I had been looking for a two-drawer metal filing cabinet, but all ones I saw were $50 to $70 - too much for a piece of crappy office furniture. I'd do better getting a used one at a thrift store.
Then I saw Office Depot was advertising a two-drawer Office Depot Value™ Brand 2-Drawer File With Caster Kit available in silver, putty, charcoal and stone for $29.99.
I was willing to pay $30, but didn't want to drive all the way into town and back - an hour's trip including shopping time. Since Office Depot offers free shipping on purchases over $50, I went online. Odd thing was that while I could find the product, it wasn't listed for the price on the flier. I wondered if it was an in-store special.
Off to Office Depot I Go
Even though I suspected the sale flier had a misprint, wasn't it within my rights to ask for the advertised price? Since I already had to drive part way to the store to drop the kids off at karate, I thought it was worth my time to go by and check it out.
When I got there, the young man in the furniture section couldn't find the file cabinet on the floor. When he looked it up in the computer, he didn't see it listed at the sale price. (I had brought the flier with me.) He got his manager who told me there was only one left in the back. He reluctantly gave it to me for the price on the flier even though he pointed out that the flier was incorrect.
Not the Bargain I Hoped for
I added a few other things to my cart, and checked out using a $10 off coupon I had as an Office Depot rewards member. I drove home thrilled to get a file cabinet for $20 that would normally go for $70 full price.
A couple of days later I unpacked the file. It was damaged! Not only was I ticked off, but I had a dilemma to deal with. Should I be happy with a banged up bargain? Or should I take more time out of my busy schedule to return it? CRAP!
Putting a Price Tag On My Time
So far I had expended an hour's worth of time to save $50. In my freelance writing business, I aim for a $20 per hour minimum net. So I did pretty well there. But if I returned it, I would lose money:
- 1 hour to get the original file - $20
- 1 hour to return it - $20
- 1 hour to get a new one from a rain check (there were no more in the store) - $20
TOTAL = $60 worth of writing time to save $50 - NOT WORTH IT!
I ended up keeping the cabinet. It was functional, and the damage wasn't noticeable since it's in the closet. I'm still pissed about it though.
What would you have done, kept it figuring you took advantage of a mistake and got a pretty good deal? Or would you have returned it, insisting on a perfect cabinet at the flier's price?
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