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Pet Peeves In The Marketplace

I only shop for myself when the sales are on. I decided long ago that if a garment isn’t in my size, my color, and on sale I won’t buy it. But when I begin to look I often find the racks featuring sizes four through ten are packed with the coolest colors and styles, while those for sizes twelve and up offer fewer pieces of less appealing  apparel?

Frankly, this puzzles me.  I would think if more small sized clothing is left over each season, it would make sense for the buyers to purchase fewer pieces in that category and more in the larger sizes. Perhaps they have reasons I don’t know about, but my suggestion certainly seems to be reasonable.

And while I’m complaining (which I try not to do, but every once in a while a good vent clears the air and allows one to move on to more productive thinking) I’ll add another example of merchandising that upsets me. Why is it that once I find a product that is exactly what I want and need, the manufacturer decides to replace it with something else? This has occurred with several products, from shades of cosmetics to shoes. When I return to purchase another, I find it is “no longer available.”

Maybe sales for the product that appealed to me were less than anticipated or maybe the thought of something “newer and better” held more promise for increased profit. (It always goes back to the money!)

In the grocery stores “new and improved” is a major theme. So many variations in flavor are produced that those of us who prefer the “original” must spend extra time searching the shelves for the box marked “original.” You can’t buy a can of tomatoes without considering your upcoming menus and deciding if you should buy diced, stewed, petite diced, or crushed.  No wonder grocery shopping takes so much time!

I realize products such as cheese, lunch meat, etc., are packaged and sealed mechanically and sometimes the printed directions telling you where to tear the “easy to open” plastic package may not be in the right place. But after struggling with such packages, I now get the kitchen scissors and cut where I need to cut without attempting to follow the printed directions.

As senior citizens, Harry and I purchase mail order medications. The service is good, the products accurately labeled, and packaging material is sufficient but not overdone. Not so for many over-the-counter medications. Why does it take three plastic bottles, each with a few pills? Why is this packed in a substantial cardboard box, than sealed inside a film of plastic? My only guess is that you appear to purchase a large quantity of medicine, but when it’s unwrapped, almost all the medication can fit inside one of the bottles.

Before I close, I must add one other complaint. Those lotion bottles with pumps are certainly convenient – that is, until you reach the last half inch of lotion! You can’t turn the bottle upside-down, unless you have a cap that doesn’t have a pump attached. That is my solution but it seems they could find some way to curve that tube so it will suck up the entire amount you purchased.

As Americans, we are fortunate to have so many products available for our consumption, and indeed a variety of choices to make. I am truly thankful for that, and apologize for airing my displeasure at such petty problems. Now that I have, I certainly feel better and thank you for listening. I may even head for the mall and check out the sales!

– Mary Jo Shannon

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