Walmart: There is a price for cheap

By glblguy

Walmart
Photo by: tom.arthur

I have this love/hate relationship with Walmart. I love the fact that they have pretty much everything you could ever want all in one place. I find their stores easy to navigate and the their overall selection excellent. Their prices are hard to beat as well. While they aren’t always cheaper on everything, I’ve seldom found any local store offering a lower price than Walmart.

My wife loves Walmart. We have a supercenter literally 5 minutes from our house which is both convenient and dangerous. My wife even does our primary grocery shopping their due to the low prices.

Here’s the problem: I literally HATE going to Walmart. I hate going their so much, I’d rather pay extra money to avoid it. Here’s why:

Parking

Unless you go early in the morning, say before 10:00am or you go late in the evening after 10:00pm finding a decent parking place is difficult. It seems that our Walmart is always packed. I don’t mind walking, but parking in the back forty when it’s 90+ degrees outside isn’t my idea of fun.

As if finding a parking space isn’t bad enough, just getting to one without getting in an accident is challenge. Walmart’s are so busy, the parking lot reminds me of interstate traffic during rush hour. There are cars and people everywhere and avoiding hitting one or the other requires intense focus. I get stressed out every time we make that left turn into the main parking lot. Maybe I should invent a new game for the Wii…hmmmm.

People everywhere

Unfortunately, we aren’t the only one’s that have recognized the great selection and prices Walmart offers. The rest of the world has as well, and I think they all visit our local Walmart. I am amazed at how many people are actually in the store at most any given time. Navigating the store is far more difficult than navigating the parking lot. While I don’t find the aisles particularly narrow, I do find them full. When you get 3 or 4 people on each aisle all trying to go their own way with those big’ol shopping carts, it’s a bit chaotic. As with parking, just walking around the store stresses me out and frankly just puts me in a bad mood.

Checking out

While difficult to deal with, I am willing to deal with the parking, the chaos and the people to get the lower price. After all, you have to give up something for lower prices. Few things in this world are free or without cost right?

What I have the biggest issue with at Walmart is checking out. When you arrive at Walmart, it takes a little longer to find a parking space and a little more time to get what you need due to the people and the size of the store. What takes literally forever is waiting in line.

Not sure about your local Walmart, but ours probably has 30-40 registers. I would be surprised if we have ever been there and there were more than 50% of them open. Most times it’s more like 10 are open. Lined up at the ones that are open are usually 5-10 people with full shopping carts. On average, I’d say we spend anywhere from 15-30 minutes waiting in line, depending on how busy the store is.

The icing on the cake

For me, Walmart just isn’t worth it. For my wife though, it’s completely worth it. She doesn’t like waiting, but feels waiting a little extra is the price you pay for the discounted prices, so we wait anyway. What really does me in, and this occurs probably 50% of the time, is walking out the door and having the theft alarm go off. Far too frequently, the cashier fails to correctly deactivate the anti-theft system on some item we’ve purchased.

As a result, we get accosted by the senior citizen greeter at the front door who has to sift through all of the items we’ve purchased to find the offending item. They must then write down all the details of the item, validate your receipt and once again attempt to deactivate the anti-theft device. If you have more than one item, you may as well find a chair.

My time is valuable to me

I know my main issue is lack of patience, but at the same time my time is important to me. Instead of waiting at Walmart, I could be playing with my kids, playing Wii with my wife, working on our house, working on a new web project, or writing an article for one of my blogs. All of which are far more better uses of my time. The extra time and stress I waste at Walmart just isn’t worth the cost savings to me. To be honest, I’m not even sure what the real cost savings is.

Walmart: Why can’t you raise your prices just a bit and keep more of those lines open? Or how about coming up with a system where you you have extra lines and charge a premium for the people that go through those “express lines” ? I’d pay!

How about you? What’s your take on visiting Walmart and the cost of saving money? Am I just on a crazy rant or does my argument make sense? Add a comment!


56 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Walmart: There is a price for cheap”

  1. Greener Pastures Says:

    I’m really concerned about how Walmart can sell their products so inexpensively, so I don’t shop there as a rule. I’m very frugal, and theoretically Walmart is great, but I have read too many stories about their poor business practices to want to support such a company with my dollars.

  2. Laura Says:

    I’m jealous that yours can have 10 registers open. Last month there were only 4 lines open and they were approx. 12 carts (and more) deep. We only go there once a month for staples. If Food Lion or Harris Teeter has a sale on an item, I prefer going to them.

