grow, marvel, eat, laugh, persevere

Monday, November 12, 2007

Are You A Sneaky Shopper?

Yesterday when I went to buy my new leaf blower/chopper upper, I was lured over to the shrubs and trees by an evil 75% off sign. 75% OFF! THAT IS PRACTICALLY FREE, PEOPLE! I was immediately drawn to this Weigela Wine & Roses for $6.25. Now, since I've never heard of this shrub let alone read about the growing conditions I decided it would be best to go home, research it and ask an experienced gardener if it's too late to plant it (thanks, Carolyn!). After all, 6 bucks is 6 bucks. After getting the nod of approval from Carolyn I decided to run by HD and pick up a couple after work today. I just love the deep green and burgundy leaves and apparently it has a nice pink flower, too. So I get to HD this afternoon all excited and there were none left!!! I just kept cussing myself for not grabbing them when I had the chance. I'm trying so hard to break this impulse buying habit. Then, off in the distance I saw one little homely plant that looked sorta like the ones I'd seen yesterday but it had no tag with a name, just a number. As I was making my way into the cashier to ask her to look it up for me I see these 2 carts filled with beautiful shrubs over in the corner. 5 beautiful Weigela Wine and Roses along with lots of other beautiful things. I asked the very young cashier if they were sold and she says "Not that I know of. Go ahead and take what you want and I'll just tell them I didn't know they were sold if they ask me." Crap! A moral dilemma over a damn shrub! I'm thinking that whoever stumbled on these was just as happy as I was and probably put them all to the side to go home to get the truck. What do I do??? I saw them first!! I was just trying to be responsible!! So, I took 2. Not only did I take 2, but I pulled the cart out, took every one of the Weigelas off and picked the absolute best looking 2 and put my little raggedy one on the cart. Not only did I take the best 2 but I actually looked at all the other shrubs on the cart - this person had very similar taste as mine. I condsidered buying others but thought better of it. THAT seemed wrong. All is fair in love and end of season plant sales!!

Am I going to hell for this? What is proper etiquette for plant sales? This whole hiding plants on a cart reminds me of when you find a shirt you love and they only have one left in your size so you hide it in some other whole section like men's jeans hoping nobody will buy it till you come back.

What about you guys? Are you sneaky shoppers? What would you have done in my situation?


  1. I would have done the same, don’t think about it. Besides the store clerk gave you an out.

  2. Gina, this is hilarious! Rule #1 at plant markdown sales is NEVER let your plants out of your sight (unless you tie a big mean dog to the cart.) The fact that you even hesitated over the moral dilemma is a sign of your good character--I like to THINK I would have hesitated before dashing to the register with those wiegela! (Great plants, by the way.)

  3. Hey, who took my shrubs!? I had them parked over there and the sales clerk promised me she'd watch them until I got back!

    Kidding... if the other person wanted them that bad, and just needed to go home to get their truck or something like that, they should have paid for them, and marked them clearly SOLD. Then it would obviously be wrong to take them.

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  4. rusty - thanks for stopping by!

    david - i have no big mean dog so i'll just have to grab and go!

    carol - i saw no sold sign, but i wasnt looking that closely for one ;)

  5. I love it! You sound just like me. I would have felt guilt for about as long as it took me to get the nicest loooking wiegela's out of that cart, and into mine!

  6. You are doomed and will go to a hell filled with dead black wiegelas!

    Shameless ! So you're the ONE who put that shirt in the men's section ?

    What is the proper etiquette for plant sales you dare ask ? NEVER let your plants out of your sight as David so aptly put it , unless you have a Pit Bull guarding them.

    I can't believe those shrubs were paid for because then it would have to be clearly marked as such. We tie yellow and blue tape around carts that are being held for someone but they have to be paid for first and clearly marked "SOLD. "

    But I do know how it feels to have something really stolen from you because it happened to me at the garden center and the tree that was paid for and set-up for delivery was snatched off the inventory lot by another landscape designer who had no qualms in changing my sold sign ! To top it off it was one of only two and they were for matching containers. So I was screwed.

