Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nice Try, Lady

In the shopping wilds of a store like TJ Maxx, every girl must fend for herself.

There is so much to see: handbags and clothes and shoes and kitchen wares and bedding and home decor, you really have to have your wits about you and when there is a sale? It's go time. Time to bust out the guerrilla shopping.

There are many guerrilla shopping tactics one might employ. I myself am a fan of looking at the "Just Tried On" rack in dressing rooms because more than once I have found some fab one-of shirt or pair of pants that were not out on the floor in my size/the color I wanted/what have you. I have also, and I am not proud to admit this, put something in my cart that I wasn't absolutely sure I wanted because someone else was eying it and hey, I wasn't going to let THEM make the decision about whether or not I go home with this item.

Put it in your cart. Ask questions later.

But over the weekend I came across another tactic. The "Hey that's mine" line of defense against fellow shoppers.

Allow me to explain.

There was a 25% off clearance sale going on at TJ Maxx this weekend and as such, it was mobbed even more so than usual. My mom and I got there in the late morning and made an initial sweep of the store and then made our way methodically through the departments we were interested in. The first of which were the winter coats and accessories. After trying on a bunch of coats (I really love trying anything on that does not necessitate going into a dressing room), I alighted on the scarf display and began rooting around. I found a few, nothing special, but towards the back of the rack I found what I had been looking for. Teal. Glittery threads woven through it. Fabulous fringe on the end. I tried it on and when my mom agreed it was fab, I reached for the tag only to find it was on sale and with all the savings was only about $6!

A woman passing by remarked how nice the scarf was and I said something along the lines of "I know and $6? You can't beat that". At this point, another woman trying on a coat nearby became interested in my find.

"Oh hey, that's mine", she yelled out.
"Uhhh Excuse me?" I asked her.
"That's my scarf", she repeated.

I told her I had found it on the rack, in the back in fact, hung up with all the other scarfs.

"I know, I put it there. I was going to come back for it later".

First of all, this woman had a CART and when one has a cart, one does not need to put things back and come back for it. One puts whatever it is in the cart and goes on their way. And I am sorry to say but liking something does not make it yours or else my shoe collection would be three times as large.

For another thing, It wasn't like shoved in the back of the row, clearly hidden. It was hung neatly as though it had never been disturbed.

And none of that even matters, really.

I didn't really know what to say, not having been accosted in such a manner before so the woman went on "You're not going to take it, are you?"

At this point I felt a little "F you" about this. Who are you? You see me find a beautiful inexpensive scarf and immediately try to trick me out of it by making me feel bad and putting me on the spot? I had no doubt that she was lying. So I said "Yes, I'm taking it".

The woman shot me the dirtiest of looks at which point my mom joined in and said "No you're not, I'm buying it FOR you. " just to prove a point. And with that we moved onto the home decor aisle. And I wore my fab new scarf the very next day.

So kudos to you, weird lady. I'm sure your "Oh that's mine" technique has worked on people more scared of confrontation than me. But I consider this to be the LAZIEST of guerrilla shopping techniques. And for further reference, if you really do want to hide something?

For heaven's sake go to the rug department and stash it under one of those.


Anonymous said...

That is so insane! Good for you standing up for your shopping rights.

If she wants the scarf that bad, she can learn to knit.

Nicky said...

Seriously? In order to claim something in a store, you MUST have it in your hands and/or cart. I thought all women knew this rule. I am not above tossing something I'm only 50% sure about into my cart. Better safe than sorry. Good for you for teaching that lady a lesson.

Roxanne said...

That's awesome! I think I would have been too dumbfounded to say anything had someone said that to me.

Randall said...

People are crazy! I could maybe understand putting something down and then going back for it but if someone else had it in their hands when you returned why on earth would you say a word?! Good for you for enjoying your new scarf!

Sarah said...

Right? And if she had maybe been a little nicer about it I might have let her have it. I am very easily guilted...but not when I am being yelled at!

Kimba Rimba said...

I would have shoved every scarf in my cart and trotted away! And of course dropped them off in the baby department!

Thanks for the laugh, i also might have gotten a little ticked off at that lady while reading this!

The M Show said...

That's why I can't shop on the weekends during a holiday. I would have gone all WWF-style on her - i.e. jump up on the coat rack for a Hogan Leg Drop!

The One and Only Kristy J said...

love the idea of hiding it under the rugs, going to have to remember that one.

good job on getting the scarf!!!

Jewels said...

O.M.G.!!! Seriously? I think my jaw just hit my desk! Way to stand up for yourself! That is more precious than when people ask to go ahead of you in line because they are in a hurry [as if you aren't] *phhf!

Rebecca Jill said...


If the woman wanted that scarf bad enough, since she had a cart, it should have been there.

I'm totally laughing at the image of Kimba's scenario of grabbing every scarf and putting it in my cart.

Martini said...

What an absolute psycho! If I were feeling up to it, I would've grabbed everything out of her cart and claimed she stole it from ME!

On a vaguely similar note, I actually had a woman call me bad word because I had somehow taken "her" parking space.

With her turn singal on, she raced up to us from the other end of the aisle and slammed on her brakes, as if trying to get into our spot. At this point we were already closing our doors and walking away when she called me an asshole. Due to the fact there were DOZENS of other spaces nearby, I genuinely burst out laughing and said, "pardon?"

Her reply? "Jerk"

Fabulously Broke said...

People are nuts at Christmas.

Honestly, I would've told her: Finders Keepers :P

Melissa said...

That's ridiculous! Good for you!

Kat said...

Good for you and your mom. Sometimes people just amaze me with the wacky shit some people will do. I must say, the scarf sounds FAB!

Alisa said...

Thanks for making me no longer sad that I have not been shopping in a while (unless you count Target). People are amazing. I bet she is a bully in all aspects of her life. You should enjoy that scarf even more knowing you gave it a good home.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see that woman try something like that at the annual Filene's Basement wedding dress sale...

Jenny said...

WOW! What balls she has. Good for you (and your mom!). I was at TJMaxx this weekend too and got 2 awesome new jackets - one for a great sale price.

Luckily, no one guerrilla shopped me!

Jenny said...

WOW! What balls she has. Good for you and your mom!

I was at TJMaxx this weekend too and got 2 new coats - 1 for a great sale price. Luckily, no one guerrilla shopped me1

(Sorry if this showed up twice - I posted it and nothing happened.)

Lyss said...

Don't feel too bad - I also carry around things in my cart that I'm not sure about but don't want anyone else to have.