  3. Dan Says:

    I generally dislike shopping unless I’m with someone who I enjoy doing anything with. Therefore, when I’m with my wife I don’t mind spending a couple of hours in the Wal Mart supercenter and do all of my shopping right then and there. If I’m on my own, I greatly dislike the experience.

    Fortunately, there are a load of options where I live, including Aldi’s, Save A Lot, and other discount food stores, along with scores of farmers markets for fresh produce.

    I don’t have any profound points with this post, I guess. Just pointing out that time spent shopping can be enjoyable or agony, depending on who you are with.

  4. Rob Says:

    Looks like you need to practice patience. Park farthest away in the parking lot. When I go its funny to see people driving up and down looking for a parking spot. Most people need to lose weight anyways. Next, get there when it opens. Try leaving your cart at the end of the aisle out of the way, and walk down to pick something up. Then while waiting in line say a prayer, and remember the universe doest revolve around you.

  5. Kristen Says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way about WalMart. I don’t mind parking far away in the heat, or even the rain, but I do mind it when it’s the middle of January in Pittsburgh, and it’s 25 degrees and snowing. We’re lucky if our store has 5 registers open. And people seem to use the middle of the isles as a gathering space to catch up with people they haven’t talked to in months. I always leave there in a bad mood. Plus, several times we’ve bought items only to get them home and find they expire in a day or two. You really have to watch the dates on things there.

    The only reason I shop at WalMart is because my fiance likes to shop there because of the low costs. If I go shopping alone, I go to another store.

  6. MITBeta @ Don't Feed the Alligators Says:

    Wow, 4 reasons to hate Walmart that I hadn’t considered, since I haven’t set foot inside of one for years. Walmart is nothing but a bully to its suppliers, driving many of them out of business, a bully to its employees paying them low wages and little or no benefits, and disingenuous to its customers where often most item prices are actually higher than local competitors, but certain items are much lower which gives the impression of great savings.

    All of this so that Americans can enjoy the great American pastime: Consumerism.

  7. Lynnae Says:

    I’m really fortunate. Our Walmart is the only major store in our town. It’s not a Super-Walmart, so I don’t have to fight with the grocery shoppers.

    I normally shop first thing in the morning, anyway, so I haven’t found the crowds to be too bad. But even on the day after Thanksgiving it’s not bad.

    Now if we move, we’ll have to go to the Walmart in the next town. That one is a nightmare. So, I think it depends on the Walmart.

  8. That One Caveman Says:

    I avoid Walmart at almost all cost for the same reasons. I only step foot in that store if there is no other place to buy a specific item. (We can only find replacement mop heads for our mop there. Fortunately, that’s a once-a-year kind of trip.)

    After a few bad experiences with Walmart food, I’m more than happy to buy all of my food at Aldi and the local grocery. We have yet to try out the farmer’s market (can’t seem to get moving early enough on Sat morning), but I know we could get some of our favorites there for even cheaper.

  9. Gina Says:

    AMEN! My thoughts EXACTLY Gblb guy!! Add to your list … employees that can speak and UNDERSTAND English.

    Luckily we have a Super Target right across the street from the Walmart in my town. I tend to go there if it is during “normal” hours. One Sunday I skipped church and needed some party supplies. Walmart was empty. As nice as it was to be 1 of 20 people in the store, I would rather attend church.

    My decision to shop at Target has a lot to do with the issues MITBeta mentioned, especially the bullying and lack of respect for employees.

  10. Brent Says:

    This sounds like whining but I’ve never been where you are so just have to believe you that WalMart is so utterly packed while all the other stores are basically empty.

    In my area yes WalMart is busy and annoying but honestly all grocery stores and the like are just as busy. They each have crowded parking lots, full aisles and lines at check out. The business’s that didn’t have this problem are no longer around and have given way to the stores that are always crowded.

  11. castocreations Says:

    I don’t *love* our local walmart but I visit several times a month to get discounted papers, which I use for the coupons and don’t even read. :) It’s $0.50 cheaper for each Sunday paper and the time/wait is worth it when I’m buying several papers. Plus I can use the express lanes (which make you wait 10 minutes instead of 20). I hate the lines too…especially when there’s an annoying kid making a scene.

