[misc] Shopping: the good, the bad, the overpriced

Saturday my sister and I had a shop-tastic day. We left home at 11 am and didn't get back until 5:30 pm.

Vermont Country Store (Rockingham, VT): They've been in the news recently for starting to sell some racy items. Some people are outraged but I generally support "freedom of" anything, so I wanted to go shopping there. Not for the racy items, just to support them as a consumer. Well, we got there and it was zero fun. It was super crowded with out-of-staters, the store wasn't easy to navigate through and, worst of all, everything was overpriced. EV. ER. Y. THING. I bought a small bottle of maple syrup and a box of crackers and it came to nearly $20. (Syrup is going up to $50 per gallon this year but this was 1/2 pint for $14. Please.) While I support their right to sell whatever they want, I don't support their right to charge whatever they want. Two thumbs down.

Basketville (Putney, VT): We love this store. Baskets and fair prices. I got a nice double-sided cutting board (one side with extra grooves to catch juices when you're carving meat) for $20 (down from $40). My sister found the exact same dip mix that she got at the Vermont Country Store, for nearly half the price. Seriously aggravating. But Basketville is always a treat to visit. Never crowded, good prices, interesting items.

Green Mountain Spinnery (Putney, VT): Popped into here for a copy of Eric's Glovelets (Ravelry). I've had a lone skein of Sylvan Spirit for a while now and this is the perfect project for it. I also bought a copy of Wintergreen, since I have enough Mountain Mohair for these mittens.

Harrisville Designs (Harrisville, NH): This was "Meh" on the fun-o-rama scale. The shop sells lots of stuff (various knick-knacks and curiosities in addition to yarn and fiber) and they have so many great colors but the customer service was lacking. The woman checking me out made me feel bad that everything I was getting was from the bargain bin. I've never used their yarn before and wanted to try different kinds by getting discontinued colors from the bargain bin. It still came to more than $50 but the woman waved her hand at my stuff and said to someone else "Everything she's getting is from the bargain bin," in a dismissive tone. You might think I'm being overly critical or paranoid but when my sister and I first went to check out, she asked, "You guys aren't in a hurry, are you?". She was in the middle of writing up a loom sale and wondered if we could wait. We said sure and ended up standing five feet back from the register while the woman stared at us, waiting for the loom-buyer to come back from looking at yarn. We stood there for a few minutes, staring at each other, until she sighed and said, "Oh, I guess she's looking at yarn. I'll ring you out." It felt like a situation where it's okay for us to wait because we weren't spending as much as the loom-buyer, you know? But, I don't want to dissuade you (much); this mill is worth checking out.

Then we drove home. I immediately had to backtrack down to Claremont, NH to pick up Dollar from a poker game. Then we went out to dinner with his side of the family. We announced our engagement and I think his step-sisters and sister shattered all the glasses on all the tables with their screams of joy/surprise. I had complete strangers asking me at the salad bar if I was the one that got engaged.


Joansie said...

I read your post with interest. I've been to the VT Country Store and it is a ripoff. As for sex aids, well it sorta depends on what they are, I suppose, and if they keep them all in the same location.

The reason I read with interest was because of a post that I wrote about another Vermont Company...
Burton Snowboards. Nudity on the boards...well...ah? on the slopes with kids but it was the self-mutilation that got me to post about it. I received a lot of backlash for it but shame on Burton Boards. (see the self-mutilation graphics on their site)

amy said...

I remember that post you wrote because I was surprised. I went to check out the boards and, sure enough, there are boards with vintage playboy images and another board with someone cutting off a finger with a pair of scissors.

While I support Burton's right to make those designs, I think it's perhaps not the right medium to display it. But, sex and violence sells, so...