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Five Eight Eight, Two Three Hundred…

Our honeycomb blinds in our bedroom FINALLY broke last week. They came with the house and although they matched our bedding back then (7 years ago), we bought a lovely new bedding set last year and although the blinds became hideous, we didn’t want to open up the wallet to get new ones yet, because we wanted to replace them with the faux wood blinds and those are more expensive.

So, with the timing that is typical in this house, the blinds “chose” to break the week before the Bar Mitzvah. We knew who to call; we had faux wood blinds installed in the family room a couple of years ago and neglected to put them on the window that’s on our back door, so we wanted the same company, the one that started out as a local-only company selling only carpets but now sells window treatments and other things on the national level. They have been around since before I was born and I remember watching tv as a kid, singing along with the phone number at the end (but back then they didn’t have the “800” on it):

So we had the saleswoman out last Saturday. She measured the door window in the family room and then the two bedroom windows. We chose the color “wood” we wanted, and the three of us went to the dining room so she could break the news about the pricing. Jim and I looked at our receipt from the last time and estimated (before she came over) how much these window treatments would be, taking into account a price increase, etc. I told Jim before the woman came that I wanted to have very little emotion about these window treatments because I wanted to work the sale a little bit. (Need car buying advice? E-mail me. We were screwed over as a young couple a few times and, after many years, a few more car purchases, and 4 years in health club membership sales, I am finally good at being a smart buyer)

Jim and I sat on one side of our long table and she sat on the end (I was in the middle of the two of them). She gave us the price (it was $200 more than we estimated) and I said, “So you don’t have any specials going on right now?” She said, “Well yes, this is half-off.” (She didn’t say anything about a half-off sale til I asked her.)

I looked away from her and to Jim, making googly eyes and winking at him as I made “thinking sounds” like “Hmmm…” and “I’m not sure if we can do all that right now”.

Then she said, “Did you get a coupon in the mail?”

I smiled at Jim before I turned to her and said, “No. I didn’t know there were coupons floating out there.”

She said, “Well, every now and then they send former customers an offer in the mail. I think there’s one out for $150 right now, for three or more window treatments.”

Coincidentally, that’s what we had! AMAZING! LOL

I said, “Wow, $150! That would be amazing. Too bad we don’t have the coupon; that really stinks.”

She said, (and I kid you not about this: her exact words!) “Would you like for me to call the office to see if I can apply that coupon?”

I’m on to you, sister. I contemplated saying “No thanks!” just to see how she would react.

I looked at Jim as if we had to decide about it and winked. I said, “That would be amazing if you could get us that coupon.”

So she called the office on her cell and told someone–probably her “manager” like in the car dealerships!–that she had a repeat customer with three window treatments and blah blah blah could she get an authorization for the $150 coupon.

Naturally she got the authorization and we got our blinds for only a bit more than we expected, instead of a whole lot more than we expected. They will be installed sometime today.

I am not suggesting, by the way, that there is anything wrong with this company. I love this company. Like Harris Bank and Portillos Hot Dogs, it is a Chicago Classic. I am just saying that if you are buying anything that is what you would call a major purchase, do your research, be smart, and don’t assume that the price you are given is firm because it isn’t always that way!

And that is my lesson for today. Hope you enjoyed!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kat February 7, 2008, 1:44 pm

    Awww Murphy’s Law…Things always break when you can least afford it. Glad it will all work out because your a smart buyer.

    I hate it when they do the “I’m gonna check with my manager crap”.
    I remember this Seinfeld episode when he is getting a rental car. You can check it out HERE on Youtube. The scene is about 1:20min into the clip.

  • Melissa February 7, 2008, 3:52 pm

    lol! When I first read that number I was like what is that. Then I went back and sang it like in the commercials…ah, the memories..

    Good luck with the blinds, we have wood blinds on all the windows and we love them!!

  • Sniz February 7, 2008, 5:54 pm

    wow, this is a great post. You really ARE a good shopper! Glad you got those blinds for a good deal. I know the Empire number by heart too…588-2300–Empire! The 800 they added just doesn’t sound right!

  • Susie February 10, 2008, 12:48 pm

    you’re right–it is a chicago classic! i remember free jordan autographed basketballs as the free gift!

    wow you save your receipts? i am totally impressed!

  • Melisa February 11, 2008, 4:26 am

    Kat: You’re right about Murphy. One of our relatives broke one of our blinds in the dining room…one day after the other new ones were installed…ugh.

    Melissa: I know! Memmmmmorrieeeeesss…

    Sniz: Thanks! I totally agree: I HATE the “800”.

    Susie: Sometimes they even offer TURKEYS as the free gift! And don’t be TOO impressed…I save receipts for major purchases like that but not for other smaller things that I should…