    Something I don’t look forward to is walking in to the customer service department to get anything taken care of (in this case they rang up my items not on sale so I need to get a refund)…it could take an hour and for $1.50 it’s not worth it. *sigh*

    Plus it’s usually beyond crowded (especially on Sundays) and they don’t always have what I’m looking for because they sell out.

    Otherwise I’m perfectly fine with shopping there…if I have the time to spare.

  12. "Mo" Money Says:

    I like Walmart, because of the selection (one stop shopping) and low prices.

  13. Cortni Says:

    I agree with you 100%!!!! I love the cheap prices but HATE the hassle!! I’m often torn because I want to go there to save money, but I don’t want to deal with it all. I’ll usually go there if I need a bigger item (i.e. more expensive) or if I need a lot of items. but lately, I have been going to a regular grocery store abotu 50% of the time and just buying items on sale because it’s a more pleasant experience to shop there. I rarely buy full price items, which can be a hassle because becuase if I really need something and it’s not on sale, I’ll just go without- but then again Wal Mart is often out of what I need anyhow! I fight this inner battle everytime I need to go grocery shopping :(

  14. Sarah Says:

    I am with your wife on this one. I agree with all of your observations, but it is so worth the trouble for the savings on most of the items I buy there.

    So I’m gonna have to say that I am very disappointed in your opinion in this case. Here I thought you were the frugality guru and then you diss Walmart–the hub of all frugal spending??!!!!
    (JK.) :-) My husband will not set foot in Target for very similar reasons (not to mention the fact that we spent 4+ hrs. registering for our wedding there, and he cannot stomach the thought of shopping there ever again.)

  15. Sarah Says:

    P.S. But now have a Super Target just a few miles from our new house, so that is quickly replacing my need for Walmart’s low prices.

  16. Amy Says:

    HI! OK, first time posting on a blog because I feel so passionately about how Walmart is an evil corporation. Please see the movie: WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price. My husband and I got it on Netflix and watched it a while ago, and it changed the way we think about shopping, especially at Walmart. I am a wife and mother of 5, soon to be 6 in September, so you would think I would be an advocate of Walmart, regarding low prices, but I cannot justify walking through their doors. I don’t have to buy diapers because we use cloth. Today we bought produce at our local farmer’s market, and chicken at our local health food store. By the way, I love your blog (I get it by email), but have never posted a note until now. I also forward most to my husband. If you get a yucky feeling walking into Walmart, there is probably a reason for it!

  17. castocreations Says:

    Amy…Do you believe everything you see in a movie? Perhaps look into the people who funded that movie. I *wonder* (not really) how influenced they are by the big Union thugs who hate WM.

    I’m not saying WM is the perfect corporation but calling them evil is just silly. No corporation is “evil” … it’s made of human beings. Do you really think the people who run WM are “evil”?

    A movie can be made to make anything/anyone look “evil”.

  18. Frugal Vet Tech Says:

    It’s not worth it to me. My biggest reason for not shopping there is the way they treat their employees. They don’t treat them well, they don’t pay them great (although I don’t think they pay any worse than similar retail stores), their “benefits” are terrible. Even if they treated their employees well, there are the additional issues:s they’re often out of merchandise, are crowded and dirty, have long lines, their overhead PA system is incredibly annoying and loud, and if you can find someone to ask for help they often can’t understand you. Husband and I both worked there for over a year and even when we worked there, we would often go across the street to Target after work to buy dinner or do our other shopping.

    At least for consumable items, Target is generally on-par with Wal-Mart for prices, and sometimes cheaper. They stay pretty competitive on consumables. Target may be a bit higher priced on some things, but the quality of their merchandise is higher, too.

    If you really dig in to the issue, Target may not be a whole lot better than Wal-Mart in some areas, but I know from experience that they do treat their employees better. Most Wal-Mart employees I know are very unhappy with their jobs. Most Target employees I know like or love their jobs, and even if they don’t, they don’t loathe the company like many Wal-Mart employees do.

    I love a good deal as much as everyone else here, but it’s not such a good deal if I have to go against my morals or standards to get it.

  19. Amy Says:

    Castocreations: Have you seen the movie? Let me know when you do. I do my own research on everything. And, like I said before, and like most people are saying, if you get a bad feeling while you are at a store, or any corporation for that matter, there is a reason for it, so use your dollar wisely!!! That is YOUR money, don’t settle!!!

