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June 07, 2010

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Stuff Mentioned:

Moderately Priced Consumer Electronics - We bought our 47" Phillips TV from Walmart online during a Thanksgiving week special 3 years ago.

Smart Phones - We don't have Smart Phones.

Coffee - We don't drink coffee either.

Video Game Bundles - We purchased our Wii from Gamestop 4 years ago when it first came out because I made friends with a Gamestop employee that hooked me up for my husband's Christmas gift. We get the games used from online.

Laundry Detergent - we buy it at Sam's Club so I only have to get it a couple of times a year.

High-End Electronics - We don't buy high-end electronics either apparently...the tv is the most expensive electronic we own...

Books - Library mostly and Amazon.com for the rest.

Wood Furniture - We get whatever we need from wherever I can find it the cheapest. Most of our furniture is really nice hand-me-downs but we bought a solid wood bedroom set for $3000 from Galley Furniture last year.

Here's my list of what we buy at Walmart:

-Lunch Meat
-Canned vegetables
-OTC medicines
-Gardening supplies and plants since you can return ones that die.
-Basic clothes (ummm...every kind of clothing but I use Kohl's and Goodwill too)

What we don't buy at Walmart:

I can't think of anything that I wouldn't at least check their price for...ummm...my car. I would not buy my car from Walmart. :-)

Seriously though, I price check a bunch of places before making purchases more than $20. Walmart is usually in that list...

I used to buy baby formula at our super Walmart because they sold name brands at a very low price, but I avoid shopping there now.

Walmart's just too gross and sketchy (both the store and the people shopping in it). I feel like I have to wash my hands after even shopping there! However, my kids do like their nintendo DS games and they also have certain lego sets that other stores don't so we sometimes go there.

I don't buy clothes at Walmart after the first few tries because their baby clothes were incredibly trashy and shrank horrendously or fell apart when they were washed just once. Even though I'm tempted by their low prices, I know I'm better off buying kids (& my) clothes at Target--even pajamas are much better quality.

I do shop at Sam's Club--it's a whole different story than Walmart and decent if you can use the large quantities of the few things they carry. I haven't bought their electronics, though, because they didn't have the models I wanted. I buy my electronics at a local Best Buy (I know, I know, but my local BB's tech and help is very good--I'm sure it's because there's a huge IBM plant here and it rubs off.)

I buy my gardening supplies and plants from a local nursery even though they're slightly more expensive. I like to support local business and their plants are fully acclimated for the horrible climate here and more likely to grow if planted. They also guarantee and will replace if they die within 1 year.

I buy all my books at a local brick and morter B&N or Amazon online.

I buy laundry detergent at my grocery store, on sale with coupon. I bought the cheap kind at Sam's once and it was amazing how it noticeably didn't clean clothes very well. I'm happy to pay a bit more for what actually works.

i have read a few places not to buy any electronics at Wal-Mart. The premise of the article was that Wal- Mart will lure you in with competitive prices on 70% of their merchandise but stick it to you on pricing on the other 30%

Like with Costco, you need to know your prices.

I have bought food items at Walmart and would possibly electronics but I definetly would look at the prices.


I'd buy:
- Clothes for working out / camping / anything else where I expect them to take a lot of abuse.
- Brand name products that are significantly cheaper than elsewhere.
- Major electronics if I was only planning to keep them for a year or two.
- DIY furniture if I was still a student.

I wouldn't buy:
- Most clothes.
- Anything with the "Great Value" label. Words cannot describe how disappointed I am in just about everything this store brand produces.
- Fruits and vegetables. Why does all of their fruit look like it was shipped directly from a war zone?
- Meat. I tried it, wound up making one of the worst steaks that ever came out of my kitchen. Lesson learned.

I mostly shop at Meijers for groceries. But I do buy coffee from Walmart. They are cheaper than Meijers on that. Most electronics come from BB, but I did buy a DVD recorder/player from Walmart. It works fine. I buy sporting goods from Walmart. Stuff for my boat and camping supplies. The one thing I will not get from Walmart is their produce. It just doesn't seem as fresh. Even though they claim much of it is locally grown.

We live near a Super Wal-Mart and I would buy most anything there since I have had no problem w/quality and if I had, I am sure that returning it would be very easy.

The things I buy most are groceries (not meat since the prices are never competitive!), toiletries, and everything that the kids need from sports knee pads to video games to school supplies. Clothes not as much, but I have purchased pj's and shorts/tees and such and have been very satisfied w/the quality.

I also like their free ship-to-store policy. I ordered a 12' trampoline and had it delivered free to the store only 3 miles from my house.

I always check prices first on the more expensive products (i.e. Tide) since Wal-Mart is definitely not always the least expensive. I can stock up at other stores when they have a great sale.

