If you want to get me INTO a store, it’d better be worth it.
With three kids – the potty trips, diaper bags, car seats, seat belts, strollers and shopping carts it takes to get all of us into a store can be a mind-boggling feat of planning and engineering.
And when I’m finally ready to make a purchase the words “sold out,” “wrong size” or “we don’t carry that” are enough to bring me to tears.
So even when shopping at a brick-and-mortar store, I head to my laptop first.
I do more than just research the item I’m buying. I LOCATE it. Many shopping sites now offer inventory checks. Target.com offers a “Find in store” option.
Another one of my favorites is FamousFootwear.com. With its search function you can hunt for specific shoe sizes. I visit the site before hitting the store, and see if they have at least three or four styles I like in the size I’m looking for – so I’m almost guaranteed to walk out of the store with new kicks for the kids.
Many electronics retailers offer a variation – you can make your purchases online and pick up the items in-store.
Before heading out to the beach this summer I was looking for a new digital camera. After researching my options online, I purchased a camera at BestBuy.com. But instead of paying those pesky shipping charges, and waiting for my new toy to arrive in the mail – I found the camera in an area store. I used Best Buy’s “Store Pickup” feature, and using my online receipt was able to get my hands on my new camera in minutes. Time well spent.
With the store pickup features, when you purchase an item in advance, you’re guaranteed the item will be there when you pick it up. But the other inventory checks typically come with the caveat that you should double check with the store to make sure an item is in stock. I rarely do that, and occasionally the online inventory feature is inaccurate. But I take my chances and find these tools go a long way towards making my shopping trips worth my time!
Do you take advantage of store pickup or inventory checks before you head to the store? Know of any other stores that offer this feature? Please share your favorites!