  20. tiffanie Says:

    i used to love walmart. (i used to work there, too…for six years!) after some personal issues and them firing me for a disability…i refuse to shop there unless absolutely necessary. do i miss the deals? hell yes, i do. but it goes against my belief in MYSELF to give them my money :)

  21. Lee Says:

    (Wow, such negative comments!) I had to laugh at some of the points in your post, because you sound just like my husband. He likes Wal-Mart for the one-stop shopping and the great deals, but can’t stand it when it’s so crowded all the time, and he’ll circle the parking lot 3 or 4 times trying to find a good parking spot.
    Personally, I love going to Wal-Mart! I guess you have to take it by a store-by-store basis. Some are better than others, and some are run by different people.

    Ours here in south MS. seems to be the hub of our local area and therefore, majorly crowded, but it’s also the place to visit with numerous friends and family, as there’s always somebody we know there. Sure, the lines are horrible, but to me, the benefit of great deals outweighs it. I could stay in WalMart for hours, just looking around, and it seems there’s always just what I need around the corner, on sale.

    Anyway, I don’t stay for hours usually, because my sweetie is patiently(impatiently) making his way through the aisles following my list so we can get out as soon as possible. (I think it’s a guy thing to hurry through the store.) Loved this article, Gibble.

  22. Zee Says:

    Like several others have mentioned, I won’t set foot inside Wal-Mart because of their questionable business practices. I would rather pay a bit more and than support them.

  23. Vanessa Says:

    Honestly, we do a lot of our primary shopping there as well. Not only for groceries but for clothing, electronics, household items, ect.

    The one thing I hate, other than parking, the crowded aisles and waiting 30 minutes at the check out is the temptation. It is hard enough to stick strictly to a list of what you need to purchase. Walking into Walmart is simply a HUGE temptation to buy more than what you need, to buy wants. For the last week, I have been considering shopping at our local Piggly Wiggly or Food Lion, that way I buy just my groceries, not my food items plus those cute pink fuzzy slippers that scream comfort too.

    My Walmart sounds very much like yours. I miss when our town was small, with no body here, and you could be the only one in walmart at noon any given day.

  24. Elizabeth Gage Says:

    I would like to try to point out the connection between Christian or other moral values and whether or not to shop at Wal Mart. To me, true thrift must contain elements of sustainability, defined as what’s best in the long term for people, communities and the Earth. After all, we have dominion (as God told Adam in the Garden of Eden).

    Because of their lowest-price formula, Wal Mart has not only bullied suppliers and employees, but turned whole small towns into ghost towns by undercutting the mom n pop businesses that used to thrive there. Their entry into the organic food space threatens the standards that have been established, as they push producers to cut costs.

    I don’t fault consumers for seeking low prices. In fact, some economists say that Wal mart has appreciably raised the disposable income of lower-earning families. However, the dollar cost of goods at Wal Mart is not the only cost. If people factored in the cost of their own time and their quality of life ( and in some cases, the cost to get there) the prices might not look so low.

    My husband and I have chosen the route of buying less, making what we can (convenience foods for us are bread, canned beans and ice cream) and buying as much as possible locally (farmers market, locally owned stores). As ye sow, so shall ye reap?

    Elizabeth

  25. Lynnae Says:

    I don’t think it’s necessarily un-Christian to shop at Walmart. Walmart probably supplies half the jobs in our small town, and if it went out of business, all those people would have trouble feeding their families. And the mom & pop stores seem to be doing OK here.

    I think there will always be a market for people who are concerned about the earth & sustainability, and another market for people who seriously can’t afford anything more than Walmart prices.

    And as another commenter pointed out, Target sells things at prices competitive with Walmart. And as a former Target employee, I can tell you not all employees think highly of Target. There are plenty who don’t.

    I honestly think it depends on each individual store. Our small town Walmart has had the same employees for years. They seem happy with their jobs, the store is neat, and I’ve never waited more than 5 minutes in line. On a busy day, I can usually still find a decent parking space. On a slow morning, I usually get the front spot. So I don’t think all Walmarts are evil, and they do provide jobs for people who otherwise might not have jobs. And honestly, I think if you’re going to call Walmart evil, you pretty much have to say the same for Target and other big box stores.

  26. Jana Says:

    Oh brother. If Wal-Mart was such a horrible place to work, they wouldn’t be so deep in applications when they open new stores. Wal-Mart gets demonized because it’s the biggest, but you can find questionable business practices all over the place. Shop where you want, but seems to me that rhetoric about how “Christian” it is to shop there is rooted in pride rather than morality.

