Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Vacuum Cleaner Shopping Saga

What do you mean, people might not really care to read my (not so) exciting tale of vacuum cleaner shopping? Well, in that case, people might want to skip this entry.

Edit: In the middle of writing my harrowing account of vacuum shopping, I decided that not even I cared enough to finish it, so I'm pruning it (in a rare act of charity toward my handful of devoted readers). As you continue reading, you may begin to wonder, "If this is the pruned version, what in the name of verbosity was it before??" {shakes head sadly} You really don't want to know. . .

When our vacuum cleaner stopped working, nearly a week ago, it was obvious that a replacement would be needed soon. Particularly now, since a large patch outside our main entry is nothing but orange sand, a surprising amount of which is tracked in by our twelve collective feet.

After talking to Mom about her recently-purchased vacuum cleaner, I'd pretty much decided to get the same model. However, checking a few websites revealed that none were in stock, locally, and the shipping costs were prohibitive. (Enough that I might as well just buy a slightly more expensive model that was available in the local shops. Yeah, I have issues with shipping & handling. The main "issue" being that I really resent paying it and will only do so if there is no other possible solution.)

Or in other words, let the online comparison shopping begin!

I looked here, there, and everywhere. I read reviews. (It's amazing how there are always a few people who seem to have personal vendettas against every product or manufacturer. If you paid attention to all the "Never buy from ABC!!!" and "You might as well flush your $$$ down the toilet as buy XYZ!", you'd have to resign yourself to dirty floors. None are without detractors.) I compared prices and checked availability in local shops. I tried to puzzle out why some (all?) manufacturers have twenty zillion models on the market at the same time, then struggled to identify the differences between said models. I pored over vacuum specs and studied diagrams of features. I questioned the sanity of the person whose bright idea it was to have vacuums called "PowerTrak", "PowerForce", "PowerClean" and "PowerGlide". (And they're all from the same manufacturer!)

So, time for a little "brevitization":
  • I mostly just wished I could get the vacuum that wasn't in stock, since at least I knew someone who liked it. Plus, it got mostly good reviews.
  • When I finally went shopping later in the week, I didn't even go to the store where Mom had bought her vacuum, because it was still listed as "out of stock" on their website.
  • Instead, I took notes on a couple different models on display in the store where I did my grocery shopping, and went home, with the prospect of yet more vacuum research to brighten my outlook on life.
  • Talked to Mom again that afternoon. Learned that website was in error (and apparently is often). The vacuum was in stock!
  • Wished I had known that earlier that day! (Stupid website! What is the point of that feature if it gives you the wrong info?!)
  • Decided I'd probably get that vacuum next time I was in that area.
  • Looked online a little bit more. (Don't remember why, now. . . Maybe I just had the pages already up from when I was in the midst of research. Perhaps I'd spent so much time vacuum-researching that I was addicted. Possibly I wanted to look once more at a few more things before I made my final decision.)
  • Found a deal whereby I could get a different vacuum (one that's designed for vacuuming non-carpeted floors in addition to carpeted ones-- basically the same as the other vacuum, but with a couple of extra features) for not much more than the other one would've cost-- plus have it delivered here for free.
  • Dithered some more. (You know I can dither like nobody's business.)
  • Was finally told by Donald that this was the one we would get-- that it was worth the difference in price to be able to vacuum non-carpeted floors because that's how vacuums always work in Sweden. (Or something like that. . . I think he was mainly just tired of watching me research vacuum cleaners for days on end.)
  • So I placed the order, and now we're expecting the vacuum sometime next week.
  • Does anyone know where vacuum cleaners go when they've finally choked down their last dust bunny? No, that's not the opening for a joke. Seriously, how should I dispose of the old vacuum? Take it to the dump? Dismember it and stuff it in garbage bags for the weekly trash? Bury it in the backyard in the dead of night? (Just kidding about that last one.)
I don't know if that was briefer than any other method would've been, but at least it cut down on some of the superfluous linking together of thoughts. (You can tell how my writing style/ability has degenerated by the fact that I see that as superfluous, can't you? Oh well. Fortunately, no-one's grading this blog!)