For weeks now I’ve been browsing the web trying to find an affordable and most importantly, available Wii console. You see, a few weeks back my best friend got me addicted to Dance Dance Revolution. No, I’m not 12, but I am a sucker for those kinds of active challenges. Ever since then I’ve been obsessing over which console I should buy so that I can feed my addiction.
I am a web marketer IRL and I will confess, I live by the web. I buy most everything online, including groceries when I can (Peapod rules). I do buy clothes from stores but only when I’m in Minnesota, as I found they have a great sense of fashion, available sweaters year-round and 0% tax on clothing. Cook County, which includes Chicago has a 9% sales tax, and there are ongoing tax discussions to raise tax to 11%. No, I didn’t type that wrong. 11% is what the politicians in the area are discussing. So you can’t blame me that I think twice before buying anything from the stores around here.
Back to the Wii. My search ended today. As I said, I looked all over the web, and the only sites that advertise Wii “in stock” are sites I’ve never heard of. Also, they advertise these wii packages for about $360, which is about $100 more than the retail price.
In my confidence that the web rules all other means of trade, I didn’t think to look in stores. Until postifthen recommended calling a store.
I looked at the Nintendo Wii website and saw Sears is a Wii retailer. Wouldn’t you know it, the Sears store down the street from me had one in stock. Even the store clerk was shocked.
Since I first published this post I found additional creative ways to find a Wii.
Which reminds me, this is the second week in a row where I experience the disconnect between online and brick and mortar stores. Last week I needed a fog machine and I checked the website of a Halloween store. The site told me there were no fog machines available in the stores within my zip code, but they did offer rush shipping (at extra cost) from their warehouse. I needed a fog machine that day so in my desperation I went to Walmart (I think Walmart is like the jesus of stores, we all look to it for salvation), after also seeing on their website that “this item is not available in stores.” I found the fog machine at Walmart… but I couldn’t check it out. The SKU wasn’t in their system… Discouraged I left Walmart and noticed the before-mentioned Halloween store across the street. I decided to give it a try and not only did they have a fog machine, they had two different kinds!
So I think that in this day an age even though the expectation is that retailers would integrate their stock-tracking software with their online platforms and front-ends, many companies aren’t all that well integrated, including large retailers such as Sears.
So if you can’t find a Wii online, and websites tell you they’re out of stock, dust off your phone and call those good-old brick and mortar stores. Who knows, you may find a Wii that didn’t get sold because people like me put all their faith in the power of the web.