Tuesday, July 17, 2012


   Why do sales have to be so complicated? I love Bath & Bodyworks’ products. I really do. I’m not even being paid to say that. I swear. There’s just something about their lotions and body sprays that put a smile on my face. But I have to admit they’re not cheap. That’s why most people like to shop there (stock up) during their sales. But be warned. Their big annual sale will boggle your mind for hours long after you’ve left the store.
   This is what happens. You go into the store because you’ve been informed through a very cheery, colorful e-mail announcement that there is a big sale going on at the store for a limited time. 50% to 75% off. You can’t ignore deals like that. You smile, you grin, you hurry to the store because they’ve brought back that favorite scent of yours from two summers ago that they never should’ve discontinued in the first place which ticked you off so much that you don’t even want to talk about it. Where were we? Oh yes, you’re hurrying to the store. You get there. There are all kinds of goodies inside big, colorful cardboard boxes or giant glass vases. 50% and 75% off signs are taped to these displays. You roll up your sleeves, ready to fill up the large tote bag that some kind, smiling store helper offered to you. You’re ready for the hunt because it is a hunt to try to find your favorite scents that always seem to sell out before you get there. (Do people camp out in front of the store? Sheesh!. How do the great scents get taken so fast?)
   Anyway, after a half hour of rummaging through every nook and cranny of the store, you somehow end up at the cash register with your not so full, but you tried tote bag. The cashier says, “That’ll be $55.94.”
   $55.94! What? How? That doesn’t sound like a sale total. That sounds like a regular day, there was no sale, what the heck is going on total. What happened? You only got a few minis (aka travel sized items), a small gift basket and a few regular size lotions that you decided you could tolerate. And you got some Sweet Pea products because they’re never discontinued and are a reliably good scent.
   The cashier explains how your purchases resulted in the not so fun $55.94 total. Apparently, the minis were on sale, but there were different sales. There was 75% off mini shower gels, 50% off mini body lotions and sprays. $3 large size body lotions and sprays for lotions and sprays that you don’t like and that were basically rejects the store can’t seem to get rid of. There was Buy 3, get one free sales and Buy 3 for $10 minis. Hey, wait. Weren’t minis 50% to 75% off? No, only certain minis were on sale, and the rest (or best options) were 3 for $10 and $5 each if purchased separately. Then there were the select gift sets  for 20% off. Wait. What’s that “select” business about? Select means some are on sale, and some are not. See a store helper to find out which ones aren’t on sale. There were new fragrances that all seemed to smell like air freshener or fruit salad in mini sizes for $1 each. Fragrances and items leftover from Christmas somehow managed to sneak into the display boxes and vases. Yet they were only 50% off. Shouldn’t they be 75% off to encourage customers to finally buy that crap...uh, special, seasonal items that somehow didn’t get sold in December? It’s summer. Who wants Santa socks in July?
   When the cashier is finishes explaining all of this to you, you’re head begins to hurt. Sales are supposed to be fun. They’re supposed to give you a thrill to know that you got quality stuff for less than retail prices. You were going to go around all week telling people what a great bargain shopper you are. But that didn’t happen. You end up picking out all of the minis you wanted which comes to five items. You say “I’ll just take these.” The cashier looks at you with a pleasant smile, secretly thinking you’re cheap, puts your baby-sized items in a cutsie paper shopping bag and says, “Have a nice day.”
   You walk out of the store in a daze. You’re head still hurts, but you feel a little special since you’re now one of the many people walking around the city carrying a Bath & Bodyworks’ shopping bag. It’s like you’re a part of a special club. But that sale was so disappointing. Why so many sales within sales being offered at once? Why did it have to be so confusing? Maybe you just won’t go to another one of their sales if they’re going to be like that. Why did you hurry to the store just to end up with five tiny bottles of stuff that you...” Wait. Hold on. You examine the contents of your bag and discover that there’s a coupon next to your receipt. Oh yeah! You smile to yourself, realizing that you’re gonna be back in five days when the annual sale is over, and your coupon coincidently begins to be valid. 

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