Monday, April 18, 2011
Sears' large appliance department stocks about 50 different makes and models of dishwashers. They all look the same to me... except for their price tags. Same deal for the 30+ models of ovens and 15 or so over-the- counter microwaves.
We visited Sears a few weeks ago to scout out features and models. What did I learn? I learned that microwaves heat food and make popcorn. Dishwasher clean dishes and ovens boil water and, if I'm really good, will clean themselves. And they all have a gazillion buttons just dying to attract the attention of a 10 year old who enjoys, well, who enjoys pushing buttons.
Yesterday, a cold rainy Saturday, we dropped Thing 2 off at his friend's house and hightailed it over to one of those direct buying clubs where several years ago we allowed ourselves to be suckered into paying an unconscionable sum for the privilege of purchasing our home furnishing needs at a discount. (So far we've purchased a sink and a toilet there. So much for gaining back our investment). Armed with print-outs from Consumers Reports highlighting the "best-buy" makes and models and the brands with the cleanest complaint histories, we consulted the club's catalogues, only to learn that the club carried virtually none of the models we had selected as a result of our research.
So we did what any intelligent, modern consumer accustomed to spending hours researching features, reading blog reviews and comparing prices and dimensions would do under the same circumstances. We changed course. As in "eenie meenie minie mo."
In the final analysis, between the three appliances and the vertical blinds we selected at JC Penney, we spent about $3,000 in three minutes. Three minutes during which we looked for a coin in the return slot of the on-site soda machine, tossed it three times, and took turns calling it. "Heads, it's GE! Tails, it's Frigidaire!"
Because in a world where the only things between me and clean dishes are 53 models, 9,000+ pages of technical specs and a snake oil salesperson named Dick, that's how I roll.
Posted by Joan Oliver Emmer at 12:09 AM