Wal-Mart is the Best

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.

36 comments

  1. Judging from your stylish hat, I would love to see how you would dress up people.

    Can’t you make a before and after section featuring random people you just meet outside Wal-Mart?

  2. Wal-mart has its place for me. I have a Costco card, so 70% of what i need can be found there, and typically it’s of better quality than Wal-Mart. I usually only shop there when I just CAN’T find it anywhere else for a price that isn’t cheap, or at CostCo. CostCo for me has its place, the problem is that it really is a sort of lottery when you go there for non-food items. Of course, they’re going to have things like tires and car batteries, however they might not have that HID light cannon that I want.

    I also pretty much am set in terms of stuff that I need/want. The stuff that I do buy typically is fixed-price or has the best deals on the internet (specifically: computer gear and Apple stuff).

  3. If you get pulled over by a cop, and dont wanna paid the ticket, give him 20$. If somone has a problem in the store they can take it out, if not they can get a fist in the face. No smiling, no nodding no teambuilding idiotism. If I really piss somone off I do expect tu be punched in a face, and no law suits or shit. That IS the Balkan way. You cant turn a balkan guy into a WallMart or McDonalds employe.

  4. Oh man. Are you willing to explore these beliefs? This is one area where more consciousness is guaranteed to make you eat these words.

    I challenge you to read Felicity Lawrence’s ‘Not on the Label’ and then see what you think of supermarkets.

  5. Magnus – I’ll check it out. Maybe I should have been more clear, though. I don’t eat food from Wal-Mart.

    In fact, I buy almost nothing but organic raw produce and prepared foods from Whole Foods as well as organic produce delivered from local farms.

  6. I am in no way a hippie, but I do believe the choices you make have bast consequences. When you shop at wall mart, you are paying that low price because the workers are underpaid and that is the bottom line. They don’t get health insurance or anything like that either. Wal mart costs the state of california millions of dollars each year because their employees are on medical. Medical is for the poorest people who can’t afford insurance, not for people with jobs! They “actively dicourage” employees from forming unions and get rid of any that do form. Why would a company prevent their own employees from forming a union? They do nothing but reinforce a culture of poverty, and study after study has shown that for walmart to be sucessful in a community, that community must get poorer or the wal mart fails! I wonder why that is?

    All of that aside, WallMart does give you a damn good value. But wouldn’t you like to know your dollar isn’t being spent to reinforce poverty? Although you will probably call me a damned commie hippie liberal douchebag, or whatever other things they call people like me, being informed and socially responsible should play a part in everyone’s life. Just because you can’t directly see the people affected by something, doesn’t mean they aren’t affected.

  7. I happen to think walmart is awesome and on the other hand I agree with Another Guy. Both you and Another guy have awesome points that I agree with.

  8. In response to “Another Guy”:

    I don’t blame Wal-Mart in the slightest for discouraging unions. From a business standpoint, they are about the worst possible thing that could happen in your business.

    A union is basically a group of employees, or a joint agreement on the part of all or most employees that attempts to make business descisions without any formal experience. Because of their power, a union that holds a critical level of employees will kill a company from the inside out. To support a union, other parts of a business must suffer that will open the business to competition from outsiders or degrade the quality or service that the company can provide. The reason Wal-Mart destroys unions before they start is because they KNOW they can’t afford them. They know their business will immediately become unprofitable due to the demands of an uneducated group of employees who demand more than the company can provide.

    One of the biggest things I’ve learned in running my business is NOT to compete on price. Trying to make the lowest prices service or items severely degrades quality, or other parts of a business, and unless it can be done on a massive scale (like Wal-Mart has done), it is impossible to run a successful business based on providing lower prices. Wal-Mart works the way it does for a reason, and that’s because it cannot afford to run it any other way.

  9. Walmart costs you and the community around you a fantastic deal of money to employ people without a decent healthcare system. Figure out how many of your tax dollars are going to workers that are told to go on public assistance instead of being provided health care.

    Fact of the matter is Target is better than Wal-Mart, Super Target is better than them and Costco is about a million times better than Sam’s Club.

