Steve Martaindale

Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series

Power

Power - 6-18-16We’ve all heard the power of word-of-mouth advertising. Today, I experienced it first-hand.

Our vacuum cleaner is rather old and my wife has been wanting for a while to put it out to pasture, but she’s been reluctant to wade into the research to determine just what would be best.

And then her cousin entered into the equation.

Emily raved about her Shark Navigator vacuum and everything she liked about it was among Leah’s requirements for a new machine. Get this, Emily was so sold on it, she bought a second one based on her experience that great items such as her perfect vacuum are too often changed or phased out. She’s thinking long term, people.

With that information, we went shopping this morning. This will be an easy mission. There will be no comparison shopping, just find the one Leah wants and we’ll be back home before you know it.

We started at Walmart because Leah was told they have it. Well, yes, but all they have right now is the display unit. We were told by a scanner-wielding associate that another was in transit and should arrive tonight. Of course, we’re in town today and won’t be tomorrow.

Leah started punching away on her smart phone and found a list of stores that supposedly carry the Sharks. My job was to chart a course to take us by them. Luckily, they were all in the same corner of Batavia, N.Y. First was Home Depot. Once we failed to find them, it took only two employees to locate the display, but no luck.

Second … wait, that would be third … was OfficeMax. Nope, they only sell vacuums through their online store. Sorry for the confusion.

Fourth was Kohl’s. There were quite a few and, wait, yes, here it was on display. Alas, there were no others in stock. “We can order it and have free shipping.” We’ll get back to you on that.

By now, we were on a mission.

In the same shopping center was Bed, Bath and Beyond. They had something similar and, for the first time, Leah seemed to waver just a bit. Maybe a different one would be OK. But, no, she held firm and we moved next door.

Sixth was Target. Again, there was a pretty good selection; again, it didn’t have just the right one. And Leah was getting really close to accepting a different style, but the higher price helped her stick to her guns.

We’re about to run out of stores by now, but she found some reference to Valu Home Centers having the vacuum. That was another swing and a miss; they only stocked wet/dry vacs. Now, we’re pretty much resigned to ordering it online.

Wait, we’ve not been to Kmart. Why not? Let’s go.

Eighth, we walked through the door with a sign proclaiming “Blue Light Specials” are back. OK, I’m sure that’s nice, but do you have Leah’s vacuum?

And there it was. In fact, they had a demo model and three in boxes. We carefully evaluated as well as we could – not assisted to any great degree by a box that told us next to nothing – and decided this Shark Navigator Light is … drumroll, please … just what we’re looking for.

Confetti did not fall from the ceiling, but it would have been appropriate.

The purchase was made. We returned home and Leah put it to the test. Hallelujah, she proclaimed it the best vacuum she’s ever used.

Why did we spend all morning going to eight different stores just to finally make a purchase?

Word of mouth.

Yes, it really is that powerful.

Uh, have you told anybody about how much you enjoyed my books? Hmm?

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