it, like in those old Wal-Mart commercials. Surprisingly enough, that didn't happen; and soon I was approached by a salesman who asked me if I needed any help. My voice quivering, and as I struggled to find words I learned when I was two, I told him I was interested in the range and was wondering if they could go any lower on the price. He said he would see what he could do and away he went behind the secret swinging door; unbeknown to him my culinary bliss lay in his hands.

After waiting for a few minutes, a different man came out with the verdict; a towering fellow he was. I imagined that they sent out the "muscle" to denounce me for trying to haggle and throw me out the door by my shirt collar. As it turned out, the man was very nice and he explained to me that he could lower the price of the range and they would sell it to me for cost. There was nothing wrong with it and it had never even been plugged in. I was thrilled that they came down at all (thanks recession), but the price was still a little higher than Valerie and I agreed upon; and even though I didn't think it was a deal breaker, I still had to call my darling wife to plead my case.

To make a long story short, she gave her seal of approval and I am a happy owner of a new range! I was so excited and I felt no sense of buyer’s remorse, and even better, I felt no fear of Valerie. What's also interesting about this range is that it is the brand that Alton Brown endorses. A few years ago, we went to see him do a demonstration at an appliance store in Indianapolis; and after the demonstration, I looked at the price tag of the range and thought it was something I would never own. Yet after a few strokes of luck and some amateur haggling, I am living the dream, and I couldn't be happier!

Oh, after only having it a few days and using it a handful of times, I can honestly say that it was worth every penny, and then some. Thank you Valerie for letting me get it and thanks Mom for not letting me give up on it. You both are the best!

Here's proof that I actually got it:

1 comment:

  1. What a great story! Talk about living the dream! It looks awesome.



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