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Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 01:46 PM   #1
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Saying "No" to Walmart

http://slashdot.org/articles/06/03/28/2235246.shtml

Premium product manufacturers sometimes produce a lower end product to sell through walmart with their brand attached.

Some just say "no" and keep their product quality high, selling through other channels.

A noble cause. Bet they're mostly out of business in 10 years.

As I was reading this article, I couldnt help but think that I'd rather buy a $100 lawn mower every 3-4 years and do minimal maintenance on it than have a really high end crafted product that I paid $400 for and kept for ten years.

Maybe thats the dividing line between someone who can afford to ER with a reasonable portfolio and someone who cant.

Walmart does create some interesting situations. My old heavy duty hand operated can opener was starting to get a little cranky after a couple of years of use. I looked over the selection at the super-duper walmart super center of doom and frankly found the quality to be lacking. About six-eight bucks for an opener that wasnt as good as the one I owned. Not obscure stuff either, Rubbermaid sort of brands, but surprisingly really cheaply made.

I'm pretty sure these were the "cut rate/dumbed down walmart" versions of these products.

I knew that a lot of major brands, mostly clothing and appliances, did "warehouse club" and "outlet store" versions of their products; lesser quality but the same brand name. I hadnt realized until looking at the openers yesterday and reading this article today that the Levi's you bought at walmart werent the same as the Levi's you bought at the Gap.

Out of the corner of my eye I see the electric openers. Six bucks for the walmart "Durabrand" electric opener. Function without paying for the brand name?

A little harder to keep clean vs throwing the manual version in the dishwasher in its entirety, but lets see how long before it stops working...
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 02:20 PM   #2
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

I will not set foot in a WalMart, let alone buy anything there. Cheap crap that generally offers poor value for money sold by an abusive corporation that runs crowded stores thinly staffed by surly, unhelpful people. No thanks. There are lots of other places selling better stuff for similar money and without all of the drawbacks of dealing with the behemoth.
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 02:30 PM   #3
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

I dont necessarily like the idea myself, but in my case, its the closest store. There arent a lot of other options in the metropolis that is Yuba City, other than different "big box" stores.

I've given lots of opportunities to the "small business that wants to give me better products and services". Frankly, it doesnt work out that way. Poor stocking, limited selection, employees that dont know any more than the walmart people do, weird hours.

I have to "special order" a lot of stuff from the smaller guys as they dont stock. The last two times I did that, "we'll have that next week" turned into six weeks and in the other case, it came in and they sold it to someone else without ever calling me to say it was in. In some cases I have to make 3-5 trips to get what I want.

My shopping list yesterday:

- A roll of cloth tape
- A can opener
- A dozen eggs
- A grill brush
- Canned cat food
- A furnace air filter
- A shower curtain
- Organic baby oatmeal

Thats 2-5 stores I'd have to go to, some 6-8 miles away, and at least a couple of those would also be megastores.
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 02:33 PM   #4
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

I understand why you might have to deal with WMT (limited alternatives, etc.). Lets just say I would be inclined to make the drive.

I hear you on the ineptitude of the little guys. We tried (oh lord, how we did try) to patronize the local hardware store when we first bought the house, but it was pointless. They were gone in 6 months and it was no surprise. But I still drive a few extra miles and hit Lowe's instead of Home Despot.
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 02:40 PM   #5
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

I kind of stop going to Wal Mart after the 'Christmas Specials' on the Friday after Thanksgiving... got in line for a laptop and was one of the first 20 or so after a sprint to the back of the store... *well, someone behind the counter was giving them to another line that formed later and we got squat...

But, I still go to Sam's with my sister to get a few mega count items that are a lot cheaper than other places...
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 02:41 PM   #6
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I will not set foot in a WalMart, let alone buy anything there. Cheap crap that generally offers poor value for money sold by an abusive corporation that runs crowded stores thinly staffed by surly, unhelpful people. No thanks. There are lots of other places selling better stuff for similar money and without all of the drawbacks of dealing with the behemoth.
Ah, we have a problem in my town. *Walmart's only direct competion just shut down earlier this year. *So despite my trying to avoid it, I end up shopping there for a few things. *Otherwise I'm driving two hours to the next town. *Actually I don't mind the store, but I only buy things there that I don't need to be good quality. *For example, a plastic storage tub. *
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 02:43 PM   #7
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sr. Senor Cute 'n' Fuzzy Bunny
A little harder to keep clean vs throwing the manual version in the dishwasher in its entirety, but lets see how long before it stops working...
I don't know if this is an urban legend or an engineering fact, but I've been told that the quickest way to ruin a manual can opener is to put it in the dishwasher. *(Maybe it's the dishwashing detergent.) *We just rinse them off and they seem to work forever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
But I still drive a few extra miles and hit Lowe's instead of Home Despot.
I'm no Nardelli fan either (and I feel sorry for the USMC colonels whose assignment officers send to the Home Depot billet) but on Oahu you'd avoid Lowe's like the plague and go to any of the island's three fine Home Depots.

Lowe's took over a local hardware store and replaced all its knowledgable employees with clueless slackers & valley girls. *The veterans showed up a couple months later at Home Depot...
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 02:52 PM   #8
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

Home depot here is a horror show. Nobody in the store knows anything. I ordered a fridge from them last year and their delivery truck broke down, so they just didnt show up...no phone call. The assistant manager seemed to be mystified when I asked why they didnt call "well, we couldnt do anything anyhow, so why call you?". Whatever i'm looking for, I can be assured there will be an empty box on the shelf.

The Lowes about 40 miles away is a stark contrast. Well stocked shelves, people who have a clue.

