Hippies love to hate Wal-Mart. Actually, a lot of people love to hate Wal-Mart. It's easy to rant on and on about how they're taking over America and are the enemy, and other such nonsense. Offering an opinion like that makes one seem socially conscious and intelligent.
Although it may not surprise anyone who has read my Secrets of Buying article, I LOVE Wal-Mart. In fact, when people offer the opinion that Wal-Mart sucks, I immediately want to punch them in the face. Luckily I'm a huge wimp and never punch people in the face.
The most obvious thing about Wal-Mart that makes it so awesome is that it offers insanely cheap prices. They manage to do that by being really efficient, and by strongarming merchants into offering things at the lowest possible price. Getting into Wal-Mart's distribution chain puts your product in front of millions and millions of people, so merchants can be pushed to keep only a small profit margin for themselves. That's capitalism at its finest, and I'm happy to have low prices. Sometimes the merchants lower their quality to be able to afford to do business with Wal-Mart, but who cares?
The truth is that Wal-Mart isn't where you're going to buy fine furniture, a watch, or your car. It's a great place to get all the little things you need, but don't care much about. For example, a couple months ago I needed a tripod to video my Survivor application. If I had gone to some photo or video store, I'm sure I would have paid way too much money for something I'm rarely going to use.
Wal-Mart? $9.84. Holy Jesus, people! The fact that I can get ANYTHING made out of metal for $9.84 is a miracle, let alone a tripod. I was expecting it to be a flimsy plastic piece of junk, but it was actually decent! It had all the different adjustment angles, including the ability to tilt a camera for a Dutch angle. That's a feature no consumer is going to use. The thing was made out of aluminum with rubber and plastic pieces. I was blown away and thought, "Man. Wal-Mart rocks!"
Then I went back today and found myself excliaming the exact same thing. When you walk into the store they have someone (usually disabled or elderly) who has already positioned a cart so that you can just walk into it and start pushing. WOW. Now that is service! If Macy's or Saks had that, people would be raving about their attention to detail and service, but since it's Wal-Mart, no one cares. After all, they're the evil corporate empire.
And this brings me to a slight tangent. Evil corporate empires are GOOD! Wal-Mart started out small and because they were SO INCREDIBLY GOOD, they rose to the top and are now able to compete in any market. Want to compete with Wal-Mart? Do something they can't do. If you're a mom and pop who's reliant on inflated prices, but aren't offering better service than Wal-Mart, good riddance! Just because you've been relatively unsuccessful and stuck around for a while doesn't mean you get a free pass.
Also, Wal-Mart is open 24/7. That means that if I need ANYTHING at ANYTIME, I can get it at the LOWEST POSSIBLE PRICE. How can you possibly argue with that? It's absolutely incredible. This is, of course, especially valuable because of my polyphasic sleeping.
Wal-Mart has some incredible policies, as well. Did you know that any RV or other vehicle is allowed free overnight parking at any Wal-Mart? When we were on some nondescript stretch of road in our school bus, we always knew we could count on Wal-Mart to provide us with bathrooms we could use at any time, a place to park, and a place to buy cheap supplies or food.
Another time we were really into pellet guns. We bought some at Wal-Mart late in the night, and the employees set up some boxes from that night's shipment for us to practice shooting at. This may not be an official policy or anything, but it leads me to my next point.
Wal-Mart employees tend to be pretty helpful and nice. I don't know why this is. Maybe Wal-Mart has a system for hiring good people. Maybe they're brainwashed. Maybe there are snipers in the rafters of the stores who will take out any employee who isn't cool. I don't really care what the reason is, though. The fact is that more often than not, I have a good experience with Wal-Mart employees.
I'm sure some lamos are going to post comments about how Wal Mart destroys the rainforest or homogenizes culture or some other hippie crap. I don't really care, though. If a few forests go down so that I can get anything I want at any time anywhere at the lowest price, fine with me. I think I read somewhere that they plant forests in an equal area to any new development they build or something. If you're concerned with that, you can look it up yourself. No store can homogenize culture - that's up to people to be dull. As an example, I could dress up anyone in Wal-Mart and have them look totally unique and cool. If you make the choice to be like everyone else, don't blame it on Wal-Mart.
I live about 1 mile from the new Wal-Mart mentioned in that yahoo news article. You should have seen the parking lot today (the first Saturday it was open). There's an elevated highway on one side of the parking lot, and when I drove it today I looked down on the Wal-Mart parking lot. There literally was not a single vacant spot.
What's interesting is that right across the street is a Super Target that's about 5 years old. It's established and has the higher-class connotation that people in this locale place so much emphasis upon. It will be interesting to see which one survives.
