After two decades of listening to the wish lists of kids of all ages at the Union Square Macy’s in San Francisco, Santa Claus is out on his jolly old ass. And it’s all over a joke he claims he’s told thousands of times before.
While Santa and his pointy-eared, non-union laborers toil away at the North Pole, the editors of our more famous sibling publication Consumer Reports have compared their notes on a wide variety of companies’ policies on everything from guarantees to fees to refunds and distilled it down to the best and worst of the lot in their first-ever Naughty & Nice Holiday Shopping List.
We all know that hotel site photos lie. Here’s proof!
Everyone wants a bargain, which is why more Americans shop at discount chains like Target and Walmart than at any other type of big store. But a new survey of more than 30,000 subscribers by the Consumer Reports National Research Center reveals that folks are also finding low prices at department stores, warehouse clubs, and general-merchandise retailers. We recently reported on why consumers shop where they do.
Not inundated enough with ads and coupons? Good, because the country’s largest operator of shopping malls is launching a program that will use audio waves to beam both coupons and ads straight to shoppers’ mobile phones.
In 2004, a “ruby-glass composite”–basically a mixture of ruby and leaded glass–hit the jewelry market. At the time, a jewelry industry watchdog group “concluded that the stones could not be sold as rubies or precious gems under Federal Trade Commission guidelines, since they lacked the durability and value of bona fide rubies.” But Macy’s has been selling them as good old-fashioned rubies, and its salespeople have been neglecting to tell shoppers the truth at the moment they purchase the pieces, writes David V. Johnson of the SF Public Press.
The deal aficionados on the FatWallet message boards have various discussion threads devoted to providing the most current coupons for a slew of stores. Rather then dig for them, here’s a master list of their official store coupons and clearance threads. Members routinely get rid of dead coupons and post new ones, so this is definitely one to bookmark:
Let’s face it — most world records are utterly pointless, no matter how impressed I am by someone who can pogo stick while balancing a bowl of sulfuric acid on his head. But department store Macy’s and makeup giant Estee Lauder teamed up yesterday for something truly inane — to set the record for most lipstick applications in an hour.
As part of a $1.7 million settlement, over 40 major retailers and apparel manufacturers have agreed to cut back on the amount of lead used in handbags and other accessories.
You never know when an opportunity to haggle might present itself when you’re out shopping, as our reader Marty demonstrates. He was able to get a 10% discount on a blazer at Macy’s just by asking the clerk at the register.
Macy’s got punked. The fliers announced performances in Missoula, Montana, by Dave Matthews Band and other bands as a special “reinvesting in the community” “Goodbye Celebration” by Macy’s and Smurfit-Stone, two longtime businesses that had recently shut down and laid off hundreds of workers while top company executives received millions in bonuses. But Dave and his band would not be there, nor would Michael Franti or Slightly Stoopid. Nor the Mayor or the Governor. And there definitely would be no $5,000 prize drop. It was all a hoax hatched by angry ex-employees trying to draw attention to the negative economic impact the businesses’ departures would have on the community.
We try not to be too paranoid about the cleanliness of things we purchase. We’ll purchase used books, buy vintage clothing, drive pre-owned cars. But the “Ick Factor,” as it’s known in the world of science, jumps off the charts when it comes to used undies. But that’s exactly what NBC claims to have discovered at several retail stores.
Women’s Wear Daily says that Madonna is in talks with Macy’s to launch an exclusive women’s collection that would include apparel, accessories, intimates, and footwear. “Label names under serious consideration for the product lines include Material Girl for the apparel and Truth or Dare for the lingerie and underwear.” I’m crossing my fingers there’s a “Papa Don’t Preach” maternity line in the works as well.
UPDATE: Macy’s does accept cash refunds with a receipt, according to a CSR at a Tucson location.
Want your credit line increased, APR lowered, or your declined credit card application approved? Begging and pleading with customer service not getting you anywhere except front row seats to your personal puddle of shame? Then give some of the “backdoor numbers” a shot.
The crush of consumers packing the department store’s eight-story shopping emporium on 34th street in Manhattan would seem to belie the notion that this will be a dark Christmas for retailers. However, the red crossouts on the price tags reveal two, three rounds of price-slashing. While the crowd is packed, their shopping bags are not. Passing underneath arches of holiday bowers sported animated signs with sparkle dust writing out “Believe,” they are gleaners, browsing for bargains, and choosing but a few of them. I took a panorama shot. (2000 pixel version)