I think it has everything to do with the quality of the store manager, who they employ, what the local employment pool is like, and how that manager runs the store on a daily basis.

We've got a lowes opening up in the building that walmart abandoned when they finished building the superstore. Drawing from the same employment pool, lets see how they work out. It may simply be that I live in the land of the barely employable, and thats what they get to draw from.

Now that I know theres a quality difference in similarly labeled products from brand name suppliers sold at walmart, I may look at my purchases a little more closely...
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 03:14 PM   #9
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

I bought a fire proof safe/cabinet the other day at Walmart for 25% less than what it was selling at Home Depot. Same brand, box and all. I'm not a fan of Walmart either but I do buy dog food and a few other odds and ends there. The Wallmart here is located in the same parking lot with Lowes and OfficeMax. I real pain in the a$$ to get in and out of there. I guess my parents frugal ways has got me by a strangle hold too.*
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 03:33 PM   #10
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

Quote:
I will not set foot in a WalMart, let alone buy anything there. Cheap crap that generally offers poor value for money sold by an abusive corporation that runs crowded stores thinly staffed by surly, unhelpful people.
Oh boy, another "I hate Walmart" thread. It has been 6 months hasn't it?

I guess I like walmart's cheap crap better than other retailers' expensive crap. I mean, when I can get crappy quality stuff from poorly staffed retailers all over, why search out the expensive retailers?

Just wait till Walmart puts ALL other retailers out of business. Maybe that will make converts out of all of you! Ha ha ha!!!



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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 03:50 PM   #11
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

We love Walmart.* Shop there every chance we get.** Good grief, Walmart doesn't hold a gun to your head to make you shop there.* The government is the only organization that can legally take your money away from you without your consent, usually in exchange for inferior products and very poor service (see post office and Katrina relief assistance).* You want to pay more, please do so, but I like Wally World!
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 03:51 PM   #12
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

Thats pretty much my take. I really dont like a lot of what I hear, but in the absence of any better alternative...

I actually try to buy a lot of stuff on-line. Only if theres a fair chance that I'll want to return the product or if it can be problematic and need local service do I commit to buying at a store.

Actually I wasnt planning this as a "hate walmart" thread, more interested in sharing the way suppliers do business with them and the surprise of major brands turning out crappier versions of the same product for wallys store.
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 03:56 PM   #13
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

Walmart kind of grosses me out - although it is usually the best place around to buy stuff like kitty litter. *My major complaints:

-The aisles are always jammed with stuff and they seem to restock during peak shopping hours. *It's just frustrating to maneuver a cart around that place.

-The selection of brands/products seems very limited to me. *They have one or two choices in all of the major categories but that's it - no obscure products or unusual brands. *Considering they don't do business with companies that don't play ball, I guess its not suprising.

-Books. *Yes, I know I shouldn't be buying books in a Walmart, but I'm really astounded that their selection is an order of magnitude worse than that of your average grocery store. *Unless you want the latest Left Behind "novel" or Dr. Phil diet book, you're pretty much out of luck. *Kind of annoying when you're on a road trip and there's no Borders in sight.

Right now, being overseas, I do most of my shopping online. *It's remarkably convenient for most things and I have unlimited selection (the spouse just ordered a box of his favorite shaving soap, in his preferred lime "flavor"). *

In the US I'm a fan of : Cost Plus, Pier 1, Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Fred Meyer (a grocery/department store). *All of these stores do a pretty good job of having reasonable prices with a reasonably pleasant atmosphere. *

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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 03:59 PM   #14
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

If Costco and Trader Joes opened in my town, I probably wouldnt go anywhere else. But they've decided to stay at 40 mile minimum distances. Maybe per the idea about the local workforce quality, they just decided they cant get a good enough quality employee around here. There is certainly no shortage of customers or building space.
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 05:09 PM   #15
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

Bought a Coffee Maker at Walmart a couple of years ago.

Long story short, we got home, opened it up, and found out it had been used.

And not slightly used, I mean calcification and coffee gunk all over.

Obviously someone used it for a few months and returned it.

I gave the return clerk an earful but she didn't think it was a big deal. I suppose it happens a lot.

We don't shop at Walmart anymore.
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 05:15 PM   #16
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sr. Senor Cute 'n' Fuzzy Bunny
Actually I wasnt planning this as a "hate walmart" thread, more interested in sharing the way suppliers do business with them and the surprise of major brands turning out crappier versions of the same product for wallys store.
I inartfully said "another walmart thread", meaning the responses up to that point were typical of past walmart discussions. Not that you started the thread with the purpose of hatin on walmart. Cause we all know about your love/hate relationship with walmart.

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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 06:39 PM   #17
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

Zipper, I was in London last week, drivers are getting worse, Ethnic concentration increasing, housing is still very affordable.

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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 03-29-2006, 06:50 PM   #18
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

We do quite a bit of shopping at Sam's Club but mostly for food, soaps, and pet supplies. If we had a Costco nearby, we probably would try that for something new.
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 04-01-2006, 11:27 PM   #19
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

Quote:
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Obviously someone used it for a few months and returned it.
My husband worked for a major electronics manufacturer. They carried 2 types of merchandise: A stock, and B stock. B stock consisted mostly of returns and defective items where the defect was deemed not bad enough to trash the item. Their only merchandise ever sold via discount stores was B stock. My husband got an employee discount for buying their products. For A stock items, he usually got 25-33% off (basically at cost). For B stock, usually 65-75% off.
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart
Old 04-02-2006, 09:22 AM   #20
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Re: Saying "No" to Walmart

Many years ago I remember the banners all over walmart proclaiming walmart sold made in USA products, not foreign made. Guess when Ol Sam died the kids saw a way to make a quick buck.
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