I don`t like walmart, bc i worked there, wasted 10 years of my life, was a good employee,no coaching, or "D" days, associate of the month several times,- every time i would apply for a different position where i could actually get trained for something usefull, like accounting or something else, - i was turned down,so much for "You can achieve anything you want!" policy, and that "open-door"policy? when you can get your issue resolved on "any level of management"?- Puhlease! Everyone is afraid of retailiation of some sort. Hated the training videos! FAKE-FAKE-FAke... "Oh, ms Smith! I see that you don`t have our Walmart credit card today! I`d be happy to start that application for you today" And then that idiotic Ms. Smith in the video says;"Sure! Sign me up!" Brrrrrrr... Always felt unprotected, if you get a good management - you are lucky, if not - almost like no rights, only in the paper. But to be fair health benefits were not bad, maternity is ok, Greedy on vacations.
I have a lot of issues from the inside point of view, hate the corporation, but the sad part is, if i need something from the pharmacy isle in the middle of the night, because my baby has a fever, where do i go? Wallmart, - convenient, and hate the fact as a former employee, that workers have to stay there at nights and holidays, and need it to be that way as a customer, so i guess, those who HAVE TO work at Wallmart, for any reason, just lucked out.
You're right, wal-mart is totally awesome! Yeah, manufactures are forced to cut quality and paying their employees a decent wage in order for Wal-Mart to sell their products, but so what? I don't care if toys are being encased with large amounts of lead, let the strong survive and the weak get cancer, right? And who cares if their clothing and shoes are coated with chemicals that give people severe chemical burns (http://www.lamanaphotography.com/walmart.htm)? But hey, at the end of the day the shitty products that are made overseas and could potentially kill me are cheap, and that's all what really matters to me! Trying to argue that is just plain "hippie crap!".
WAL-MART is sooooo awsome i love it, its the best place to shop. things are so much cheaper there. people who hate walmart are just pissed off cuz they have nothing else to do or they own stores and sell thing too expensive and get pissed when walmart sells its at MSRP or less, LMAO. LONG LIVE A PROSPORUS WAL-MART!!!!
For those complaining about walmart work's ethics, there is really nothing they can do .. if people want cheap prices they can play their employees a lot of money just like if you go to McDonald's you can expect some one to be paid 20 dollars an hour when you only paid 1 for a cheese burger. Stuped preppy people think Target is better .. supposely a higher class. watever i really don't believe in stuped classes so walmart is the place for me..
Wal-Mart has "in the door" pricing, cheap Chinese stuff, generic items or you run on the mill items are priced incredibly low (No name or a name you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t recognize TV for instance), The new Samsung/Sony TV that you might actually want is significantly more expensive than other brick and mortar stores or on the internet. Comes down to being a good consumer and the typical Walmart consumer is getting taken!
I don't like Wal-Mart just because it seems everyone goes there and it is nuts in there. People flying everywhere. That's for grocery shopping though. Getting other stuff is ok. It's the whole experience to me that is lacking. The ethics and other stuff that goes on behind the scenes does concern me, but that doesn't play a part in choosing to shop as little as possible at Wal-Mart. Just walking into Wal-Mart just seems to put a drain on me.
I've long considered myself a fantastic buyer. Notice I don't say shopper - that alludes to a hobby or form of entertainment. To me, buying is serious business.
Even before I had any serious degree of financial success, many people assumed I was rich because of my material posessions. I guess most people could pull that off by maxing credit cards, but I was actually socking money away for later.
How do I do it? Read on...
The most important thing to remember is value. Sounds obvious, but nearly everyone ignores value on a daily basis. Value means that you're getting the most for your money - not that you're saving the most money necessarily. A Rolex at $1000 might be an incredible value, but a Timex could be a rip off at $150.
So, I'm eating this really good granola cereal. I'm groggy and thoughtful after a long and strenuous week.
Ba humbug. I was just thinking today that I've been dealing with a lot of people lately who are cheap. What I mean by this is the kind of folks who prefer to purchase an item or acquire a service for as little an amount as possible--without any regard to the consequences of such a desire. For them, there is no such thing as a "reasonable" price. The cheaper the better. (In fact, why not just get it for free?) Well, I have to say that this attitude makes me rather ill.
Because really, if you can't afford to pay for something that's probably already pretty reasonable, maybe you shouldn't be spending money anyway. Otherwise, there are massive corporate entities like Wal-mart and Dollar General who are willing to exploit your cheapness.
Okay, this was my rant for the day. I just needed to get it out of my system. Yesterday, I spearheaded my family's annual garage sale. It is our yearly purging of mountains of crap we don't need. One cheapskate after another kept doing things like trying to shave a dime off of something that was already priced at a quarter. For the love of Anne of Green Gables, GET A LIFE!!!!!!! Luckily, there were also people who were happy to pay for items just as they were priced. God bless these beautiful, amazing people.
In my mind, this brings up another, bigger issue. Nothing in life is truly free. At least, the things truly worth having are much harder to come by. Lately, I've been embracing the idea of only acquiring that which is truly worth having. For these things, I'm willing pay whatever price exists.