    I was at the garden center with a client one day and she had a shopping cart full of plants she'd pulled and when she turned around she saw a man pushing the cart out of the lot. She took chase and caught the sneaker. It was so comical I couldn't help but laugh.

    So I am happy that you got your wiegleas and that you had a sense of morality, if only for a moment before greed took over. I bet there was a trail of smoke behind you as you rushed for the door !

  7. You'll never get into the big compost bin in the sky stealing plants like that. ;0)

    Funny story.

  8. I would have taken them. If there isn't someone guarding the cart it is fair game! Of course, if there were personal belongings in the cart -- like a coat -- signalling that they ran for a potty break or to go to their car for their check book, I might wait a few minutes to see if they returned.

    Unless I REALLY wanted the items!! ;)

  9. I'll have to agree with everyone else. If the person had really wanted them, she (he?) wouldn't have just walked away from the cart. And you did make a concerted effort to find out if there was an "owner". Wiegela are hardy and very pretty shrubs that don't go crazy - well behaved, I'd say. You'll be very happy next year when they bloom too.

  10. Hell, I'd have swiped them in seconds. I'm dead impressed by your moral compass. Mine went missing, I'm sorry to say, some time ago.

  11. I'm with the rest of the commenters. If someone else really wanted them, they shouldn't have left them sitting there like that! I've been known to walk around "crazily clutching" (as the husband would say) a plant that I just thought I might buy so someone else didn't grab it before I decided whether to buy it or not. All's fair in love and plant shopping :-)

  12. Well Gina, My theory is $$ in pocket, Plant in hand... no SOLD sign means the plant is mine.

    You should enjoy your plants.

  13. Carol stole my joke ;)

    I probably wouldn't have taken them only because this reminds me of the time I fell asleep on a plane (imagine that) and the guy next to me ate my peanuts and had the nerve to leave the empty wrapper out for me to see. I caught him and yelled at him.

  14. I was at TJ Max and when I went in to try on some clothes someone had lifted a shirt out of my cart that I had selected. I was outranged that someone had the gall to shop my cart. Will the person go to hell? Of course not and I can forgive them - but at the time I was dumbfounded.

    As for your situation - I would have probably walked around the garden center and asked if the cart belonged to someone. Odds are that the plants were put there by an employee or a shopper that left the store. As for Hell - you seem remorseful so your safe.

    Rule number 1 - if you ever see any Proven Winners plants on sale buy them immediately because they're all very good plants - you cannot go wrong. I have several Wine and Roses in my yard and they're fantastic!

  15. I think they were fair game if they left them there.

    Carol has an excellent point!

  16. I think the HD workers put them in the cart to dump in the waste management bin! You saved them! You are a hero! Sometimes they make people pay for their garbage! Sometimes the garbage is worth paying for! Good job!

  17. Gina, you are hilarious! And a girl after my own heart. You snooze, you lose!

    I had some plants sold out from under me at the Cincinnati Flower Show one year. When you buy there, they have a holding area where you can pick them up when you're ready to leave. When I got there to pick mine up, one of them was missing. I asked them about it, showed them my receipt and they felt awful because they had no more left. They offered both a refund and a replacement plant of my choice, which was fair, although I really wanted the one I'd bought initially.
    Enjoy your plants!!

  18. My theory and practice of shopping - if you find something interesting and cheap, buy it. Especially if you can return it (that's for clothing). With plants, you can usually find a spot for it and, if not, someone who could use the plant. The peremptory strike mode of shopping avoids most of those nasty moral dilemmas. However, it doesn't help with trying to stop impulse buying.

  19. LOLing @ Rosemarie's airplane story.

    Reminds me of a time when I was working a store in college and one of my coworkers ate the boss's lunch.

    Now mind you there were only four of us working and it wasn't like he wasn't going to miss the food he brought for his lunch break.

  20. If I see a wonderful plant and decided to purchase the plant? Very quickly I pay for the plant and take them to my car. Why?? Because, exactly that happened to me once at Costco's Warehouse. Somebody took my beautiful orchid I selected out of my shopping cart and there was no other in the same colour.
    But there is always a lesson to be learned..Now my husband watches my cart:-))
    Besides that I agree with david in greensboro, nc..
    cheers and I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving..