2012 Black Friday Deals And More

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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby nocera on Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:51 pm

Got my dad a GPS from walmart.com. Usually 120 for 70. Got the girlfriend a drawstring Steelers bag from NFL.com for 14. (15% off + free shipping). Just need a couple more gifts and my shopping is done.
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:07 pm

Sarcastic wrote:Now, be honest. Since (i think) you work in one. How often do salesmen try to provide good advice, especially on cost/need, versus just trying to sell an expensive product? How much of a factor for a customer is plain distrust?


I'm out of it now, but I did work two years and really liked it. If you can't tell home theater is kind of a hobby of mine in general, so it was fun to help people put a new entertainment system together.

Our department had about six or seven sales guys, all between 20 and 30. There was one guy there who was a lot like Dwight Shrute from The Office, and every month him and I were on a numbers basis the two best salespeople (I'll give him the edge because he was full time and maintaining high numbers is harder when you work weekdays). Like Dwight, he was much more likely to use hard selling. I never once saw him act unethically/lie (to a customer) but he would drag out all manner of "used car" tactics on them.

We made next to nothing selling tv's, cameras, bluray players, stereos, or video games/systems. I'd make $1.50 or $3.00 on a $300 tv. So in general we had no real incentive to lie about the base merchandise because we didn't make anything on it anyway.

We would try to upsale to a point. The general idea was for me to ask a few questions to figure out what extra features you'd like, and then show the most fully featured item, and then go down the line. I always had a backup in mind where if you liked the $2000 LED's extra features but couldn't pay that much, I had a $1500 plasma with all the same stuff. But if you're a little old lady or its your kid's bedroom there is no point confusing you about things that are irrelevant. If you were a Netflix subscriber any tv with Netflix built in was in play, or if you frequently used Redbox or bought on demand movies a tv with Vudu or Cinema Now was shown. Fantasy football players were shown tvs with Yahoo widgets.

I'd ask how many components you had - say you were upgrading to your first hdtv and buying a bluray player. I'd want to send you home with one cord for your cable box, one for your bluray player, and one for your Xbox 360. You also didn't have an appropriate stand. So I would suggest wall mounting or various different stands (that could hold all your components of course). Wall mounting would get into a discussion of installation.

I think when guys would tell you that the hdmi cords you got from the cable company were no good that they honestly believed that - like a freebie wearing out was somehow worse than buying a $20 one that is just as likely to "wear out." So thats one place I did definitely hear people trump the value of different cords. Another one I heard was that for a camcorder or dslr you needed a high speed SD card. If your pocket book was open I'd suggest them, but I never tried pushing them.

I'd often tell customers about Monoprice and I think that worked well for me because it was like a Kris Kringle/Miracle on 34th street thing where people appreciated my honesty which helped my receipt surveys.

The extended warranties were where I think we had the worst idea of what was actually covered. We heard so many different things about what exactly they would do. It did include a once a year "preventive maintenance" check up, but how much of that can you do to a tv? You can't oil it or replace a filter. So I didn't want to sell them based on that, lest the customer call for their check up and the guy did nothing. We were told they did "minor calibration" - well what is that? Are they bringing ISF tools and going into the service menu or not? And burn in - is that "normal wear and tear," "customer misuse," or "a defect?" We had the same problems with installs - what happens if they want to hang a 65" plasma on a wall with no studs? How will they hide wiring on a brick fireplace?

I did well I think because #1 I dressed really well. Most of them came in all wrinkled and disheveled, and I was always wearing a tie, sweater vest, and polished shoes. I think that naturally helped people take me more seriously and seek me out when they came in wanting to spend money. #2 I just really like this stuff, so when I'd talk about it with an in depth understanding I think people picked up on that and found me to be more credible when it came to talk about installation and accessories.

There were really two sets of goals. The ones that mattered to us and factored into our monthly bonuses, and the ones that mattered to the store. Management cared that you were doing well sales wise, but the store was much much much more interested in how many receipt surveys customers took, how many credit applications you got, how many rewards card signups you got, how many email addresses you captured, and how many extended warranties you sold. The three goals that factored into my bonus were sales per hour, accessory sales, and extended warranty sales.

My important goals were not fixed numbers to hit; they were a percentage of my overall sales. So if I was there on the last Saturday of the month, my sales per hour were great, my accessories were great, but my extended warranties were just on the line, I had no incentive to sell anything that might come with an extended warranty. Selling a tv without one that day would torpedo a $750 bonus. Once again there is an agency problem where my goals didn't match the store's.

I think when I was telling people real information that was beneficial to them that I got the most "you have to be lying" looks - no cable channels are produced at 1080p, 1080 vs 720 is basically imperceivable below 40" or 46" (depending on your distance sitting away), only hdmi or toslink can carry 5.1 sound, a $10 antenna gets a better quality picture than the cable company, stuff like that.

As a commissioned person, I had no incentive to do anything that would make somebody unhappy with their purchase. The worst scenario would be that they returned the items and filed a negative customer feedback survey. That comes right out of my pay. Surprisingly we got a decent number of repeat and referral business. So if somebody is unhappy that is out the door too. Third its just not in my character. I sold this stuff because I thought it was awesome - if somebody went home unsure of their purchase I felt bad that I didn't help them find exactly what was right for them.

One thing I did a lot of was call back sheets - we had sheets printed with everyone who bought major merchandise from us and were supposed to call them back as a sales follow up. Nobody took them seriously but me. I got my start cold calling ERISA leads in college, so I had no trouble following up on the phone and asking about other items they might need or selling the extended warranty - I'd sell them right on the phone and have it shipped free. Selling warranties without tv's was like a license to print money - it skyrocketed your numbers. I did it any Saturday that my warranty numbers were down.
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby Sarcastic on Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:59 pm

Thanks for writing all that. I actually read it, lol. See, you sound like a guy I could trust. I gotta tell you. When I see a salesman come to me, I quickly turn him away. I figure he's either going to lie or I know just as much as he does. Not always. I'll sometimes talk to one if I'm clueless. But if I'm prepared for a purchase and do my research beforehand, I don't need help. I think what it mostly is with me, however, is what I think many of us experienced: pushy salesmen.

I think the internet has changed so much of our lives that even doing research on something we want to buy has made things so much easier. That has had to have an effect on a store like BB.
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby Fire0nice228 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:40 pm

nocera wrote:Got my dad a GPS from walmart.com. Usually 120 for 70. Got the girlfriend a drawstring Steelers bag from NFL.com for 14. (15% off + free shipping). Just need a couple more gifts and my shopping is done.



I got my order from nfl.com 25% off but the free shipping it wanted you to sign up for some service which was 70$ a year annually after the first 30 days..I could have called and cancelled but it wasn't worth the hassle for me to save 5 bucks. Is that what you had to do?
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby nocera on Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:49 pm

Fire0nice228 wrote:
nocera wrote:Got my dad a GPS from walmart.com. Usually 120 for 70. Got the girlfriend a drawstring Steelers bag from NFL.com for 14. (15% off + free shipping). Just need a couple more gifts and my shopping is done.



I got my order from nfl.com 25% off but the free shipping it wanted you to sign up for some service which was 70$ a year annually after the first 30 days..I could have called and cancelled but it wasn't worth the hassle for me to save 5 bucks. Is that what you had to do?


Nope. Shipping was free, no questions asked, but it was 15% off not 25.
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby pressure=9Pa on Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:23 pm

Sarcastic wrote:Thanks for writing all that. I actually read it, lol. See, you sound like a guy I could trust. I gotta tell you. When I see a salesman come to me, I quickly turn him away. I figure he's either going to lie or I know just as much as he does. Not always. I'll sometimes talk to one if I'm clueless. But if I'm prepared for a purchase and do my research beforehand, I don't need help. I think what it mostly is with me, however, is what I think many of us experienced: pushy salesmen.

I think the internet has changed so much of our lives that even doing research on something we want to buy has made things so much easier. That has had to have an effect on a store like BB.