  10. I think the argument is, their is no way ma and pa can compete, since the market they are dealing with is so much smaller. I can see how a smaller town would want to keep out walmart. Less full time jobs, less money, etc. Although, lets be realistic. Is ma and pa providing healcare for their 6 employees? I doubt it. People can get their own insurance, they can save for medical emergencies, etc. But why do that when the state will pay for it right? The fact that people are lazy and lack forward thinking, doesnt mean Walmart is evil, it means people are dumb.

  11. “Is ma and pa providing healcare for their 6 employees? I doubt it. People can get their own insurance, they can save for medical emergencies, etc. But why do that when the state will pay for it right?”

    Actually, a lot of Wal Mart employees have to apply to state benefits, including medical.

    “Wal Mart: The High Cost of Low Price”

  12. I commented and expected to get my head ripped off. I’m glad you all aren’t close minded and are at least open to new ideas. Everyone has made some very good points. Oh and Tynan, It’s not like I hate Wallmart and think they are the devil, there could be much worse things than cheap prices, but it all comes at a price, and some of it comes out of your pocket when you pay your taxes every year.

  13. Barry:

    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.

  14. I love Walmart. I agree with ya. This may be a separate subject but if China changes its currency to be free floating (its now tied to the U.S. Dollar) then the whole thing may be messed up.
    Prices at Walmart and other places will go higher. Of course the spectre of Yaun Currency floating has been a reality since Clinton and Bush I presidencies.
    Just wanted to throw in.
    Otherwise Walmart is an awesome company.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 don’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!

  17. So I didn’t think that me helping last night was that big of a deal. Don’t ever hesitate to call me when you need my help!

  18. Hey thanks for the shoutout man, at first I was like “Someone elses uses the name Hawt?! No!”.

    I actually read that whole list though and it inspired me to start my own.

    A little off topic but, what do you think of tapping? I was going to drive down to Miami for Magnus’ workshop to see what it was all about. I don’t think we could get a venue locked down though.

  19. Tynan… I thoroughly enjoyed reading your list — and am honored to be on it 🙂 If I made a “thankful” list, you would undoubtedly be on it. Having you in my life makes it that much better – you give great advice, (even when I dont take it), you’re inspiring and I feel like you’re always rooting for me, as I am you – I’m thankful that B introduced us.

  20. i’m thankful that you’ve never once gotten mad at me for crying excessively, even when i get mascara and/or snot on your shirts and pillows, and that you are adventurous and alway eat my cooking experiments. but you’re super fired for not thanking me for being an angel. jerk.

  21. Tynan, I could thank you for so, so many things over the past year or so of knowing you. I always loved coming home to your e-mails and talking to you for literally weeks without stopping even to sleep. You gave me two of the best gifts I’ve ever recieved. I listen to my song all the time, and everytime I hear it, I’m left smiling for hours. You tought me how to be confident and believe in myself- indirectly helping me turn my life around. You rescued me literally and emotionally on several occasions. I’m glad you never gave up on me.

    You’re the best; I’ll love and remember you always.

    -Kristen

    PS- I’m still waiting for my future-e-mail!

  22. 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..

  23. 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!!!!

  24. All it needs is a fat, lazy security guard from Mesa. He could be like this: He was a tall man, big and fat, with roll after roll of fat. He was dumb, no higher education, and devoid of ambition. He was ugly, real ugly, so ugly you’d have to put a bag on his head. But that wouldn’t matter. He’s too fat to be on top anyway. He smiles showing missing teeth with the rest so rotten his breath smells like his other end. He says he’s looking for someone to support him, as he pulls out a cheap pez dispenser to pop all of the candy in his mouth. Need food, he mutters. Need it bad. It’s like a drug to him. He flips through a book of poetry, hoping to find words to impress some innocent women into thinking he can talk or write. Gotta have a woman to support me, he smiles. He looks like a hillbilly. Too lazy to work or get a real job. Too lazy to get his teeth fixed. Too lazy to take care of his wife. I can’t breathe he cries. He’s so fat he can barely walk. Need more moles. AS if he is not ugly enough.

  25. 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.

  26. Yeah, I’ve heard people decry Walmart in the past. I tell them that if they think they can do as good of a job as Walmart or even better, step up and show us your game! Untill then, just shut the f#@k up!

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