    As inflation continues and gas prices rise, prices are what are going to seperate the businesses that survive and those that do not.

    For the record, I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, because it is too far away from my home to be convenient.

  27. Paul Says:

    If it’s not between 1 am and 6 am i don’t go to walmart. There is a super target on the other side of the side of the complex. Can’t say if the prices are better or worse compared to walmart but they are batter then grocery store. Selection is less though so I end up at the grocery store once a month or so now. Everything else I’ve need i can find on line cheap enough and have it delivered :)

  28. Justin Says:

    While I don’t shop there for reasons that have been beaten to death many times, bullying and predatory business practices, I always found our local Wal-Mart to be dirty, to have items that were almost what I needed but not quite, I’d need a 15 amp fuse and they had a 10 or a 20 amp, for example. There is always the long line to checkout.

    They recently moved into a new location and is now a super Wally World locally, and it’s STILL dirty (but only 2 years old), they don’t offer anywhere near the meat or deli selection that the local Kroger offers, let alone the Butcher Shop I like. Their seafood “department” is severely lacking. Hell, even Meijer has a much wider selection and their stuff is bad.

  29. A.M.B.A. Says:

    So good to read that I’m not the only one who refuses to shop at a Walmart. I went in once (didn’t/couldn’t buy anything) and that was enough. It was just plain creepy. I’m so glad my town has other options.

  30. Allison Says:

    I wouldn’t know about these problems since I will not shop at Wal-Mart because of their horrible business practices. Wal-Mart is a company whose business practices involve taking over small towns’ local economies and putting mom and pop shops out of business, underpaying their employees and offering shoddy benefits (have you read “Nickel and Dimed?”) discriminating against female workers (largest class action lawsuit ever of its kind) and strong-arming manufacturers into lowering prices (having worked for one in trying to negotiate to sell at Wal-Mart, I know this first hand) and just funneling more and more money into China for cheap crap. While all this is bad, I really have an issue with what they do to our local economies. It makes it nearly impossible for people to start and succeed in any kind of small retail business.

  31. castocreations (hzk) Says:

    Allison – I call BS on the idea that Walmart makes it impossible to start and succeed at a small retail business. That’s just ridiculous. There are SO many small businesses out there and they are the back bone of this country.

    I own my own small business and do just fine. My target market is not someone who is going to buy jewelry at Walmart. They probably aren’t going to appreciate fine handcrafted jewelry. But there is a market for cheap jewelry too. And even then there are still handcrafted cheap jewelry people out there who do just fine. I know them personally.

    Blaming Walmart for all the world’s ills is just insane. In the super small town near my grandfather a Super Walmart opened up and spurred the economy – they didn’t ruin it. It’s GROWN and provided jobs that were NOT previous available.

    I’m just so sick of people crapping on Walmart for doing what a business does – growing and making a profit. Sheesh. As if Target, Fred Meyer, and any other store doesn’t try to do exactly the same thing.

  32. Zee Says:

    Casto said: Blaming Walmart for all the worldÂ’s ills is just insane. … IÂ’m just so sick of people crapping on Walmart for doing what a business does – growing and making a profit. Sheesh. As if Target, Fred Meyer, and any other store doesnÂ’t try to do exactly the same thing.

    Casto – I don’t think people are crapping on Walmart for doing what a business does or blaming “the world’s evils” on them. Target, Fred Meyer, KMart, etc. all do business in the same markets and seem to have avoided (mostly at least) the stigma that Walmart carries with it. The difference between these stores and Walmart is, Walmart has a history of discrimination (for a variety of things) and questionable treatment of its employees – including low pay, lousy benefits and a variety of other things (like forcing them to be trained off-the-clock.)

    If WM was being successful while treating its employees well and being a good corporate citizen, I would have no problem shopping there. Check out walmartwatch.com: I like this site because they offer citations to newspaper articles and other well-researched information to back up their assertions. Worth a gander, in my opinion.

  33. Shyla Says:

    I rarely shop at Walmart. Like twice a year. I hate it. Ever since watching The High Cost of Low Price I have a moral reason to not shop there as well. That said, I do go every now and then. One of those times just happened to be three nights ago. (The experience I had is what caused me to click on this link!) I found four pairs of clearance shoes for my kids that I could not pass up. When I got home, I realized they did not fit so I found myself in the return line the following day.

