Wednesday, April 9, 2014

You Choose - Buy a Miracle Whisk From A Hawker or Buy Online For A Third

One of those chores we all do.  Walk through a large market picking up things you can't do without. 

We stepped in the BJ's in Fort Lauderdale and immediately heard someone blathering about some promotion.  I responded with telling the PA Announcer to "Shut Up".  Really!  You just don't need someone loud on those things, and other than a public emergency I really don't see why they are needed at all.

No worries.  I walked past the high profit items near the doors like TVs and Stereos with a chuckle.   Ok, sometimes those high profit items aren't all that bad a price, but stores always put the impulse items near the doors.  Just how many TVs do you need in a two bedroom house anyway?

That announcement again.  Some nonsense about a Miracle Whisk and how it is supposed to be MY! BJ'S! WHOLESALE! CLUB!

Yeah, get back to me on that one, if it really is mine, I'll take my profits and sell the thing.

More impulse items in store, although I did take a long look at wiper blades.   Having a Jeep means that you never can find blades.   I use a 13 inch blade for the front window, and most cars start at 16 inches and up.  I noted the price and kept on moving.  I probably would have grabbed one of those had they had it but there just aren't that many 2002 Jeep Wranglers in the area to drive demand. 

Mental note, check online.  I won't have to use gas to buy the thing in that case.

We keep going.   I grab a bottle of "My Port Wine" and some clothing items and round the corner to the outdoor stuff.   It's South Florida, you just need pool salt any time of the year.  We're a different market than where BJ's is headquartered, and for that matter, all those big department stores.   There used to be Burdines where you could get stylish clothes that made sense when you are running Air Conditioning in December.  Now it's Macy's who is trying to convince me that I need to dress for New York City weather.

Nope.  Just nope.  Sorry, Macy's, you just aren't The Florida Store!

We're laughing at the pool equipment when all the sudden we're stopped by the source of all of those announcements.

"Hey we're having a raffle and it's starting in 5 minutes, here's a ticket-come-on-down!-you-mightwinsomethinggreat!"

He was speeding up as he got to the end to get us in there before we lost interest.  Then he left in a gust to hand out more "raffle tickets Thankyouverymuch!".

With a laugh I was being told that under no circumstances would we do this if we had to watch a presentation. 

I overruled that.  We were here, he was starting at the end of this aisle, and who knows it might be fun.

These hawkers all have a rap, a patter.   It's a case of showing you a product that you may or may not have a need for.  In this particular case it is a "Miracle Whisk".  Now being a baker, and a pretty good cook, I do have a whisk.  I hate using the thing.   I can whip cream to a stiff peak, and have made meringue with it, but it really is tiresome.  Much easier to use the stand mixer and a little of FPL's finest electricity.

I watched this guy pour some ice cold non fat milk into a flat bottom glass measuring cup and with about 10 seconds of effort make a passable whipped cream.  It may have had a little help mixed in, I don't know, but he did make the whipped cream.  If it really does work, that would be worth it.   Whipped cream is rather nice on some of the baked goods that I make.

*shake that thought out of my head*

I'm thinking anything more than $10 it's not worth it.

$20.  But wait there's more!

The end of the schpiel came.  Pay $40 and you get two regular sized plus a mini whisk. 

Yeah, I'll pass.   So did I win?   Nope.  A pre-teen kid got the ticket.  He got mom to get the prize of a 25 dollar dinner invite.  A couple people sprung for the Big Bargain Bag.  Let's go!

It was amusing, and well worth watching someone squirm about being in a demo for a product that we just didn't need.

I went through the rest of the store getting things we did need and pretty much forgot about the Must Have Kitchen Gadget of the Year!!!

Laughing about the experience, I managed to get home and forget entirely about the Magic Miracle Whisk!  Now with extra whipped cream until lately.

I was going through some of my regular online routine when I saw my old friend.  The Miracle Whisk.  It was on sale for $7.  I have to admit, for $7 I considered it. 

Now $7  is a lot better than the $20 for one the hawker was selling them for so I decided to search.

How is a low of $.20 in bulk?  An upgraded Silicone version for $1.20 in bulk.  In RED! Oooh, Red!

$7 is the going price online.

What did I take away from this story?   I had a lot of chuckles out of the affair.  It also shows me why "stores" are doomed.  With "traditional" malls closing due to people not showing up for many reasons, and Brick and Mortar stores having entertainment like these hawkers selling things at triple the price on line, why bother?

I make it a point to be well informed, and I shop heavily online.  It's more convenient, better priced, and I can do it sitting in my comfy chair.  If someone wants to sell me something new and improved that I have not ever had before, I have been trained to look online while thinking of it.  Impulse shopping for things like Miracle Whisk or Wiper Blades are just not done. 

After all, you have to pay for those bricks and all that mortar.

The best way that can be combated by traditional stores is to match online prices.  If you can't compete, you're a dinosaur.  Just ask any mall retailer.

I haven't gotten that Miracle Whisk.  May not.  Probably not.  My house is chock full of kitchen gadgets.  But the entertainment value was well worth standing there and watching people debate whether to stick around or not.  I certainly got a chuckle out of it.

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