I concur, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT buy any wood furniture at Wal-Mart. I bought a nice (or so I thought) dresser for my girlfriend only to have it completely break not 6 months later. She couldn't even close ANY, yes ANY of the drawers!

EverStart automotive batteries. Even though they are made by Exide and come with a three year free replacement warranty, expect to be using that warranty. They used to have a plastic pouch on the battery for the receipt, that pouch is no longer there even though the receipt says to put it there. Wal-Mart doesn't refund your money even after multiple warranty returns, you just get another lousy battery.

I will not shop at Wal-Mart.

I will buy some "basic" food at Super Walmart stores. By this, I mean milk, pasta, certain produce, etc. In other words, some staples that you can get at a very good price vs larger chain grocery stores. Additionally, I will buy things like paper products, detergent, soap, shampoo, etc at Walmart.

The smart phone recommendation is interesting. I may check that out, actually.

If I don't get it on eBay or in a thrift store/Craigslist, I get it at Walmart, because after Thrift Stores, eBay and Craigslist, Walmart is the next cheapest for obtaining the necessities of life.

And I do buy the "Great Value" label for a lot of things. I don't feel it's a bad brand. It's obviously not the top tier or anything, but for a "store brand", most of their stuff isn't too bad.

Although most of the stuff on that list I don't buy (ie, high-end electronics, video games, coffee, smart phones).

Books? Geez, go to eBay. If you paid more than $1.50 plus 4.00 shipping for a novel, then you've paid too much. Or use the library, it's free. I never buy any books in Walmart or any bookstore for that matter (unless it's a used bookstore).

Same applies to College Textbooks. Never buy them from a college bookstore. I recently bought a NEW textbook for my upcoming fall class on eBay for about 1/4 of what the same book cost USED in the college bookstore. eBay is your friend.

the best things to buy from places at wal mart are eatables and things of daily use as they are made in bulk and are cheaper, the rest such as furniture and books should be brought from their patent stores as they are better in variety and good in quality too, wal mart is good for daily living i guess and i buy my monthly grocery from there only

Wouldn't most people consider an HDTV high end? What sorts of electronics cost more than $1-2K? Complete home theatre sound systems? Digital SLR cameras? Can't really think of anything else...

Personally, I don't shop at Walmart. Target is king in MN or I go to Costco.

"I like to support local business"

LOL!! So you spend 95% of your disposable income at Target, Sam's Club, Best Buy, etc., but you buy plants at a nursery and think you're "supporting local business"!? Thanks for the laugh.

Somebody has to be contrarian today, I volunteer.
I prefer smaller, local stores. Stores where I have or can have I relationship with the owner or staff. If I don't know enough about a high end product, I prefer to 'trust the store'. I can't imagine buying an expensive tv online. Where (when?) something goes wrong, who do you go to? I also prefer to pay more for quality, for me, it's cheaper in the long run. Particularly clothes, at least when I neede to work. ;-)

Now having said that, sure sometimes I buy from big box stores for smaller, low to middle prices electonics. Best Buy which used to be horrible has actually turned around and has knowledgeable sales staff.

Just for the record, I am not, I repeat not an anti-Walmart/Target/ Costco/Aldi/fill in the blank/

These just aren't my preferred stores.

One thing not mentioned here so far and you can only get it at Walmart. Last year, Cook's Ilustrated did a review of the best cookware sets you could buy. It included the standard high end stuff (All Clad, etc). They found that Walmart stocked a brand called Tramontina(8 piece Stainless Steel TriPly Clad Cookware set is the one I am talking about) that did almost as well as the All Clad set. Difference is the Tramontina cost $149 while the All Clad costs around $500-600. I bought it last year and it is awesome. High quality (believe it or not) and while you can find Tramontina pieces elsewhere (including Target and Costco), you can only find this set at Walmart. Walmart also is the only place you can find the Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven that was reviewed second place by Cook's Illustrated when compare to LeCrueset (huge price difference again.) There is some serious high quality gourmet cookware you can get at Walmart when sticking with the Tarontina brand.
Otherwsie, we do not shop much at Walmart less than once a month.

I shop often at Walmart. It is my store of choice.

electronics - we bought 2 TV's from them. The one I am now using is a 27" that is 11 years old and going strong. I had a newer one with a DVD/VHS player and I gave it away. Still going strong, but I didn't need 2 after my husband died. I have bought 2 phone systems & answering machines, movies, etc. and they were all fine. I have had to return things only a very few times (possibly 5-6 x's in 40 years.)