    Why is it necessary to scan and create a sticker for every return item? I stood there for 30 minutes while the greeter tried in vain to get the electronic scanner to work. Why? Why, why, why? They just scanned it again once I finally (yes, after waiting in yet another line) reached the return counter.

    So, so, so, not worth it.
    I hate Walmart and I believe I have finally learned my lesson.
    Target on the other hand, well…I love Target.

  34. LobotoME Says:

    I COMPLETELY agree! I literally left my cart full of (non-perishable( items the other day after more than a 40 minute wait in line. I just couldn’t DEAL a second longer. Give me our small town grocery store ANYDAY!
    jenny :)

  35. Kelly Says:

    WOW ~ I could have written this post myself!! Each & every one of the points you have made are my feelings EXACTLY whenever I even CONTEMPLATE going to that store. More often than not, I put it off (I only shop there once every few months or so for those very reasons), I just don’t want to deal with it! Guess I just don’t have the patience for it, oh well, there are worse personality flaws to have I suppose…

  36. Dana Says:

    I detest “wally world” for pretty much the same reasons. I find their prices are “okay” for groceries but their selections sucks. I like it in the winter if I need a variety of things and hate going from place to place with young kids.
    But I really hate walmart. It’s rare if I go. I do not grocery shop there!!!

  37. bee Says:

    I just gave up Walmart. I’ve had some issues with some of their business practices for years, but have always thought that I could not afford to NOT shop there. After many, many months of bad service, unpleasant customers, etc., I decided that it was not worth the cranky mood I was in each time I left.

    It’s been a few weeks now since I’ve shopped Walmart. And proudly, I haven’t broken the bank yet. I’ve only darkened their doors once to return a couple of baby shower gifts and I will return in the next couple of months to purchase diapers with the gift card I received at my baby shower.

    (Here via Simple Mom!)

  38. Alison @ This Wasn't In The Plan Says:

    I agree. For the reasons you listed, shopping there just stresses me out most of the time and I’d rather pay a bit more (maybe, some stuff really isn’t cheaper) to have a stress free shopping trip.

  39. Jen D. Says:

    My friend sent me this post and I cannot agree more. I have the same feelings and experience and in January I asked myself Why?

    I have successfuly made it through the first 6 months of this year without spending a dime of my money or an ounce of my sanity dealing with that place.

    It makes me wonder if you and I live within 5 minutes of the SAME walmart. I do the groceries at Aldi, shop the clearance at Target and in general I am better to live with.

  40. Renee Says:

    I agree – that is definitely the worst thing to deal with. What’s up with that, anyway. The lines can be 20 deep and they’ll still only have two cashiers open. Maybe we should start a boycott campaign. lol

  41. MITBeta @ Don't Feed The Alligators Says:

    Wow. This is the second time in 2 weeks that Glbl has stirred up a hornets’ nest!

  42. Christine Says:

    TEN registers?! We’re lucky to have FOUR open, and everybody in line has their cart loaded to the brim! That and their business practices are what I can’t stand. I’m to the point where I’m going to just pay a little more and go to Super Target. At least they have better quality items and a decent amount of cashiers.

  43. Jennifer Says:

    I also have a love/hate relationship with Walmart. And for us as well, no matter what walmart I have ever been to, checking out is a 20-30 minute affair. I now try to avoid it most of the time and refuse to shop there more than once a month.

  44. Funny about Money Says:

    For every two jobs a megacorporate chain like WalMart brings to a town, three are lost as local businesses are forced to close.

    I don’t shop at WalMart because of the way it does business. To my mind, the price is WAY too high!

    Shop local. It’s the responsible thing to do.

  45. chacha Says:

    I feel the same way about Walmart. I still go because it’s cheap, they always have everything, and it’s right around the corner from our house, but the experience is horrible. Parking lot is frustrating, the clientèle is questionable.

    One thing to avoid is getting your oil changed there. Sure, you might be able to go for a year and never have an issue, but eventually, it will bite you. On my car, I’ve had them break a lug nut when removing tires for rotation (then I had to bring the car somewhere else to fix it and get reimbursed), and not tighten the drain cap so that my car leaked oil on the driveway until my husband crawled underneath and tightened it up. On his car, they siliconed the drain cap on because it appears they might have stripped it. We’re done with their Oil and Lube.