Agreed, thanks Pitt. I was going to post this thought in respone to the BB article, but I'm in the camp that does all my research online, then buys at the cheapest place without regard as to where I did the research. Thus the presence of a salesman means very little to me, unless I have a very specific question already in mind.
Last edited by pressure=9Pa on Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby schreibdog on Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:23 pm

Found this on BensBargains.net:
Free WinX DVD Ripper Platinum
http://www.winxdvd.com/giveaway/

Click on Get License Code and you'll be given a download link with an activation code directly below.
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:28 pm

schreibdog wrote:Found this on BensBargains.net:
Free WinX DVD Ripper Platinum
http://www.winxdvd.com/giveaway/

Click on Get License Code and you'll be given a download link with an activation code directly below.


I used to use that and found it to work pretty well. Took the movie right to a .mpg file with the untouched video and audio.

and jesus i didnt realize how ridiculously long that other post was when i wrote it
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby canaan on Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:06 pm

i ended up scoring a Seagate Backup Plus 2TB USB 3.0 External HDD for 45.99 from staples.

woot.
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby nocera on Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:31 pm

That's a crazy deal. Nice.
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby canaan on Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:32 pm

http://www.staples.com/Seagate-Backup-P ... uct_758312

you can reserve/pick up if youre near a store.
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby mac5155 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:37 pm

For the record, I had a non-portable external and if you're sitting it on a desk and never moving it, go for it, but if you ever plan to take it somewhere its a complete PITA.
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby pittsoccer33 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:46 pm

out of stock :(

fyi, you can rip the drive out of an external casing and put it inside a pc or a server. and you'd be surprised what brand the drives are inside some of these cases from other manufacturers.
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby nocera on Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:12 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:out of stock :(

fyi, you can rip the drive out of an external casing and put it inside a pc or a server. and you'd be surprised what brand the drives are inside some of these cases from other manufacturers.


I got mine for pick up. Woot.
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby canaan on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:57 pm

I went to staples to pick up my reservation and they wouldn't honor their online price, citing a "typographical error"

I called customer service and they told me to call corporate lol
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby pittsoccer33 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:30 am

canaan wrote:I went to staples to pick up my reservation and they wouldn't honor their online price, citing a "typographical error"

I called customer service and they told me to call corporate lol


Typically the "online store" of a brick and mortar retailer is a completely separate legal entity with different logistics, pricing, special offers, and management structure. They share nothing in common but a name and some merchandise until you get to the very top upper management.

That's another thing that is killing confidence in stores like this. They mostly all have antiquated supply chain systems that are inadequate to handle these offers.

It's perfectly reasonable for you to think you'd get the item you were advertised and paid for, but knowing how likely it was to be screwed up I didn't even try to buy one for pickup at the Staples in East Liberty.

You want to see customers get REALLY angry? This happened often where I worked:

The website would give a count on an item in the local store(s). When it got down to less than five in the inventory it would also tell you to call the store to verify it was there. Well, if you opened the phone book and called your local store (with a 412 or 724 area code), unless you know what buttons to push you were NOT taken to that store, but to a call center.

Its 94 degrees out. You are from Washington PA and need an air conditioner, but only the North Hills store seems to have any. So before driving all that way you call and ask the associate who you think is working at Ross Park if they have any of the air conditioner you want in stock . He says there are five - he didn't go to the stock room and count, he looked at the website (the one that told you to call the number you called). So you order, your credit card is charged, and off to McKnight Road you go.

You get there and find out they haven't had any of those, or any others, for three days. Your credit card will be refunded in a week.
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Re: 2012 Black Friday Deals And More

Postby pittsoccer33 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:43 am

Another major retailer website pet peeve:

Walmart, Sears, Best Buy, even Newegg, etc are ALL jumping on the Amazon bandwagon of having 3rd party sellers pitching stuff on their website.

Joe Consumer went to sears.com to buy a video game. It was a "market place" item being sold by XYZ Company. Well, his nephew opened it up and it was a game he already had. It CANNOT be returned to any Sears store under any circumstance - they don't sell it, they have no record of it being sold, and have no way to return it or refund it in the register system. You have to track down XYZ Company and find out their return policy, if they even still exist.
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