Coffee - Folger's Custom Roast from Walmart or Dollar General. They have both been on sale in the last year for $5 for a 34.5 oz cannister. I have quite a few of them. Have given some away to people who were short of money and if they start to go past their date, I will give them to my local church. They use a lot.

Video games - I don't buy at all.

laundry detergent - I make my own. Works great.

books - from Walmart I get the majority of my paper backs or from garage sales. I try to purchase only paper backs because I have limited space. At 25% off they are great price. It usually costs me that and more at Amazon.

Wood furniture - pay $3k for a bedroom set? You gotta be nuts. My brother-in-law works for a high end furniture company and he says all the expensive stuff is not good like it used to be. I intend to by a twin bed soon and it will be the cabinet type with 3 drawers in it. I will check with Walmart first.

I buy almost all my clothes from Walmart, Dollar General (they now stock clothes that fit me), and Haband. I have clothes from DG that are about 20 years old. Many of them I am now turning into rags. I have slacks & tops that are 10-15 years old from Walmart. My kids had clothes from Walmart & Sears or garage sales. I never found clothes at Target that would fit me.

Don't garden.

But to those who say Walmart's is dirty, bad help, etc., where in the world do you live? I shop in at least 7 Walmart stores & a Sam's. My stores are all exceptionally clean, the help is top notch, and the customer's aren't all that bad either. I have had the help walk me all the way across the stores to find what I was looking for. One lady gave up her break for 2 of us. I talk to the help often. They all say they love working there. Maybe me brother was correct - I live in the Midwest and there is still a good work ethic here. He lives in a suburb of Chicago. Although, I must say, he had to take me to a Walmart when I had lost my luggage and it was a bright, wide open, friendly place.

I buy mostly online (Amazon) for books, electronics, etc.

Electronics: Unless you are buying from a full-service local store, warranty and service is no different than Best Buy, etc. If it breaks quickly, ship it back at their expense and get your money back. If it breaks later: Go to the manufacturer - ship it unless they have a local service center. I usually keep the original packaging for a short period just in case there is a quick death.

Books: Amazon marketplace sellers sell cheap used books and you get some confidence that Amazon will back you up if they disappoint.

I have been buying from Amazon since 1998 and have only had one lost package - it was delivered to the wrong address by UPS. Amazon sent a replacement without question. A couple of weeks later my neighbor delivered the original.

We buy most household supplies at WalMart. Clorox is Clorox - wherever you buy it.

As for clothes: If you know what you are doing, you can do fine at WalMart. My wife has bought clothes there, and people have assumed she bought them at a European boutique. But - they do sell a lot of junk in all categories - cheap junk is cheap junk wherever you find it.

@Mark
A question. What's the biggest thing you have shipped back to the maufacturer and what did it cost (Shipping that is) How long did they keep and were you satisfied at the end.
Ok that's more than one qx.

I'm trying to imagine sending back a 42 inch or larger TV.

i tend to never really buy electronics from walmart, i prefer best buy or online when the savings are signifcant. i do purhcase most of my groceries at walmart though, the prices are just so much better than at my local grocery stores.
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"Walmart's just too gross and sketchy both the store and the people shopping in it"

Yeah, snob I may be, but I totally agree; I've been into a walmart (in different locations) exactly 3 times and each time I walked out less than ten minutes later without what I intended to buy - the lines, the state of the shelf stocking, the crowds, the kids. Ugh. Life's too short and I'm too busy to deal with that. Or battling Costco's parking lot and high screaming-kid count most of the time for that matter. Unless and until I have a houseful of rugrats to feed and clothe, I'll trade the extra quarter or whatever on a bag of milk for my peace of mind :)

My main reason for not shopping at Wal-Mart is because the store near me is impossible to get in and out of. Buy a cart full of stuff, you'll be there 45 minutes. Buy one thing, and you'll still be there 45 minutes.

I can definitely second the idea to be careful about buying electronics there. I've worked on computers bought at Wal-Mart, and the manufacturers definitely cut corners to meet the price point they want. Most HP or Compaq computers have motherboards made by Asus, for example. Asus makes extremely good motherboards. But many of the HP computers at Wal-Mart have motherboards made by someone else. And last year, I checked out an eMachines computer from Wal-Mart for somebody, and found that it had an ECS motherboard in it. ECS has a terrible reputation.

I'm sure the same kind of things are going on with all the other electronics sold there. Capacitors are an example of an electronic component that can take down the whole unit if one blows out. The price difference between a quality part that can last decades and one that will blow out in a couple of years is a few cents. So it might cost $5-$10 more to build a device with top-tier capacitors versus bottom-barrel ones. Wal-Mart demands price cuts every year, so if they don't demand to save the five bucks this year, they will next year.

Don`t buy clothes from walmart and especially not as gifts they`re badly made

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