  46. Dana Seilhan Says:

    My experience working for them: Never again. Aside from all the petty little annoyances that added up to a big annoyance, plus their sneaky little thing of giving part-timers more hours than they were HR-coded for while reducing full-timers’ hours so they couldn’t get health benefits… I went in there with retail management experience working for Van Heusen at which I STARTED as a part-timer making six dollars an hour, and at Wal-Mart they made me a cashier and paid me barely above minimum wage. Didn’t even give me any other options to get my foot in the door–I would have gladly stocked, for instance.

    And shopping there is psychologically draining for me. The place is ugly, most of the products they sell are ugly crap–literally, I could live without 90 percent of what they sell there–and I hate what they stand for.

    There is a difference between being frugal and being destructively cheap.

  47. Beth Says:

    I have a wonderful local grocery nearby and a Meijer (they did the one stop thing first, and better) just as close. I refuse to set foot in the walmart in my town. Not just because I’m not fond of them and have superior options closer to my place, but also because I think the site where they chose to build it is the most absurd and “hick” thing my city has ever done. Our walmart anchors the mall.

  48. David Says:

    Me thinks “castocreations (hzk)” might work corporate for them, no?

    I don’t shop there because I enjoy paying higher prices somewhere else, but rather because I want to support local companies that treat their employees a better with higher pay and benefits. There is plenty of bad news about WM that you don’t need to look too far to find out about the lawsuits, complaints, investigations, etc. into their business practices. As others before me had mentioned, check out the book “Nickel and Dimed” and that WM documentary. I won’t go into the argument about WM keeping lower income folks in that lower income bracket and how that circle keeps getting bigger, but the books and movies about WM explain it well. Sure, their prices are cheap…but at what and who’s expense are we willing to pay $.50 less for a product?

    Great post GLBL, way to stir it up!

  49. castocreations (hzk) Says:

    ha!! Trust me. I do NOT work for WM in any way, shape, or form. I’d probably hate working there because I pretty much don’t love retail. I just think it’s very easy to blame everything on WM – they are a huge target – and I don’t think it is fair or logical.

    I shop at local places – I love our local farmer’s market. But when it comes to saving money I am going to continue to shop at WM when necessary. Especially on items that other stores sell at higher prices (i.e. Tylenol, face wash, cleaning supplies). If I can combine sales with coupons and get things for nearly free why wouldn’t I shop there? It’s just logical.

    In fact, I just got back from WM this morning. I picked up some Starbucks coffee for hubby at $7 for a pound. Cheaper than most places (though Target will have it on sale for that price every once in awhile) and my local papers, which are on sale there every Sunday. There was NO one in the store…I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. I may have to start scheduling to go early because it was surprisingly clean and I parked right up front. :)

  50. Elizabeth Gage Says:

    Hi, earlier I posted some negative remarks about Wal-Mart, and I still have those concerns.

    However, I went to the Wal-Mart grocery area the other day to find some things that weren’t available at Costco, and remembered a big positive about the store: they are closest store that carries a useful selection of craft and sewing supplies.

    We have a couple of quilting suppliers in our small town, but WalMart carries other fabrics and patterns. The next closes place is 12 miles farther away.

    They also had a good stock of canning supplies that can be hard to find.

    So I have to back down from my harsh stance somewhat.

  51. Vinny Says:

    Yeah the parking can be a pain. And how come all the fat people drive around until they get a spot up front?

    The way I look at it at least I am saving money – maybe I’ll save it up and take the kiddos to Disney Land where I can drive through the miserable paking lots dodging fatties, walk down crowded lanes and wait in obscene lines. AHHH damn whats the difference!!!

  52. Easy Ways to Go Green Says:

    I actually can’t stand WalMart, or what it says about culture. I adore the specialist, the specialty shop, the days of old where one store represented on product or service, for which the proprietor was responsible, and at which they generally excelled. The butcher, baker, candlestick maker ethos. With the watering down of goods and services, we’ve slowly been turned into a culture with enormous expectations of convenience, and a general ability to accept just about anything, in terms of quality, when it means getting things cheaper.

  53. Jorge Says:

    It seems that u need more patience. Don’t let anxiety take tho most out of you. Walking is great I always park really far, its a good exercise. Its logical that most people go there, we are not rich that can afford high prices. Family to feed, Wal-Mart is, you save money.

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