Showing posts with label showrooming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label showrooming. Show all posts

Coffee Table Showrooming

So we're slowly trying to furnish our living room and office with new furniture since we got rid of the old stuff. Last weekend we rode our motorcycles around town and visited several furniture stores looking for the perfect coffee table. I had also been surfing the furniture websites for ideas and to see if there was anything that met our needs. This is called showrooming, its a trend where consumers go to brick and mortar stores to see and touch the merchandise they want, try it on, but then leave the store and go home and order it on the web.
 
Vendors don't really like this trend since they have to maintain the inventory and sales people, but then they never close the sale. This is why certain stores are price matching online vendors this coming black Friday season - Target, Babies R Us, and Toys R Us will price match online merchants such as Amazon, Walmart.com, Bestbuy.com. Just show the cashier the price on the competitor website on your smartphone, or the cashier will look it up and they will match the price from Nov 1 thru Dec 16.
 
Anyway, back to the coffee table. We want a coffee table that is on casters (wheels) so it can be moved easily, it must have drawers for storing the remotes, coasters, pens, letter openers and TV guide. It also needs a shelf to store the paper cutter because it is DH's job to cut coupons and he does this while watching TV using the coffee table. We were also looking for something relatively small with a width of no more than about two feet. And we wanted it to match our themed woodwork of cherry. So we've looked at lots of coffee tables and finally found some that kind of met the criteria. The one in the picture above is either 26 or 28 inches deep, but it meets our needs in every other way. We really didn't want to even go 28 inches, but we might have - we'll have to see.
 
So, we saw this coffee table at a nearby furniture store for the value price of $139.99, with a matching end table for another $139.99. But it was 28" wide. When we asked if they shipped to store for free, they said they did if we wanted to pick it up, otherwise shipping was $119 ($420 total w tax and shipping). So we left and went home to shop online. I found the another coffee table online that said it was 26" wide for $190 plus it had free shipping and no tax, plus I had a $20 coupon. So the deal was $360 shipped to our door. So we thought about it and ordered it online this week. Then I  happened to be cleaning off pictures from my phone and found the above and it looked exactly like what we had bought. And when I checked both websites it was the same table. So I contacted the vendor where we bought the coffee table and inquired about the low price guarantee they had. They said they couldn't match $139 because it was too low. I offered to split the difference with them which would be about $38. But then they noticed I had used a $20 coupon so they backed off that offer and only gave me $18 credit for the price match. I told them this was unacceptable and I wanted to cancel my order. So I canceled. Maybe.
 
I figured I better let DH know what was going on with this deal. And when I explained they wouldn't do the price match, of course he lost his cool, almost had a heart attack he was so mad, and he got on the phone with them. After much discussion with the manager he was unable to convince the store to honor the price match promise of ten percent. He threatened to let everyone online on twitter, facebook and google know how this company doesn't care about customer service. He said his wife (me) is a deal blogger and would spread the word online to let everyone know how they treat customers. Then he hung up. And we went out to do a secret shop at Fat Guys (the burger joint). And then I had to submit my report, but then first I checked email.
 
And guess what. There was a nice little email from the furniture store manager explaining how he had reconsidered our request and made an exception to honor it, and the additional credit was on our invoice. How nice. Plus another email saying they couldn't cancel our order, so it was coming.
 
But it's not over because I just checked email today, and our order has shipped again. But this time it shows they sent two end tables and we only ordered one. So, of course we're going to let them know, but now we'll have to get return authorization, schedule a fed ex pickup and deal with the hassle of it all. Maybe they'll just tell us its a gift for all our trouble and to keep it. We may offer to just keep the extra end table if they give it to us for the price match price of $139.99.
 
Any ideas? How would you handle this?

Watch for part 2 of the coffee table drama.