Saturday, June 27, 2009

The stimulus is working!

Around here anyway. Backstory: Mrs. G needed a new washing machine to replace her 25-year-old Kenmore. Serendipitously, as Social Security recipients we received a one-time (so far) federal stimulus of $250 each last payday, which is the 4th Wednesday of every month. So, half a large of returned tax money in hand, a-shopping we did go.

We wanted to spend the money locally as opposed to going to a chain store in Nevada, so first we went to the only long-time independent appliance dealer in town. They had a machine Mrs. G liked, but then they wanted to charge us $75 to deliver it one mile, along with $25 to haul the old one away and properly dispose of it. That was the deal breaker. I told the salesman he'd just scared us off and we left. Those guys were the only game in town for forty years and it shows in their attitude: pay what we want or drive for an hour. I'm not the only one displeased by it. Read their review at the Sears link below. Heh.

We were all dejected about probably having to go out of town to get a machine, and we made it all of a block before the light went on in my head: our town has a pretty new Sears Hometown Store! We'd never been there before, but, gee, I think Sears sells appliances...

It ain't yer father's Sears. It's not a big department store like Sears stores used to be, maybe still are, I don't know. Pretty small, but well stocked with home appliances and yard stuff, no clothes or hand tools, but you can order those.

We got about two steps into the store and a young salesman was on us like white on rice. I pointed at Mrs. G and away they went. He showed her every washing machine in the joint and she decided on one and the deal was done. They had other brands, but she chose our third Kenmore. I guess we're in a rut. It was the one that had all the features she wanted and was 'energy star' qualified.

Speaking of 'energy star', this thing is so much more efficient than our last one that our power company is going to send me money! The trade-off is that, just like TV sets, the new appliances don't last as long as the old ones. That's progress for you.

They wanted $50 to deliver it and the standard $25 haul-it-away fee, but they were to be refundable from Sears corporate. It was delivered a few days later exactly 5 minutes before they said they'd be there.

Just as an aside, the delivery guys didn't wheel it up to my house on a dolly. Since they had to walk about 100 feet through the forest clearing that passes for my back yard, they put straps under it and walked it all the way up from the street. They said that's pretty normal around here. The head (driver and paperwork guy) delivery man's assistant turned out to be a Mexican-American biker dude about my age from Bakersfield. We shot the shit and let the white kid do all the installation work. Heh.

The thing works fine and all is well. For the technically curious, it's a Kenmore 2982.

I wrote a check for $648.76, which breaks down as follows:

$526.99 - Cost of the machine, on sale at $80+ off list
. 46.77 - Sales tax @ 8.875%. Fuck you Ah-nold. No, no, no, fuck you Gor-don
. 75.00 - Delivery and get-that-fuckin'-load-outta-my-sight fee
-100.00 - Power company rebate for 'energy star'. Actual money, not a credit on my bill.
- 75.00 - Delivery fee refund 'gift card' from Sears, just like money
$473.76 - Actual cost, said and done

Leaving me with $ 26.24 to fritter away as I please! Thank you, Barry.

Went back to Sears yesterday and frittered ten bucks of it away on one of these (roll over the picture. Wow.). First one, always used analog. Half-price sale.

We spent our stimulus responsibly as we were supposed to, and we spent it locally for something we needed and we have enough left over for a down payment on a pizza. We're so proud of ourselves we could just shit.

And our Sears store has a coupla satisfied new customers.

No comments: