Friday, September 12, 2008

The Law of Target, or How $17.99 headphones cost me $111.00 and too much gas

We're flying from Virginia to San Diego (via Boston but don't even get me started on that) to visit my sister. One of the reasons I chose the airline I chose is that they have DirectTV at every seat. Of course we won't let our son watch TV the entire time but it will serve as a good distraction for at least part of the long journey (made much longer by going through Boston but like I said, don’t get me started).

Yesterday afternoon I realized that while my husband and I will use our iPod ear buds, Lucas needed his own set of headphones for the plane.

Off to Target!

After I meandered through every other section, I finally got to the audio aisle in the very back of the store and found several options for child-sized headphones. I chose the $17.99 version of a brand I knew (which were on sale from $21.99) over the $14.99 version of a brand I didn’t recognize. (Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who seems to think that more expensive = higher quality. That probably deserves its own post!)

In the $1 bins I found some cute board books including Sesame Street books on counting, shapes and ABCs and some Halloween books. I picked up 6 board books for $6. Yeah, they're fairly lame but having 6 new books on the plane will certainly keep Lucas occupied for a little while and if we leave one behind somewhere it won't bother me in the least.

When I got to the register did I have only the headphones and board books in my cart?

Oh no.

I had lots and lots more, taking my approximately $26 shopping trip up to $111.

The Law of Target was in full effect!

You know, the Law of Target. It’s happened to you, too. Somehow you can not leave Target without spending between $80-$100. No matter what. That’s the Law of Target.

When I got home I greedily took everything out of the bags to admire. I put out my new door mat (hey, I needed a new door mat!), admired the cute birthday gifts for my niece (they were on clearance! Her birthday is fast-approaching at the end of the month!) and was all set to check out those headphones.

Wait? Where were the headphones?

Not in any of the bags. Not in my trunk. Mysteriously the only place I could find the headphones was ON MY RECEIPT!


I called and explained that I was just there, had purchased and paid for headphones yet they were not to be found in any of my bags.

Come on back and pick them up, I was cheerily told.

So, back in the car, drive to Target, park, walk to Customer Service, explain again.

Now, wouldn't you think that my cashier, upon finding that she didn't give me the bag with the headphones, would have taken that bag to Customer Service where it would have sat, waiting for me to come back and get it?

Wouldn't that make sense?

Apparently not.

When I got there I had to walk through the entire store (with more things calling out buy me! buy me!—I resisted) to the audio department to get another set of headphones and bring them back to customer service where they rang them up as a return/exchange (which also doesn't make much sense to me).

Headphones secured, I got back in the car and drove home to pick up Lucas from the babysitter feeling totally annoyed about the whole thing. Darn headphones!

After dinner, when I plugged them into my iPod for Lucas, the look of pure delight on his face was worth every second of aggravation. He loved them. He called them "MY telephones!" (I tried to correct him but he wouldn’t have it, they were telephones, Mama!) and danced all around the dining room. When a slow song came on, he closed his eyes and swayed just a bit as the most fantastic little smile spread across his face.

Oh man, I sure do love those headphones!

Adapted for DC Metro Moms from Aimee's personal blog, Smiling Mama, where she writes about life with a toddler (when she isn't spending too much money at Target!).


Elaine said...
Even at $111, if the goodies from Target keep your child happy on the flight to San Diego (by way of Boston, no less), they're worth every penny.

cassie said...
I went into Target yesterday for toilet paper and birthday cards, and ended up spending $104. I really shouldn't be allowed to leave the house!

JessicaAPISS said...
Soooo been there. And at the one nearest my house the GO clothes lines are always RIGHT THERE STARING AT ME the minute I walk in and on the way to the kid section, and the new makeup is lurking right behind the paper towels. Evil.

Linda said...
OMG....this was me today. I had to make myself put down the Halloween T-shirts. They're only $4 my head says. But it's not even October. They'll be gone before october gets me, buy me. I put them back. Stupid Target.

Judy in KY said...
I think I'm going to go out and buy stock in Target!

marketing Mommy said...
The Law of Target was in full effect for me yesterday. I went in to get tights, Aquadoodle pens, cat litter and slippers and $105 later...

Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama said...
This same thing happened to me last week. I went in to return something and ended up walking out with $75 worth of merchandise! At least I didn't meander through the rest of the mall racking up other purchases! I totally would have but was short on time!

Justice Fergie said...
This is so true it's not even funny. As I always say: "Target gets ALL my money." I literally spend $100 EVERY.TIME.

Those people are geniuses.

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...
My problem is the Target pharmacy. They are the only ones I trust with my prescriptions. And what a marketing plan, because those 20 minutes while I am waiting for them to mix up the kid's amoxicillin? I spend at least $100.

Vicky said...
MF'er I'm headed to Target now and I know this will happen. I have a list of items to purchase but just reading about the dollar bin has me swooning and plotting which is sick and pathetic.

I love/hate you Target.

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

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